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Variant

Book 96/100 - Variant by Robison Wells

Continuing with my phase of books with lots of adventure and boy narrators comes Variant, a fun little book where out hero Benson is landed at a boarding school with no adult supervision. I've never read Lord of the Flies but I did assume this would be about the way minors conduct themselves without rules or boundaries.
There was certainly traces of that but the bulk of the focus was on the big mystery, the subsequent reveal and all the rules and shocks of the place.

I liked the book. It kept me hooked and surprised me A LOT and was pretty original. The writer (who, might I add, has a name too similar to his main character for my liking) did a good job of blending the creepy factor with the everyday life of the school. The writing was pretty flat but the some of the characters were easy to care about.

There were a few things that just didn't make sense to me (crazy plot aside) : the insta-love, the way they accepted the no sex rule, the silly names. I can deal with it because that's just the kind of book it is but it took away from getting immersed in the world imo.

Overall Variant is a quick, surprising and enjoyable read. It felt a little flat to me, particularly since I read it so soon after the perfect Chaos Walking trilogy, and I don't think it's the kind of thing that would hold up to a re-read. Take away the shocks and there's very little else to back it up. I guess it gets 7/10. I've given worse books that score

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