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variant: by robison wells

I’m trying to think of the first time I met Robison Wells and I don’t think I’m positive about when it was. The inaugural Whitney Banquet, when I was enormously pregnant? It had to be before then but that’s my first concrete memory of talking with him, although I’d known about Rob for a long time before that. I’d been reading a group blog in which he participated and always found his posts hysterically funny/incisive (you can find an example here).

At the time, Rob and I were both writing for regional publishers, and I remember when I talked with him I thought, “This guy is going places.” And when I read his books, I knew it too. We exchange manuscripts (he was supremely helpful with CROSSED in particular) and, when I read VARIANT a yearish ago, I was blown away. So clever. So interesting. The kind of book that kept both my husband and me up all night reading it.

It’s a fast-paced, exciting, twisty, intelligent book that takes place at a boarding school where all is not as it seems. And that’s really all I’m going to say. I don’t want to spoil anything for you. Part of the joy of reading this book is starting on page one without any preconceptions and just going along for the ride with Benson, Rob’s fantastic main character.

To celebrate Rob’s upcoming release, I’m giving away a hardcover copy of VARIANT. To enter, you need to leave a comment (just one!) here that includes:

*your name
*a way to contact you if you win
*the freakiest name for a boarding school you can think of (yes, I’m going to make you work just a tiny bit for this)
*you get an extra entry if you blog about it AND post the link in your comment

Contest is open internationally and you need to comment by midnight (MST) on Tuesday, October 4th (Rob’s release date). And if you are lucky enough to live near the King’s English, they’ll be hosting Rob’s launch party on Thursday, October 6th at 7:00 p.m.

Congratulations, Rob!!

+ comments (58)
  • Cat
    September 27, 2011

    Freakiest name: Hannibal Prep School

  • Emily
    September 27, 2011

    Bates School for Mama’s Boys
    Class descriptions:
    How to improve your relationship with your mother.
    How to run a business.
    How to clean properly.

  • Lilly
    September 27, 2011

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Freakiest Name: Pregnancy Prep Academy (reminds me of another certain book coming out soon!)


  • Amanda Bagley
    September 27, 2011


    Prince of Darkness Academy

  • Sarah S
    September 27, 2011

    The freakiest name for a boarding school I can think of off the top of my head would have to be Arachnophobia Academy. I hate spiders.

    Contact me through twitter – @cspokey

  • Libby
    September 27, 2011

    Ivana Hurts Ewe Academy

    (Very Simpson-esque and dumb I know! Sorry. Sadly it took me a long time sitting here to think of that!)

    September 27, 2011

    Thanks for the giveaway. The book sounds interesting!

    Freakiest Name: Academy of Angst


  • Julie O'Brien
    September 27, 2011

    julesang@hotmail.com is a good way to reach me…

    And the best I can think of for a freaky boarding school name is:

    Judgement Day and Boarding School

  • β™₯Iffath
    September 27, 2011

    Thanks for the giveaway! This books looks awesome πŸ™‚

    Um.. how about.. ‘Dementor Academy: A Boarding School for Young Death-Eaters’


    • Fatima
      September 28, 2011

      Harry potter much i <3 harry pooter

  • Stephanie P
    September 27, 2011

    I am excited for this book, thanks!! Freakiest name for a boarding school: The Dead End.

  • Anne Darby
    September 27, 2011

    I think that “One Eye Open Boarding School” would be a creepy name. To anyone who comes, they would immediately sense the importance of caution and watching your back. πŸ˜‰ I’m excited to hear about this author! Has he written other books as well? I can be contacted at adarby37@yahoo.com

  • Alysa
    September 27, 2011

    everead at gmail

    Mr. DePew’s home for homely homeboys.

  • Anthony Ryan
    September 27, 2011

    Fun contest!

    Madam Purgatoria’s School for Once Gifted Girls

    Email: shesmiel at hotmail.com

  • Jessica
    September 27, 2011

    Interesting contest!

    booksatruestory at gmail dot com

    Sweeny Todd’s School of Beauty and Butchery
    (Is that too gross??)

  • JenP
    September 27, 2011

    jpetroroy at gmail dot com

    Cute idea!
    What about Lord Voldemort’s School of Dark Arts πŸ™‚

    • Fatima
      September 28, 2011

      Again harry potter much? Hey u won crossed right? Cuz i hv a question for u…

  • Jenilyn Tolley
    September 27, 2011

    This book sounds so interesting!

    Sauron’s School of Scourges and Subjection


  • Diana
    September 27, 2011


    Slasher Academy for Small Children

    or Madame Cannibal’s School for Tasty Little Orphans


  • dani_nguyen
    September 27, 2011

    Thanks for the chance to win! Variant sounds really interesting.

    How about Lizzie Borden’s School for Troubled Teens?

  • Vivien
    September 27, 2011

    Dexter’s School for Dark Passengers

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  • Samantha
    September 27, 2011

    Thanks for the chance.

    How about Good Intentions Boarding School. You know what they say, the road to hell is paved with them!


  • Robin
    September 27, 2011

    Deadly Heights Academy

    I’m really intrigued by this book.


  • Andrea F.
    September 27, 2011


    frisbyfamily at gmail dot com

    Stalin Academy


  • Christina G
    September 27, 2011

    Paroxysm Prep

  • Sherry Knack
    September 27, 2011

    Sherry Knack
    sherry (dot) knack (at) gmail (dot) com
    The freakiest name for a boarding school you can think of: Mrs. Sunshine’s School for Boys sounds pretty creepy to me. A place that’s not really all roses and sunshine. A great name for a horror movie location.

  • Marie O.
    September 27, 2011

    The freakiest name I can think of is Death Academy. Yeah, really original, I know πŸ™‚

  • Abbi
    September 27, 2011


    The freakiest name for a boarding school would be Dr. Dracula’s School for devious, troubled, or unwanted children.

  • Ashley R.
    September 27, 2011

    I think it would be so awesome to win this book!
    The freakiest name I can think of is: Preparatory Academy for Pretty Boys/Men. All males can attend.
    The best way to reach me is: ashleynray5@comcast.net.
    -Ashley Ray

  • Allie S
    September 27, 2011

    The Grady Twins Academy
    “come play with us”

  • Dot Hutchison
    September 27, 2011

    Miss Haversham’s Academy for Prim and Proper Young Ladies- my mother always threatened to send me there if I didn’t mend my hoydenish ways, and I think I was 20 before I learned there was no such place. Whoops.

  • Abby
    September 27, 2011

    Point of No Return Academy for Boys
    (he he he)
    How fun. This is a great giveaway. I’m jealous that you know him.

    Abby Fowers

  • Tricia c
    September 27, 2011

    Elvira Desdemona Memorial School for Gifted Youths
    Elvira means “mistress of the dark” and Desdemona means “of the devil.”

    Three.foot.pencil(at) gmail (dot) com

  • Sharli
    September 27, 2011

    How about Elizabeth Bathory School for Young Women…
    Kinda makes you think about what they could do to you in there, huh? πŸ˜›

    entrelibros_blog at hotmail dot com

  • Alexandra P. France
    September 27, 2011

    The dead end school. If you’re admitted the worst is to make your way out.

  • Rebecca
    September 27, 2011

    The Matched Academy for those Variant and Crossed.

    Hehe, I tried to mix in the book titles…. It sounds polietly sinister as academy sounds formal but who is ‘variant and crossed?’ Sounds like a mystery to me!

  • Bethany
    September 28, 2011


    Freakiest name for a boarding school: Arachnid Spiderweather’s School for Children.


  • Shari
    September 28, 2011

    Loser Prep
    Okay, so that’s not freaky, but it is very loserly.

  • Ali
    September 28, 2011

    I blogged about your contest at:


    my email is alicebeesely at hotmail dot com

    Freaky name for a Boarding School: HItler Nazi Youth Boarding School

  • Fatima
    September 28, 2011

    Ok soo um:

    Name:Metrochombia azul acadmy for girls (MAAG)
    Description: we will turn your beutiful tomboy into a ravashing azul princess
    Procedure: We take in shuned tomboys and slowly change them into azul princess (girls with class, beuty, and love
    Moto: “every ugly duckling has a swan inside”
    Logo: http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQD7Xyh7WzFKrQfsAQ6H9Q4paYOkb4I4ehMCl8cXRC5GJiMYuLG9ENPCqpumw

  • cathywit@comcast.net
    September 28, 2011

    Great contest. Variant is sure to be an awesome book. Freaky boarding school name, how about Miss Snotworts School for Wayward Children.

  • Donna K. Weaver
    September 28, 2011

    Donna K. Weaver

    I would love to win a copy of Rob’s book. Can’t wait to read it. I’m planning to attend the affair at The King’s English.

    You didn’t say I had to make up a name, so I’m stealing one from Harry Potter:

    St Brutus’s School for the Criminally Insane

  • Erica Jane
    September 28, 2011

    Name: Erica Ostergar
    E-mail: erica.jane.ostergar@gmail.com

    I’d love to win! Regardless, I’ll try to make it to the release party. Freaky boarding school name? I’ll have to go with “Serial Killer Preparatory School”.

  • Jeigh
    September 28, 2011

    This book sounds great!


    Poisontasters Prep Culinary School

  • Krista
    September 29, 2011

    I am psyched about this book! Thanks for the giveaway. I have been stalking this site and thinking I should try for a giveaway…so this time I decided to mend my stalker ways and go for it!

    If I was going to send my kids to a boarding school (living the dream!) I would hope to avoid my creepy pick. The Black Hollow School. It just sounds sinister, doesn’t it? “Come to Black Hollow. You’ll never want to leave…”


    You can contact me at my gmail account: kristahobbs (at) gmail (dot) com!

  • Katie Trenerowski
    September 29, 2011

    Name: Katie Dedrickson
    Contact Info: KatieDedrickson@gmail.com
    The freakiest name for a boarding school would be: “Help is NOT around the Corner School for Boys & Girls”
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • GraceRadford-Tingley
    September 29, 2011

    Grace Radford
    hmm…Slaughterhand Academy? πŸ˜€

  • Kadi A
    September 29, 2011


    The Infernal Institute


  • Erin Shakespear
    September 30, 2011

    Hmmmm, the freakiest boarding school name… how ’bout…



  • Benji
    September 30, 2011

    How about, Beelzebub’s School for Boys?

  • NadegeRichards
    October 1, 2011


    Okay, what about Devilcrow Cove Academy?

  • jessie humphries
    October 1, 2011

    Jessie humphries
    Chocoholic anonymous academy

  • KristenPelfreyFaulconer
    October 1, 2011


    Fare Thee Well School for the Recalcitrant

  • Taelor Rome
    October 2, 2011

    Mind of Murders Boarding School πŸ™‚

  • Jessica Longwisch
    October 3, 2011

    Awestruck Academy

  • Katie Foote
    October 4, 2011

    Here is my idea for a freaky school:
    Severed Academy

    It sounds like a good read so I hope I win!! πŸ™‚ if I do you can reach me at mrsfoote at gmail.com

    PS-I just finished reading “Matched” last night. I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down! So good!!! I can’t wait to read Crossed and the next book. I wish they were avaliable already so I could be reading them right now!!!

  • Jose Rome
    October 5, 2011

    Charles Manson School of Brainwashing


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