Variant by Robison Wells (Book Review #163)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 05/03/18

My 19th book this year)

Benson Fisher has been in and out of foster care, but all of a sudden he’s been offered a scholarship to a private school. With his erratic lifestyle, lack of friends and family he accepts.

Upon arrival he hopes his life may change for the better. Yet as soon as he gets on site he begins to realise things aren’t what he had hoped. The teachers are nowhere to be seen, the students run the school. Lessons are nothing like normal schools, seemingly random and useless. Students get punished for not following the school rules. If you try to escape you go to detention which essentially means death, because every student who has been to detention have never been seen again.

Benson needs to survive, needs to find out what is going on, needs to get out of here without getting taken to detention. All he can find out from the others is that this school must be part of some experiment but no one can work out what for or why.


The first half of this book was everything that I was hoping for. Being thrown into some sort of experiment without any easy way out. Learning to survive and to form bonds to aid his plans for escape. Violence, trust issues, fear, gangs, then friendships. Then all of a sudden the book hits an almighty turn and the whole concept of this story is completely thrown off track.

I absolutely hated the turn in the story. Up until that point, I was deeply drawn into the plot and was excited to keep reading. Then I felt angered that such a promising book could be ruined with this newly revealed secret.

I enjoyed seeing Benson develop friendships. But the gangs didn’t work in my opinion. I get that this is all about the experiment, but then if you are not picking faults, the first part of the book was great reading material for those dystopia lovers.

I’m torn on my rating. I would have given a much higher rating if the twist turned out differently. But the first half of the story worked so well I couldn’t bring myself to give less than a 3 star rating. I guess I have no choice but to read book 2 of the series just to find out how this all ends. I wont be recommending this series but I still want to find out the outcome.

Written by Ling Lee (05/03/18)

Categories: Book Review | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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