Variant, by Robison Wells (HarperTeen, 2011)

When Benson Fisher receives a scholarship to the exclusive Maxfield Academy, he dreams of finally escaping the never-ending string of foster homes. What he discovers, is far worse. Part prison, part Darwinist nightmare, there is no escape from the arbitrary rules and unpredictable schedule, save for death. There are no teachers; the students run everything from administration and security, to trash and cooking, all under the constant surveillance of their unseen, all-knowing captors. Benson’s desperate plans to break free destroy the fragile truce between the student-led groups, and reveal the horrifying truth behind the school’s purpose. Intense and suspenseful, this dystopian thriller is punctuated by genuine surprise twists, and capped by an ending sure to leave readers demanding more.

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