Author: Robison Wells (@robisonwells)
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Series: Variant #1
The Other Books: Feedback
Extras: Trailer #1, Trailer #2, Trailer #3
Buy at: Amazon
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.
You Should... – Buy It!
Reason for Reading – Cover, Topic
Judge the Cover – At first, I was confused by the cover. It says ‘Trust no one’, and yet the main character is with a girl in the woods. Then after reading the book, the cover now makes sense.
A Little Teaser – “What is detention?” I asked again, speaking slowly.
She exhaled and then looked down. “When people go to detention they don’t come back.”
Review – Wow… I mean literally WOW. I am at a loss for words. This book was not what I expected it to be. The labels on Goodreads said science fiction, and dystopian. They were wrong. This is a thriller. And man was it a great thriller.
With every great thriller, there is mystery. This book has a lot of mystery. Benson Fisher wanted to start at a new school, with hopes of having a better life. Instead, he gets a school that is run by kids and no parents. But someone is constantly watching their every move, and gives out punishments to those who disobey. You do not want to get detention in this school.
The school is split up into three gangs. If you don’t become a part of one, you don’t survive very long. The Society are the people that follow the rules, and give out the punishments to those who break them. The Havoc are the people who rebel against the rules, and are a bunch of tough guys and girls. While the Variant are the in betweens, the ones that don’t fit in with the other groups. Benson chooses to go with them.
Since the first day Benson arrived, he begins to wonder why no one has escaped. He wants to know why none of them are even trying to escape or even really thinking about it. It’s because there has never been a student that has escaped successfully, and most who tried have dead. But Benson doesn’t give up hope, and tries to think of different ways to escape, questioning everyone he can. He thinks people are crazy to follow the rules and act like they are not in a prison.
I agree with Benson 100%. If it were me, I would want to escape also, and I would never give up. But I wouldn’t escape the first opportunity handed to me. I would wait patiently and plan out my escape, learn everything I can about the school and the gangs. Benson does eventually learn about everything, little by little and he’s still planning.
Then, there’s the little blooming of a romance in here. Benson gets close to a girl named Jane. Jane has been at the school the longest, and really likes Benson. Then something happens, around halfway through the book, that completely blew me away!! I was first sad at what happened, but then Robison completely surprised me. Oh and then the ending, oh my gosh. I was completely amazed and speechless on the ending. I really need to read the sequel.
This book is just amazing and such a thrill. Like I said, I wouldn’t classify this as a science fiction or dystopian either. I say if you are into mysteries and thrillers, then you have to pick up this book!
Author or Book NEWS – There is a sequel, called Feedback. You can read news about what’s coming next on Robison’s blog |HERE|.