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The Subjects

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  119 reviews
As we got closer I could see behind the sandstone a curved concrete building: a purpose-built structure. But still no fence, no wire. Not a bar in sight. For this, I’d been told that morning, I should be grateful. This was a ‘lifeline…a last chance’. That is what the judge said.

Daniel is a sixteen-year-old drug dealer and he’s going to jail.

Then, suddenly, he’s not.

A cour
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Text Publishing
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Average rating 3.22  · 
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Text Publishing
The following reviews are shared by Text Publishing - publisher of The Subjects

‘The Subjects is energetic and compelling from the opening pages. And in Daniel we find a voice that I was worried was disappearing from Australian fiction: unpretentious, smart and lacking in all mawkishness. It’s a joy to hear him, and it is a joy to read a book of such complex ideas that is also alert to the art of storytelling.’
Christos Tsiolkas

‘A vivid, human (and humane) novel with an irresistible dark pull. The
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to Text Publishing for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Hey, I forgot to say this but I DNF-ed this back in Oct. 2019. It just wasn't holding my attention and it was too similar to another book I was reading. That said, I think sci-fi fans will enjoy this one! Happy reading!

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Sarah Hopkins has written a very unique book. Unique in it's style, subjects and questioning of how we look at each other. There's a lot in this book and although it's not perfect and at times swamped with science, it's one of my favs of 2019.
16 year old Daniel is a drug dealer with a temper. In lieu of a jail sentence he is whisked off to a remote facility where a dozen other highly intelligent but different teenagers reside. They each negotiate a contract with the facility's Dr J, attend class
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
Rating: 1.5

I was interested in the premise, but it was really hard to follow from the beginning. I didn't know what was happening at all. I didn't like the main character and none of the other characters had a personality.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking brilliance.. Loved it
Louise Wilson
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Daniel is a drug dealer. He's been caught but he's not going to jail, he's going to a different facility. He believes they are running tests on them. The Subjects examine a way of treating people drug free.

This is an Australian novel about young people who have been diagnosed with some type of disorder. They find themselves in the juvenile system. Some of the jargon confused me. It did take me a while to get into this story. Daniel narrates this story and I could really believe the subject matte
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
I do not like having to work this hard at understanding the premise of a novel, to connect with the characters or to follow what exactly is happening.
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
My thanks too Text publishing for my free copy.

I really struggled with this book unfortunately as I liked the idea of it. But for some reason it just lacked ‘you’ve got my attention’. I’m not sure what it was it kinda moved a little slow and I couldn’t connect to the characters to well. It’s was kinda slow it just fell short.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating, provocative. The book details in the first person the experience of a teenagers experience in an experiment. It touches on big pharma, the ethics of treatment for conduct disorders and the experience of trauma in youths.
May 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting premise with a good serving of quality writing but the protagonist’s voice didn’t ring true (adult, masquerading as a teenager) and the author’s view was a little too present in places.
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This novel is both intriguing and chilling in its depiction of a "school" that is offered as an alternative to juvenile detention. Sixteen-year-old Daniel has ADHD but instead of taking his medication, he's made a business of hoarding his pills and selling them to classmates who need an "edge" for studying. When he's caught he is offered classes at this institute where there are very few students, and shockingly, very few rules. They are encouraged to play video games and the "lessons" are very ...more
Dec 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

Daniel is a young drug dealer, he's 16 years old and to prevent him from going into a juvenile detention in the courtroom appears a Doctor Daniel never met before. He's Doctor J and he decides to bring Daniel to his School. There Daniel lives with other eleven kids, all of them delinquents, for months, taking peculiar classes, using headsets and tablets, playing video games, talking to the Doctor about his life with his mother M
Karen Barber
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A fascinating concept, but one which left me with far more questions than it answered and which was - ultimately - rather frustrating.
Our story focuses on teenage Daniel. He manages to avoid jail for selling drugs by agreeing to enter a facility. Like Daniel, we learn about the facility and those inside as he experiences it. Ultimately, however, the intriguing idea of exploring social engineering and the behaviour of pharmaceutical companies didn’t fully pay off.
I’m grateful to NetGalley for gra
Oct 04, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: 2020-dnf
* I was provided with an electronic ARC by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

DNF @20% The Subjects has a unique concept but I could not understand the way the story was constructed and because of that I was very confused, frustrated and bored. I also did not connect with the characters as I didn’t think they had depth. This was just a personal preference because I think most people will enjoy this story because of the concept.
Loved loved loved this... review otw.
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Anyhow, 176; 63; 16: they were my numbers and here I was.’

Daniel, our narrator, is now 47. He was diagnosed with PTSD at 10, and at age 16 was convicted of selling prescription drugs to his classmates. In court, where a gaol sentence seems inevitable, an intervention results in Daniel being taken to a remote facility where a small group of other gifted (but delinquent) teenagers reside.

‘Light-filled corridors and a jug of lemon water were our introduction to the concept of a benevolent universe
Full review on my blog !
DNF @ 30%

I was totally here for some new Australian sci-fi, but this wasn't it for me. The main character was insufferably dull and his narrative voice vacillated between what I think the author thought a sixteen year old boy should sound like (lots of thinking about sex and generally being an asshole) and a pretentious adult. None of the side characters really stood out either - at the point I abandoned this book, the love interest still didn't even have a personality.

Also, apart from a few Au
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Social engineering is at the back of this story, which starts off well, with considerable tension, but tends to bog down (for me) in stretches of analysing the behaviours of the main characters.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was ok

When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

Daniel, 16, is sent to a special "school: instead of prison. Experiments ar
Naomi (aplace_inthesun)
Sep 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
There are a couple of points of view in this story - one is Daniel, as a 16 yo teen with a history of complex trauma, in trouble with the law for selling drugs and transported to a school of sorts for other "troubled" youth. Daniel is able to leave The School at any time according to the elusive Doctor who runs the school and he is able to "negotiate" a contract for the duration of his stay. What follows is Daniel's observations and his relationships with his peers, all behaviourally challenging ...more
Faith Hurst-Bilinski
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is a very unique book. It has some hints of stories told before. I've even seen comparison to a Stephen King book, The Institute. Other than children in a place that is somewhat school like and they don't know the purpose of the place, I don't see any similarities. There were times when I had trouble focusing on this book. However, the times I plowed through the overthinking of Daniel, the main character, I got a very rich story. You just have to put it together yourself. It jumps all over ...more
Neide Gomes
Jul 22, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: arc
DFN @ 26%

I honestly can't even continue this book. I really tried, but I'm going to be brave and DNF this. I actually thought the cover was cool and the premise sounded interesting, so I was a bit disappointed with what I’ve read.
I think the main problem for me was how confusing the narrative was. I couldn't keep up with what was happening and the main character had a weird speech and thought process. Not only that, but I felt a constant shift within his character where he changed from a teenage
Annette Jordan
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was drawn to this book by an interesting premise and an intriguing cover. The outline described an experimental programme for young offenders that took them out of the prison system and instead sent them to a special institution where they would be monitored and hopefully rehabilitated. It sounded like an idea with a lot of potential but unfortunately , in my opinion the book did not live up to its promise. I did finish the book, but it felt like a chore rather than something I was enjoying. T ...more
Krystelle Zuanic
May 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
The concept of this book is amazing, but the execution, not so much. This book follows the journey of a teenage delinquent and his arrival at a mysterious new facility that takes a different approach to rehabilitation than most. However, this book left me with a lot of unanswered questions, and in a speculative fiction novel, there is little worst than that. I found myself not satisfied regarding anything the school did as the context was omitted, and the main character’s narrative voice was so ...more
Sarah O'Riordan | travelseatsreads
While the premise for this book had me immediately interested, unfortunately the book itself did not. The concept behind the book was very intriguing and could have been developed into something fantastic however I found this book to be quite jumbled and very slow-paced. I did want to find out what happened to the subjects in the end so did find myself skim reading to finish it. A good twist at the ending but sadly not enough to bring it above 2 stars for me.
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thank you Sarah Hopkins, Text Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC.

The premise of this book is that the main character Daniel is a juvenile who had been selling drugs to peers, to save him from a detention centre a mysterious Dr suggests instead he goes to a 'School'. Whilst at the School Daniel meets other characters and forms bonds with the other students.

I found the cover art and the blurb very intriguing. I found the concept of the book provocative and enjoyed learning some of the scientifi
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2020-reads
The Subjects had an interesting premise but unfortunately fell flat for me. I found it quite confusing as the novel switched between narrators - from adult Daniel to teen Daniel. The science elements were too many and the ending wrapped up too quickly (although I didn't mind, I was happy to finish the book in one sitting and move onto something else).

Set in Australia and written by an Australian author, I did enjoy the discussion of mental illness and behaviour disorders; crime and the juvenile
Sandi Wallace
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
4-4.5 stars. Review copy received with thanks to the publisher and NetGalley. More in my next Good Reads blog at ...more
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Sarah Hopkins is a criminal lawyer, the wife of Matt Moran and the mother of two young children. She is the author of two novels, The Crimes of Billy Fish, which was highly commended in the inaugural ABC Fiction Awards, and Speak to Me.

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