Benson Fisher has been in the foster care system since he was five years old. After spending the majority of his life being bounced from family to family he’s excited when he wins a scholarship and a chance for a fresh start at Maxfield Academy. But when Benson is dropped off at a school that looks more like a prison and is ran by “gangs” of students rather than adults, where breaking the rules can equal death, he knows he has to do everything he can to escape this new life.
Although I read plenty of YA material, this book would have never made a blip on my radar if it weren’t for my favorite 12-year old kid. You see, in his middle-school you get awarded for reading the Truman Award Nominee book selections – read 4 and you get something-or-another, read all 12 and you get a pizza party. Reward is a great motivator for a kid who doesn’t particularly share his mother’s obsession with books. That being said, when this not-so-into-reading kid told me I just HAD TO read “Variant” I was all in. And you know what, he didn’t steer me wrong. “Variant” was a real page turner. If you/your kid enjoyed “The Hunger Games” and “The Maze Runner” and “Divergent” and “Legend” andonandonandonandonandon, you’ll probably like this one too. It’s an easy read that is action-packed and has a great twist. The only real problem I have is that it falls into the trap of WHY DOES EVERY YA BOOK HAVE TO BE MULTI-PART????? I generally just pretend that all of these books are stand-alone rather than a series, but this one has me a little intrigued. Not enough to actually read the second book, but enough that I’ll make my kid read it and tell me what happens ; )