Book Review: Variant by Robison Wells

Rating: StarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Science Fiction | Dystopia

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.


It’s true what the tagline said: Trust No One.

First half: 3/5
Second half: 4/5

Half the time I’m reading Variant, I always felt like cringing. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough because i’d rather get over the strange situations quickly. Still, the last few chapters kicked off like I wanted it to, and that ending? Gosh, it was so f*cked up! I don’t know if I like Robison Wells or not. I still can’t decide if his story is bloody brilliant or just plain crazy.

I got frustrated along with Benson. He only longs for a normal life outside foster care, but in a sick twist of events, he found himself imprisoned in Maxfield Academy. And most students there doesn’t even see the wrongness of their situation! I feel you, Bense. I do. And I predicted right on which girl he might end up with.

Patience. that’s what i told myself in order to egg myself to continue reading. There are heart-thumping scenes, yes, but a lot of questions remained unanswered. Some parts I liked; some parts I don’t.

If you are into sci-fi and dystopia, can you try this one and let me know how it works out for you? My alter ego is maniacally smiling with the ending, but my normal self just couldn’t give a full 4-star rating. That’s why I’m settling with a 3. I like Variant, and I am reading the sequel, Feedback. So, if that’s any indication for you that I’m (unconsciously) recommending Variant, then give it a shot.

As i read the acknowledgement page, I found out that Robison Wells is the brother of Dan Wells, author of Partials. 😀

Publisher: HarperCollins

Imprint: HarperTeen

Pub Date: 10/04/2011

Thank you NetGalley and HarperCollins for granting my galley request.


3 thoughts on “Book Review: Variant by Robison Wells

  1. I just love this book! I was breathless throughout the whole read and with that ending? I mean REALLY? aww I didn’t really know that they were related… I need to read Partials soon!

  2. Pingback: Challenge: Dystopia Challenge, 2012 Wrap-Up & 2013 Sign-Up « reading is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

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