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I read a book in high school, it was about a foster kid who ran away too many times so he got sent to a boarding school in the mountains. In the boarding school kids could bid on contracts for what chores needed to be done, they were in gangs and before they made the system where certain groups would bid on contracts there had been much fighting and a few deaths.

The contracts were for different jobs at the boarding school. For example, some worked security, some cooked, and some also did medical stuff (I think) since they were gangs certain gangs would bid on whatever contracts.

There was also a girl that the protagonist liked, and she got beaten to death during a school dance (she was actually a robot) and the protagonist follows the robot to a secret door where the robot plugs itself in to try and be repaired.

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Turns out the book I was describing is Variant by Robison Wells!

Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.

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    Good work! How did you find it? And don't forget you can accept your answer in about 41 hours by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons as per the tour (if you click earlier, it will tell you how much time is left). :-P I'm mildly notorious around here for my self-answers. – FuzzyBoots Apr 9 '20 at 13:20
  • well, i stayed up way too late on google and saw a fairly similar forum where someone suggested that book (though it was not the correct one) but it turned out to be the one i was looking for. a quick Google search and a glimpse of the cover was all it took. cant forget a cover that looks that awesome! – Simeon Kenney Apr 10 '20 at 6:05
  • Thank you. I'm always looking to up my game in searches. You never know when it will be done keyword or synonym that does the trick. – FuzzyBoots Apr 10 '20 at 10:33

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