The Subjects by Sarah Hopkins – Book Review

Special thanks to Netgalley and Text Publishing Company for sending me the digital advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Daniel is a sixteen-year-old drug dealer and he’s going to jail. Then, suddenly, he’s not.

A courtroom intervention. A long car ride to a big country house. Other ‘gifted delinquents’: the elusive, devastating Rachel, and Alex, so tightly wound he seems about to shatter.

So where are they? It’s not a school, despite the ‘lessons’ with the headsets and changing images. It’s not a psych unit—not if the absence of medication means anything. It’s not a jail, because Daniel’s free to leave. Or that’s what they tell him. He knows he and the others are part of an experiment. But he doesn’t know who’s running it or what they’re trying to prove. And he has no idea what they’re doing to him.

Genre: General Fiction


I had never heard of this book before seeing it on Netgalley, but the synopsis stuck out to me. I’m always down for a good psychological book and that’s what the book seemed to be. The cover also added to my interest. It’s so simple but seems to be complex at the same time. It was definitely a book that seemed like it would be a perfect fit for me.

The plot took a long time to develop and that honestly took me out of the story. I was starting to get bored by the time the book finally started picking up. But the last half of the book was fascinating and it helped me push through to the end.

The one thing I really liked though was how the other covered the issue of over medicating kids. As a school teacher, I have seen and heard about different cases of where kids are thrown on some medication in an attempt to control them. I do believe medication is important but I often think that some people are prescribed something too quickly instead of attempting to tackle the issue first.

I think the main issue I had with this book was the characters. Honestly, there wasn’t really a character that stuck out to me in this book. Daniel, the narrator, was 16 almost 17 but described his surroundings and experiences as though he was an adult. I understand that the narrator is talking about his experiences from the past, but it still made me feel disconnected from the main character. I couldn’t relate to him at all. The plot and idea was so interesting, but there wasn’t a great character to support it.

Because of that, I’m giving the book 2 out of 5 stars. I’m super disappointed since I was looking forward to this book so much, but also I’m happy I read it. Like I said, it was an interesting concept, there just needed to be a little bit more.

Let me know some of your thoughts below! xx

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