Variant by Robison Wells had me feeling like a kid again: staying up way too late, sneaking a flashlight under the covers, and promising myself “Okay, just one more chapter…well, okay…just one more chapter after this chapter.” I can’t remember the last time I tore through a book this quickly. It was just a couple of days. I really and truly could not put it down.
Why? I’m not sure. It was a light read, pure entertainment, but a good and compelling story. With lots of fun twists and page-turning surprises.
It’s Young Adult, so, yeah, I had my concerns (ahem, Twilight), but everything that was wrong with those books was right with this one. Not over-written, not poorly written, not overly mushy, targeted at its audience, but broad enough to not make any non-vampire-infatuated ‘tweens who also happen to read it want to gag.
No vampires. No werewolves. So, cool.
It’s got all the elements that I really would have loved had I read it as a teenager: conflict with authority, cliques, school stuff, budding adolescent romance (and corresponding frustration and confusion), fighting. More of a guy book. Well, not a guy book, but more aimed at a neutral audience than other YA stuff that has been popular these days. I wish I could go back in time and hand this book to my teenage self, but don’t think even he could have enjoyed it any more than I have here and now.
And…it’s got a sequel coming out October 2012. I will BE there! I didn’t stay up until midnight in costume to get a copy of any of the Twilight books, or Harry Potter, but I would stand in line for this one. It’s really that good. I wish they would make a movie out of it (when I’m a millionaire, that will be one of my first undertakings (after buying an island in the Caribbean and training chimpanzees to type Shakespeare, of course) (I’ve got my priorities)). It’s like Lord of the Flies meets Red Dawn meets The Faculty. Admit it, it sounds good.
Get yourself a copy, if you dare; you won’t be able to stop!