August 16, 2012

Variant by Robison Wells {Review}

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: September 26, 2011
Source: Library
Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfirld 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.

After finishing Variant I actually just sat there mumbling “but…whaa…but…how!?” for a good 30 seconds feeling all twitchy before I immediately logged onto Goodreads to read the synopsis for book two. I’m just incredibly glad I waited until now to read it. If I’d had to wait an entire year for the next book I really don’t know if I could’ve handled it!

So first of all, I just want to say that I’m really not sure how people think Variant is a dystopian. Sure, the setting is apart from regular society, but that doesn’t make it a dystopian. Moving on now.

Variant is a thrill ride from the beginning. We’re talking “buildup? What buildup?” kind of thrill ride, and it’s oh so good. I’m fine and dandy with buildup, sure, but it’s quite the treat when I can be thrown right into the midst of things and not be terribly confused. Some books like to try to start out with a BANG by going for the shock factor or throwing the reader into the middle of a fight, but Variant just starts building a subtle creep factor right out of the gate and it totally works. I was completely hooked by page 7.

I can’t really say Benson was someone I could connect with, but I admired his perseverance. If I were plopped into Maxfield Academy I probably would’ve been lulled into a state of complacency by the simple fact that they have good food (what can I say, I’m a food girl). Plus, you know, I tend to play by the rules so the threat of death would’ve had me dressing in my uniform and sitting in my seat like a good little girl along with the rest of the students. And, even though Benson was all “fight the power!” he never wanted anyone else to get hurt. The only reason he tried to persuade anyone else was to save them from impending death (I totally wrote ‘doom’ right there, but it sounded too dramatic :P).
The Nutshell: Variant is a non-stop thriller that will have you hanging on the edge of your seat (or couch, or bed, etc) frantically flipping pages to find out the answers. The tension was often so high that I had to force myself to keep my eyes from jumping ahead to find out what happened. If you’re looking for a book that’ll keep you guessing until the very end (and after) then Variant is your book. Be warned, though, it ends in one heck of a cliffhanger and the sequel doesn’t come out until October ;]

Pages: 373
Series: Variant #1
Rating: Direct Hit

1 comment:

  1. Oooooh, you've made me want to bump this up my endless TBR pile ASAP. :) I am so glad to know you loved it. I purchased it a while back and a few people saw my shelve it post. They bought it too and were less than thrilled with it. I FELT SO BAD & majorly responsible (even though I haven't even read it yet). Yikes. Anyway, you've restored my faith!


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