Surprised me not once but twice!

Variant - Robison Wells

This isn't one of those scare-you-straight schools, is it?  -Benson Fisher

At almost 18-years old, Benson Fisher just wanted a place he could belong and feel safe. After moving from foster family to foster family (33 since he entered the system at age 5), he really just wanted to stay in one place. So, when the opportunity came to apply for a scholarship at Maxfield Academy, Benson figured what did he have to lose. And when he was accepted, well, he was more than ready for a new start.


But, Maxfield Academy isn't exactly what it seems. The school is surrounded by a chain link fence and inside that a massive brick wall.There are no adults; the students run the day to day operations. Each new student joins a "gang". There are three: the Society (they handle security and administration & medical), Havoc (they handle food and groundskeeping) and the Variants (the V's) (they handle janitorial & maintenance). And there are four big rules: no sex, no refusing punishments, no violent fights & no trying to escape. The worst punishment is detention, but no one wants to talk about that. 


LOVED this book. I can't recommended it enough. I love any dystopian fiction pretty much, so I guess I am sort of biased. But this book kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I never wanted to put it down. I was reading with my 11-year old son, so I didn't have much of a choice or I probably would have finished in a couple of days. He loved it too (he is in 6th grade).


Twice this book had me saying WHAT???? I turned the pages back and reread to make sure I didn't miss something. Honestly, two big twists that I didn't even see coming. My only problem now is I'm dying to read the sequel but my son wants to read the next Janitors book first. So.... I will have to wait. But not for long.


Recommended to

Anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction. Or novels with unexpected twists. This one is on Florida's Sunshine State Young Readers Award nominee list for 6-8th graders. But trust me, adults will enjoy it too! Several 5th graders at my school are currently reading it and loving it too!