Variant (Variant, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Variant (Variant #1)

by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  11,276 ratings  ·  1,820 reviews
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 B...more
Hardcover, 373 pages
Published September 26th 2011 by HarperTeen
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Robison Wells
Feb 26, 2011 Robison Wells rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
That's a completely unbiased rating.
karen

if anyone popped into my RA group looking for a book that was "not well-written, consistent, or plausible," i could hand them this book with full confidence.

and i feel bad for saying that, i do. this book means well, you can tell. the author dedicated it to his best friend erin. that's cute, right? but about thirty pages in, i started getting concerned that this was another YA book actually written by a teen author. i am not going to have another truancy experience, thank you very much. but no,...more
Lucy
So my dog does this cute thing sometimes where he chases down a toy or ball with such intensity that he sometimes crashes into walls and furniture. After he does this he looks up at me with an expression on his face that I'd like to catch on camera without deliberately letting him get a concussion. It's a cross between 'where the fuck did that come from' and 'how did I get here again' because you see he's forgotten he was chasing a ball in the surprise of his encounter.

This book put that express...more
Sue
Simple words: BLOODY BRILLIANT!!!

I've read so much of YA, and from the first page, everything is so predictable, you have an idea of the direction and what will happen at the end. Even the Dystopian novels, the main problem is X and you obviously know that the MC will survive.

But THIS. I could not for one second predict where this would go and I'm excellent at predicting what's next.

The writing served its purpose, I didn't have to skim over anything. You know how in novels sometimes the prose i...more
Reynje

Well, the joke is on me apparently.

As I was racing towards the end of Variant it became very clear that the number of pages I had left to read were not going to be adequate to address the plethora of unanswered questions I had. My rising mental chorus of ”But what about...? But why...? How....? smacked straight into a four word brick wall: End of Book One.

I really thought this was a standalone book. Ha ha.

Variant is a fast-paced, fairly gripping read that slaps you with quite a doozy of a cliffh...more
Lu Ann Brobst
Review originally posted in January 2011:

I have the honor of being in Rob Well's writer's group, so I got to read the final manuscript before even the ARC was ready. This is one of the best books I've read in the last year. The main character, Benson was someone I could relate to--maybe because I teach school and he reminded me of several of my students--and the plot was compelling. I couldn't read it fast enough--yet the themes and final questions continue to haunt me--and now I'm begging to se...more
Sasha
This is the story of Benson Fisher and how he settles into his new life at Maxfield Academy, where there are no teachers, no grades, and only 4 rules. The school is split into three different "gangs" and these gangs have come to an agreement that will keep them at peace..most of the time. And then Benson comes across the school's real secret..so, what will he do with this information and what will the consequences of his actions be?

This book was a thriller right from the beginning. Within the fi...more
Annette
One of the lucky people who got to read a pre-press copy.

Now that it's out, my 16YO son devoured it.

This is easily my favorite YA book of 2011. Edge-of-your seat action, twists, turns, moments where my jaw dropped and I yelled things like, "NO WAY!" and, "That DIDN'T just happen!" (But, of course, it did.)

I'd recommend it for anyone 12ish and up, but especially for boys. No content issues, just a great read.
Margot
I can't think of a single reason why I shouldn't give this a five-star rating. I loved everything about it.

First of all, Variant is one original little book. Yeah, everyone says the same about all the books they read, but I definitely found Variant refreshing and unique. And I really enjoyed Benson's voice.

Variant hooked me right in since the very beginning—I couldn't put it down. I found it original, thrilling, compelling, and so easy to read. Interesting from the first page to the very last...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
4ish stars (yes I'm a little wishy-washy on this point)

Variant is one of those books that's hard to review. (Yes I know I say that a lot!).

It's a book with a First Half. Then a Second Half. And I want to judge them separately. Because by the end I couldn't put the book down, almost finishing it in a loud chinese restaurant because I was that engaged. But as much as I enjoyed the second half, I can't ignore the first half of the book.

The first half I kinda wanted to smack the main character. Have...more
Krista Jensen
I was fortunate to have read this book before final edits and I still can't wait to get it in my hands and read it again as a finished product. The characters, the twists, the mind-blowing premise of this YA thrill ride has left me needing the next book. Benson is the perfect reluctant hero, and I really hope he figures this thing out. Mr. Wells, get on that.

Oh, and the cover? I'm not ordering it for my Kindle. I want to SEE it up close in all its shimmery beauty. I can't wait until its release....more
Erin Bowman
I’ve heard this book described as a “Lord of the Flies” set at boarding school. Um, yeah. That sounds awesome. And it is. From the second Benson sets foot within the grounds of Maxfield Academy – which happens within the first several pages, mind you – things are intense. Examples: there are no teachers, students have split into gangs, cameras watch everything, everywhere, and no one ever leaves the campus. This book is fast paced and near impossible to put down. Benson is not a perfect person,...more
Heather
Okay, October 4th is finally here--official release date of VARIANT.

This book is a definite must-read for 2011. It's being promoted as dystopian, but it could easily take place in our day. Benson is a foster kid, moved from place to place for as long as he remembers. So when he gets a "scholarship" to Maxfield Academy, he jumps at the chance, thinking he can finally get out of the rut he's lived in for so long.

When he arrives at Maxfield, he immediately starts noticing strange and bizarre things...more
Cory
More reviews @ http://antidrugreads.blogspot.com

If I were to just call Variant unpredictable, that would be an undoubtable understatement. By the end of the book, my mind was completely blown. The places I assumed or expected this story to go throughout my reading, proved to be wrong every single time.

"Trust no one" is the perfect tag line for Robison Wells's creation. Benson, the protagonist, thinks he just got a scholarship to an upper class prep school, but boy is he wrong. What he gets in re...more
Sara
I don't know what to think of this book. Throughout the entire book I was reminded of the Maze Runner by James Dashner, except I loved that series! This book was just strange to me. I found the believability aspect of it to be extremely lacking. I just didn't believe these kids would conform to a school like this rather than trying to get out. I didn't believe the circumstances they were given and when we found out the big secret, I didn't even believe the explanation we were given. None of it m...more
Linda♡
Mar 20, 2014 Linda♡ rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Linda♡ by: Mass
4.5 en realidad.

Benson Fisher pensaba que una beca para ingresar en la academia Maxfield sería un billete hacia el fin de una vida sin sentido.
Se equivocaba.
Ahora está atrapado en un colegio rodeado por una alambrada. En el que cámaras de seguridad siguen cada uno de sus movimientos. En el que no hay adultos. En el que los alumnos se han dividido en grupos para poder sobrevivir. En el que saltarse las normas significa la muerte.
Pero cuando Benson tropieza con el verdadero secreto de la escuela,
...more
Roxanne
I will tell you, if I knew this was a "book one" I would not have bothered. I liked the read - the writing wasn't anything special and the premise was fun enough - foster kid with no family gets scholarship to special school where all the students are locked in without adults and etc etc experiments ? and big brother masterminds? and fighting and etc - I like that kind of story. And I appreciated that the main character was very WTF in an appropriate way that never stopped, and there was a cool...more
Saniya(Will Herondale is mine)
This was one awesome book.
I can easily say that this book was one of the most compelling reads of 2012. The blurb, the cover, the trailers, I guess everything made me read this.
First of all, I loved the story. After finishing "The Maze Runner" series, I was just all broken down because I adored 'The Maze Runner' trilogy and when it ended, I was so sad knowing that I won't be able to read a book like that anymore but this book just proved me wrong.

"I loved it! The twist behind it all is my favo...more
Ilsa Bick
Having been bounced around in the foster care system for years, Benson Fisher ends up at Maxfield Academy, a cloistered private school. What looks like an opportunity for this lonely, outcast kid quickly degenerates into a nightmare scenario. Maxfield Academy is a bit like a roach motel: bugs check in, but they don’t check out. There are no teachers; the kids run the classes; food and supplies are delivered via an elevator (reminiscent, actually, of The Maze Runner, whose Lord of the Flies dysto...more
Michelle Madow
I loved Variant so much! It's an awesome sci-fi/thriller YA, and fans of James Dashner and Michael Grant are going to love the first book in this new series. When I saw that James Dashner blurbed this book, I knew I had to read it, and I'm so glad I did. I started reading yesterday afternoon, and finished before going to sleep. It was one of those books that I couldn't put down until I got to the end.

This book is one big sci-fi mystery waiting to be figured out. I kept trying to guess what was g...more
Gina Denny
Holy Snot Balls, this book was good.

I picked this up as a direct result of my love of Dan Wells' I Am Not A Serial Killer series, and I was not disappointed. Near the end of this book I found myself thinking that this was like Twilight Zone episode in book form, and I think that's a pretty spot-on assessment.

Benson is a troubled kid, a product of the Philadelphia foster care system, before he comes to this very exclusive private school out in the middle of the New Mexico desert. That's when t...more
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
Reading Variant felt like I had jumped into a toboggan on a tall, snow covered hill, pushed off, and sped down it at breakneck speed, dodging trees and bushes. Only when I slammed into a rock under the snow at the bottom of the hill was I able to look back and see everything that I had flown through on my haphazard journey.

In other words, Variant is quite a fast ride.

Benson Fisher is a foster child who thinks he's found a way out of the system. Not unlike Bron from David Farland's Nightingale,...more
Dorine White
Hold on to your hats! Variant, by Robinson Wells, is a ride into a young adult fantastical mystery that keeps you reading and reading. I stayed up to midnight, I couldn’t put it down. Published by HarperCollins, it runs 223 pages and is part one in a series.


The Story- Foster child Benson Fisher wants to improve his life. He’s tired of switching homes every few months and applies for a scholarship at a prestigious private school, Maxfield Academy. He begins to doubt his good luck when he arrives...more
Kaye
Sep 29, 2011 Kaye rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Fans of dystopian lit
Now this is the type of book I've been looking for since I devoured the Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix back in middle school. It's not a dystopian America. Benson is the type of kid you'd hear about every day, shuttled back and forth through the foster care system, getting nowhere. But unlike most down-on-their-luck little orphans, Benson doesn't look for a pair of parents for his very own, or tap-dance his way into the spotlight of some very impressed agent slash manager sla...more
Nancy
Okay, another book about a boarding school. Not original except there are no vampires. But, oh. It gets good. It really is different. Very different. First of all, the protagonist is a 17 year old boy. Second, the school has no teachers and the most bizarre curriculum. And it's a prison. Nobody gets out. The rules are odd and social mores are determined by a talking head on the television and the students themselves. Punishment is severe and inconsistent. Death is a real threat.

Benson arrives at...more
Michelle
Benson has bounced around foster care all his life, so when he gets a scholarship to a private school he is thrilled. Unfortunately as soon as he arrives he learns that his life is not improving. All the students are prisoners. There are no adults. The students are responsible for teaching, cooking, and providing security. To survive various gangs have formed. Each gang is responsible for certain kinds of jobs. The largest gang, Society, is responsible for security. All rule breakers are punishe...more
Inspired Kathy
I really liked the first half of this book. It reminded me of The Maze Runner which I really enjoyed. It's a unique read that would appeal to a wide audience including teenage boys. The second half of the book was good but took some really bizarre turns.

I can usually figure out where a book is going but was completely wrong with this one. It was completely unpredictable. The cover says Trust No One on it but I didn't realize how literally I should have taken that warning. It was full of twists a...more
Elana
VARIANT is the kind of book you race through, unable to stop even though you're eyes are tired and it's late at night. Wells has created a compelling closed society, with characters that live and breathe on the page.

Not really a dystopian, but with the chills and twists of a boarding school that creates a dystopian-esque atmosphere.

One of the best reads of 2011 for me.
Debbie
3.5 stars
I enjoyed this book but I have say it definitely had more of a slant towards the teenage boys. In fact, I had a similar reaction to The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Both were interesting story lines, interesting twists but the male main character was hard for me to relate to.

First off the story line was fascinating. The mystery is why is this group of teenagers thrown into a school with no adults and for the most part are apparently treated pretty well as long as you follow the rules....more
Beanbag Love
It's YA but better than most I've read that tend to be padded out with sex and fluff. There's no sex in this but there are disturbing situations and there is violence.

The basic premise: Benson Fisher manages to obtain a scholarship to a boarding school in order to escape the endless revolving door of foster care failure. Once there he quickly finds out the "school" is not at all what he was expecting.

After about the first third where we're learning about the world and meeting characters, this s...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
should i read?? 16 58 Oct 12, 2013 01:46PM  
Would you stay or escape? 9 53 Sep 28, 2013 11:37AM  
The YA Dystopian ...: October: Variant - Extras! (contains spoilers) 1 11 Sep 26, 2013 09:48AM  
What did you think of the ending? 31 215 Aug 21, 2013 10:55PM  
Teen Books Are Ou...: Variant-BOTM July! 6 16 Jul 29, 2013 08:15PM  
  • Scored
  • Tankborn (Tankborn, #1)
  • The Way We Fall (Fallen World, #1)
  • Lockdown (Escape From Furnace, #1)
  • Dark Inside (Dark Inside, #1)
  • Ashes, Ashes (Ashes, Ashes, #1)
  • Insignia (Insignia, #1)
  • 20 Years Later
  • Dark Eden (Dark Eden, #1)
  • Silhouetted by the Blue
  • Epitaph Road
  • Human.4 (Point 4, #1)
  • Memento Nora (Memento Nora, #1)
  • The Killables (The Killables, #1)
  • The Death Catchers
  • The Sky Inside (The Sky Inside, #1)
  • The Unidentified
  • Yesterday
Feedback (Variant, #2) Blackout (Blackout, #1) Wake Me When It's Over On Second Thought The Counterfeit

Share This Book