Monday, November 28, 2011

Robison Wells. VARIANT

Benson Fisher has been tossed around for years from foster home to foster home. He’s never stayed anywhere long enough to make friends. He longs to go to a good school. So, when he’s accepted to Maxfield Academy on a scholarship for orphans, he’s thrilled. He thinks he’ll finally get the education he wants. Since it’s a boarding school, he’ll be able to settle in and make friends.

When he arrives at Maxfield, he realizes that it’s not exactly as the brochure promised. Right after the driver drops him off, the strangeness begins. Two of the students run out of the school and chase the car out to the gate. Later he learns that the two students were punished for running after the car. Then his orientation is lead by a student close to his own age, named Becky. You can imagine his surprise when Becky explains to him that all the classes are taught by students. In fact, the whole place is run by students. There are no adults in the building at all. But that doesn't mean they get the run of the place. Cameras are everywhere. Rule-breaking is still punished.

Benson asks to leave, but it’s too late. He isn’t allowed to leave. All the other students explain to him that no one ever escapes, and if they try, they die. Parents and family members aren’t an issue, since all of the kids are orphans and have no one to come looking for them. It gets worse as Benson realizes that he seems to be the only one who cares about escaping. But if his choice is attempting to escape and possibly dying or staying in the prison-like school, Benson feels he has no choice but to try.

What a chilling, marvelous ride! Every time I put this book down, I couldn’t wait to get back to it. Literally you’ll want to read this in one sitting. The suspense builds slowly throughout each page until the end where you will be SHOCKED!

Benson is a great character, and you'll definitely root for him. The surrounding characters are surprising, but curious. You'll wonder about them. The action is well paced and exciting.

Check out the author here. This is is first YA book.