Variant by Robison Wells is my new favourite book. It was published in 2011 but I stumbled across it last month through Booktopia’s Bargain Bin, where I was looking for reasonably priced books to buy as Christmas presents for my class. I bought four copies, but unfortunately they did not arrive until after school had ended so I decided to read it myself. Woah! I am so glad I did. This book is edge-of-your-seat suspense, and the plot twist is mind-blowing. I enjoyed this book more than Divergent because it is not set in a dystopian future, it’s set in the present, which makes it totally and frighteningly believable. And it is a series, like Divergent – but only two parts. It made me wonder what makes one book rise up to be a mega seller with a three part movie deal and another be reduced to the bargain bins of online book stores? Is it in the marketing, the timing or do I just like books that are a little different from the mainstream? Variant did win many awards in the US, but have any of you heard of it?
I loved this book so much that I bought the second (Feedback) from Booktopia (which wasn’t in the Bargain Bin) and bought another copy of Variant so I could have five and use them for Literature Circles with my class. Surprisingly, when I bought this fifth copy of Variant, it cost me $15. Perhaps Booktopia has realised their error.
So guys, do yourselves a favour and grab a copy of this book. Let me know if I really do have strange taste in fiction.
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.