Book: Variant by Robison Wells

Publishing Info: Published by HarperTeen; 373 pages; Hardcover

Goodreads Summary: Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape–his only real hope for survival–may be impossible.

This book was really creepy.  But also really good.

Everything is very mysterious, and just when you think you have it figured out, you realize you don’t.  The school?  Totally weird, because there are no adults, and around 70 kids, by themselves, trying to figure everything out.  It doesn’t seem like anyone knows what’s going on, but if they do, they’re really good at lying about it.

Trust no one is the perfect tagline for this book, because you really don’t know who to trust.  With people who are some combination of android and human (or a very human-like android), and others who are determined to follow orders at any cost, it’s no wonder Benson isn’t sure if he can trust anyone.  It’s very suspenseful, and I was on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen.

The school itself seems to be huge, and can hold a lot more than the 70 or so students living there.  Everyone knows a little, and yet they know nothing at the same time.  For a book that’s the first in the series- which I didn’t know until I got to the end of the book- things were pretty resolved.

As much I love female narrators, it was nice to see a male protagonist.  He was funny, and I could actually relate to him a little.  He’s one determined guy, and his quest to leave Maxfield after realizing that he made a mistake (and that there’s something hinky going on) was rather interesting.  He seems to be the only who cares and is willing to do something about it.  The other characters were interesting, and they all had their role to play.

The ending!  Oh.  My.  God.  What a cliffhanger!  I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.  October seems like so far away.

It gets a 4 out of 5.  I was kept guessing, and it was a hard book to put down.

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