Benson is a foster child who has been moving around from foster home to foster home ever since the age of 5, but then he decides to apply to Maxfield Academy and gets accepted along with a scholarship. Benson feels that for once everything is looking up, but then he gets to the academy and he sees that nothing is right. The school has no adults and the kids have to follow complex and weird rules. Break the rules and the punishment is death. The entire school is divided into three groups: Society, Havoc, and Variant. Benson joins the Variants and from day one begins planning his escape. And then he stumbles upon the schools secret and nothing is the same. Is escape even possible? This book was one of the most breathtaking, heart pounding, gripping books ever. From the beginning, the entire school is a mystery and as you read along, trying to uncover its secrets, you slowly become more and more entangled into the story. The ending, especially the last two lines, was a great cliffhanger and leaves you yearning for book two. Although some of the school's secrets are uncovered, there are still so many more questions that keep arising. This book is one that I think everyone who loves action, fast-paced stories will love. Variant is somewhat a modern version of The Lord of the Flies. If you loved The Maze Runner series than this book is definitively the one for you! But just as a friendly warning, you may want to wait till book 2 comes out (October 2012) before reading book 1 because once you reach the end you won't be able to wait for the second book.