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Variant Hardcover – October 4, 2011


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Variant + Feedback (Variant)
Price for both: $28.01

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  • Feedback (Variant) $14.23

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062026089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062026088
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Variant is a chilling adventure that feels just a little too realistic for comfort. A lights-on read!" (Aprilynne Pike, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Wings series)

"With Variant, Robison Wells explodes onto the YA scene with a brilliant nail-biter of a dystopian adventure. A breathtaking race for survival in a badly damaged world."   (Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of Dust & Decay and The King of Plagues)


"Just when you think you've figured out what's going on, Robison Wells surprises you with more twists. I read this book in one sitting because I had to know what would happen next." (Larry Correia, New York Times bestselling author of Monster Hunter International)


“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)

About the Author

Robison Wells is the author of Blackout, Dead Zone, 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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Customer Reviews

I was intrigued with it from the very beginning and my curiosity and interest in the book just kept growing with each turn of the page.
Karen A. Oconnor
No offense meant to Variant but it just seems like every single book has to be part of a series, and sometimes it's nice just to read a good stand-alone.
Reading Teen
I give it a 5 out of 5, and I highly recommend this book to all fans of YA fiction, especially those who enjoy dystopian and thrillers.
Melissa (i swim for oceans)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Sash & Em: A Tale of Two Bookies on October 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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 first 15 pages or so, I was already asking myself TONS of questions about the school - about the kids - about EVERYTHING. I found myself just as scared/angry as Benson was about the whole situation. I think that's one of the things that made this book so good for me - I really, truly connected with the characters. I felt like I was actually there, right along side Benson.

Variant was such a unique take on the idea of a Dystopian society and the ending left me begging for more. (I literally tweeted at Mr. Wells asking him if he had already written the second book.) I don't know where this series is heading, but this guessing-game is very refreshing for me.

Every so often, a book comes along that I would recommend for anyone and everyone. This is one of those books. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't like this thrilling, action-packed story - including teenage boys, who are especially hard to pick out a book for.

You'll especially like this book if you enjoyed The Maze Runner by James Dashner.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on December 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Variant left me feeling conflicted. I was intrigued and hooked by Benson's story and situation right away. Maxfield Academy is surround by an air of mystery, especially when Benson first arrives at the school and sees kids cramming at the windows looking to see the new kid while two other students race out of the building to chase after a car. Very odd. Another interesting plot point is when Benson is getting the tour of the place from a girl who doesn't seem to care that the school is more like a prison. Then he meets the "gangs." All of this happens at the beginning of the novel, so my attention was held. It's once Benson becomes more involved at Maxfield Academy that I grew distant and bored.

What I disliked the most about Variant is that the pace began to drag. So much time is devoted to Benson repeating how brainwashed everyone is and how horrible the school is. I understand that he's concerned and frustrated, which completely makes sense, but after a while it became annoying. Benson obsessed over how to escape and why others seem content to stay locked up in the school. Do I understand how he feels? Yes. Does that move the plot? No. I also didn't feel a connection with Benson or really any of the characters. Everything about the characters felt very surface level.

Something else that slowed the plot down for me was how much time Wells spent describing paint ball battles. The first paint ball match, set up against two gangs, took up an entire chapter. On the positive side, my male readers who enjoy plots with lots of action will probably love this book and those scenes. For me, it felt like a way to drag the story on and make the book even longer.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By The Allure of Books on October 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Variant by Robison Wells was a really great surprise, y'all! The entire book was very mysterious and sinister - for most of the story the reader has no idea what direction the book will take. There are several plot twists, and a couple of them literally slapped me on the face. I haven't felt so in the dark about where a story would take me in a long time, and it was a great feeling! I loved not being a step ahead.

Benson Fisher gets a scholarship to a boarding school and thinks he has really made it. He grew up in the foster system and definitely got the crappy end of the deal. Right now he is basically being used as free labor and he absolutely jumped at the chance to get himself into a new situation. Unfortunately, the second he is dropped off at his new school he discovers things are not right.

No adult supervision. Cameras and microphones everywhere. Three equally dangerous factions, join one or find yourself completely unprotected. Breaking the rules = detention that you don't come back from. No way out. This is not your mama's boarding school.

Benson is shocked at the way the majority of his peers are accepting of their prison sentence - how can people be okay with being trapped away like this? He refuses to give in and get used to it. At times, he does find himself enjoying life. Intense, all-out paintball wars, really awesome food, some great people (including Jill, who makes a lot of things seem worth it)...but the second he catches himself happy he forces himself to snap out of it. He continually searches to find a way out, which basically alienates him from almost everyone. Nobody wants to get grouped with him since they all think he is headed straight for detention (death).
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