# of Pages: 376
RAC Book: Yes
Benson is a foster kid who has been passed from one home to another for years. He finds information about a boarding school online and applies for a scholarship. He hopes to find a home for the rest of his high school life so that he does not have to face being the new kid anymore. When he arrives at his new school, Benson is not as excited as he thought he would be. The entire school is covered in electrified barbed wire and security cameras. There are no actual adults in the school and all the kids are responsible for doing everything, such as teach and cook meals. The kids have broken into three gangs to try and survive, but Benson is not willing to accept that there is no way out, despite the insistence that anyone who tries to escape never returns. Can Benson find a way out? Can he handle the answers he finds along the way about the truth behind the school?
Variant is engaging from the second Benson arrives at the school. There are so many factors involved in the make up of the school that it becomes almost impossible to ascertain why these students are being held captive there. The author adds an interesting twist about halfway through the book that makes it even harder to determine what the purpose of the school is. There are many characters, but they are described in a way that makes it easy to understand why they are responding to life in the school this way. Fans of the Maze Runner series will love this storyline.