3.93 (21,725 ratings by Goodreads)
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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, where video cameras monitor his every move-and where breaking the rules equals death. All Benson wants is to find a way out. But when he stumbles upon the real secret the school has been hiding, he realizes that escape may be impossible.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 135 x 203 x 23mm | 293g
  • HarperTeen
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0062026097
  • 9780062026095
  • 107,734

Review quote

"An intense journey with some of the most shocking twists and turns I've ever read." -- Pittacus Lore, #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Am Number Four "A chilling, masterful debut. With its clever premise, quick pace, and easy-to-champion characters, Wells' story is a fast, gripping read with a cliffhanger that will leave readers wanting more." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Variant is a compelling story on so many levels. I loved it! The twist behind it all is my favorite since Ender's Game." -- James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner "An exciting, edge-of-your-seat read that combines psychological themes from works like Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games and Ender's Game in a truly unique way. Variant should join the ranks of today's must-read science fiction and fantasy series. A highly recommended addition to any collection for teens." -- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (starred review) "Benson's account unfolds in a speedy, unadorned first person. Hard to put down from the very first page, this fast-paced novel answers only some of the questions it poses, holding some of the most tantalizing open for the next installment in a series that is anything but ordinary." -- Kirkus Reviews "Good old-fashioned paranoia taken to giddy extremes. Take Veronica Roth's Divergent, strip out the angst, add a Michael Grant-level storytelling pace, and you have this very satisfying series starter." -- Booklist "Fans seeking a fast-paced, action-heavy read will find this generates a lot of excitement." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Filled with heart-racing action and suspense. An impressive debut with wide appeal, especially for fans of Alexander Gordon Smith's Lockdown and James Dashner's The Maze Runner." -- School Library Journal
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About Robison Wells

Robison Wells is also the author of Blackout, Variant, and Feedback. Variant was a Publishers Weekly Best Book and a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Robison lives in the Rocky Mountains in a house not too far from elk pastures. His wife, Erin, is a better person than he will ever be, and their three kids cause mischief and/or joy.
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Rating details

21,725 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 33% (7,205)
4 36% (7,904)
3 23% (4,954)
2 6% (1,290)
1 2% (372)

Our customer reviews

The talent runs in the family, that's for sure! I remember prior to reading this book, I had read and loved I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells, so finding out that these two wonderful writers are in fact brothers was surprising to the point that I never thought that I could enjoy both styles of writing so much. You know that type of book that you just can't stop reading or be surprised by it? Variant is exactly like that and much, much more. I can't precise what was that attracted me to this book, but all I could do once I had it in my hands was to read it and read it and read it a bit more. The plot is remarkably mysterious right in the first pages, so if you like Benson and are curious about why he wants to run away so fervidly, this sure is a book that is going to make you go crazy of anxiety from start to end. It was very intelligent of Wells to pick as his novel's background an immensely restrict and limited world, instead of going all the way of creating an ultimately new dystopian environment like many other authors of the genre do, so this way we was able to focus is attention on creating an incredibly twisted, bizarre and suspicious atmosphere to what is the centre of his characters wishes and conflicts-the Maxfield Academy. Undoubtedly, this is an odd place to be, guarded by both video cameras and a large group of students who somehow form an alliance against all others. There are three gangs in this school, the ones who take care of everything and are responsible for correcting what is out of place, the ones who enjoy creating chaos and the ones who are neither. Benson is a Variant, which means he is himself. He knows something is deeply wrong with the school and with the people who are in it, and soon realizes it was a mistake to accept that scholarship. But what are the secrets kept in between walls? I liked Benson, a lot. I found him to be the exact type of male protagonist I appreciate the most. He is curious but conscious of his limits, he is tough but also knows how to be protective, and he is not scared of going against everyone and everything if that's what he truly believes to be the right thing to do. That's why he's the one who gets more surprised about it, that's why he's the one who won't know in who to trust and confide. This book's best asset surely is its easy writing and the ambience that Wells created. I never saw it coming, I admit. I knew this was a dystopian novel but no one could have prepared me for all the questions and all the doubts and all the nervousness. And the coolest thing about it is that even when I though I finally knew what was going on and nothing else could ever surprise me, bamb!, new twist! That ending was absolutely to die for. What a cliffhanger. What a gigantic number of questions twirling around. What a torture to an avid reader like me! Variant is an outstanding reading and the kind of book that leaves a lot of doors open to its continuation. I haven't read Feedback yet but I can only hope for Wells to have picked the right paths to follow. A lot can happen after this first book and all I want is an equally interesting, exciting and complete page-turner reading-it's not too much to ask, right?show more
by Patrícia Pilar Pecegueiro
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