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This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Variant by Robison Wells
Series: Variant #1
Published by HarperTeen on October 4, 2011
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(Last Updated On: May 31, 2022)
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.
First things first: I’ve had this book on my shelf for almost two years. That’s right: two whole years. This was one of the first books that I bought when I got really into reading hardcore, and for some reason, I never decided to pick it up.
Whenever I went to a bookshelf to find a book to read, I’d skim right over this one and pick up another one to read. Well, last Saturday I saw this book sitting on my shelf and I decided the time had come to finally read it.
There’s something special about this book: the school seems so normal on the outside, but it really isn’t. I loved finding out all of its hidden secrets along with Benson.
The first thing that clearly sticks out once Benson goes to school is that there are no adults, only children, and that all of these children have something in common: nobody really cares about them enough to miss them if something ever happened to them.
These kids are at Maxfield Academy trying to survive and teach themselves while participating in group activities that someone else says they must do.
At Maxfield, there are three different groups of kids. There’s the Society, which is filled with kids who believe that the only way to escape is to follow the rules. There’s Havoc, which is filled with kids who pretty much do whatever they want.
Finally, there’s Variant, which is filled with everyone else. Benson, of course, decides to join Variant, because he does not fit in with the Society or Havoc. Benson decides from day one that he is going to be able to get out; he knows that he will find a way.
One of the most interesting things about this book is that Benson really couldn’t trust anybody but himself. Different people had been at the school for different lengths of time, so different people had experienced different things that the school had gone through, such as the war that happened a while ago, where quite a few kids actually lost their lives.
There’s also this thing called Detention at Maxfield Academy. Basically, if you do something wrong or get in a severe fight where you injure someone, two kids from Society come to take you and bring you to Detention.
Nobody knows what happens in Detention; the only thing that people do know is that once you go to Detention, you never come back. Plus, it’s been said that the Detention room is stained with blood.
This book was so amazing, I actually read it in just about two hours. I was flipping the pages nonstop; I just needed to know what happened.
I was worried for Benson and I just wanted to know who to trust and if it was even possible to get out of the school in the first place because nobody had really tried since Benson got to Maxfield Academy. I will definitely be buying a copy of Feedback; I need to know how it ends!
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Have you read this novel? I’d love to hear your thoughts!