I just finished reading Variant by Robison Wells for an Around the World ARC Tour.
Benson Fisher thought 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.
Okay, so I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. Half of me loved it and the other half of me is annoyed.
The first part of the book flew for me. I was completely engrossed in the story. I don't find myself normally liking books with a male as the main character. But I certainly liked this one. In fact, it may be one of my favorite books with the main characters as a male. The book was kinda like a dystopian novel, but it wasn't since it was set in modern day time. Maybe it was just more horror. I couldn't put the book down. I wanted to know if Bensen was going to escape and how. And I wanted to know just why these kids were trapped in the school.
And then the second half of the book. There was a major twist. I'm talking major. I didn't see it coming. At all. And I'm not too sure how I felt about it. At first I kind of rolled my eyes and though "Why did it have to go this way??" But then I got into it and was once again engrossed. And I still wanted to know the same questions as before. Was Benson going to escape, and why were the kids trapped in the school.
And then you have the end. Talk about a major cliff hanger. But it was a confusing one. The last 20 pages or so had me going "huh? I don't get it." I went back and re-read it several times. And I'm still not sure I understand what is going on. I mean, I get the cliffhanger part, I think. But there are other things I have questions about, that I can't really get into because it would completely spoil the story. The last page says "End of book one" and I just hope that the next book will answer the questions.
That being said, I enjoyed it. I think. It sure left me with my mouth hanging open and lots to think about!
I gave this book a rating of 4/5.
Variant will be released on October 4, 2011.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 73
2011 ARC Reading Challenge: 57
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 19
2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 55
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.