Date Published: October 4 2011
Benson Fisher is wishing to get away from his life as a foster child. When he gets accepted to Maxfield Academy he couldn't be more thrilled to finally have a chance to have friends and settle into a place for more than a few months at a time. Once arriving he finds out that the school is blocked by a wall, and separated by miles of forest from any sign of civilization. That's not all. No phones, Internet access, or adults. You get no contact with anybody outside of the school. Even though there are no adults, there are still rules and still punishments. The biggest rules are, no sex, no violent fights, No refusing punishments, and trying to escape. if you break any of those four rules you end up in detention. Those who go to detention don't come back. After hearing all of this though, all that is on Benson's mind is escaping this weird school. No matter how many people try to convince Benson that it is was a lot worse before the students spit up into gangs. The society, the people that want to be follow the rules, Havoc, the people that want to cause trouble, and Variant or the V's. They are the people that hate the school and want to escape, but generally follow the rules. Benson joins the V's. He makes friends and fits in fine. He even grows close to a girl in his gang named Jane. he even finds himself having fun. Until, finding out a secret that the school had kept hidden since it was built. Now that he knows the secret he has no doubt in his mind that he has to get out of the school.
The cover to variant is a boy and a girl walking in the woods. The boy has his back turned, but girl is looking backwards. Most of the cover is sort of blurred out. I liked this cover a lot because it the way the cover is blurred out is mysterious just like the story is.
In the book you learn about many members of all the different gangs. Mainly the people in the V's. Benson himself is a little stubborn and rebellious at times. He was a pretty believable character. Two of my favorite characters in the book were Lily and Curtis. Lily has only been at the school for a few months and is also very content about leaving. She wasn't in the book a whole lot when she is it is mostly when they are playing paintball. My other favorite character was Curtis. He always helped Benson and always forgave Benson when he had done something stupid to jeopardize the safety of the gang.
As I said before Benson gets quite close to Jane and at one point takes her to a dance. The relationship didn't last long at all though. Other than Benson and Jane, Curtis and another girl in the V's named Carrie are also dating. You don't hear much about this couple but Benson always sees the holding hands and walking together
Variant was an amazing book that kept me interested to the very last page. The characters were believable and very easy to connect to. I highly recommend this book.