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The Truants

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  61 reviews
‘Where do I find Crime?’

‘Crime doesn’t have its own section,’ said the librarian without looking up, ‘it’s all under fiction.’

In this seductive coming-of-age debut, Jess Walker, a young and uninitiated first year student, falls in love with two great story-tellers. One, Alec, a journalist in exile, the other, Lorna, a charismatic literature professor. Starting
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 8th 2019 by Putnam
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  285 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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For some reason, I found myself thinking about the view of the golf course out of the bay windows at Milton View. How I’d stared at it for eighteen years, yearning for a bigger world to live in, thinking I could find it through books, clawing at make-believe in the hope I’d draw blood. Dear God, I thought with a sudden shiver. Was this the “real world” I’d been trying to find?

the name-drops to donna tartt and muriel spark are great bait, as though i needed any bait to read a campus novel about obsessio
Louise Wilson
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Jess Walker is middle class and about to start university. She chose the university due to her obsession with the academic Lorna Clay, whose book "The Truants" is about writers having to push themselves to reach their goals. The Truants is about a clever group of misfits who yearn to break the rules.

The concept sounded just right. Young people trying to find themselves in each other. The book is told from Jess's point of view. There is the usual mix of campus stuff going on but some
I had been saving this for a sunny day, and I read it on a sunny day, and it was perfect; my memories of it will forever be infused with a sort of glow that could've come from the weather or from the story – perhaps a combination of both. The Truants is another Secret-History-esque campus novel, this one set at the University of East Anglia, where deliberately bland protagonist Jess gets close to a lecturer she idolises and becomes embroiled in a thorny love triangle. (You know the drill, and you probably know from that s ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kate has written a prose to be remembered for a long time! We devoured the writings of The Truants with a dazzling moment, her stories are so interesting and elaborated really great! The dynamic of the secrets goes beyond of what we've read previously and makes the book so unique and flawless in its own way!
The mysteries are shocking and the characters are build in such a perfect way, their detailed life and emotions are so complexed! I loved the well crafted stories, all the characters
Anna Luce
★★✰✰✰ 2 stars

This is the type of non-literary book that has literary aspirations yet its laboured attempts to imbue its story and characters with a certain dose of moral ambiguity and depth ultimately fall flat.
In spite of its intriguing first few chapters The Truants soon followed the well-treaded path of similar campus/college novels: we have a main character who has a secret related to her past, she makes a new female friend who is more attractive and charming than she is, she falls for an alluring man who has
Roman Clodia
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my ideal summer/beach/switch-off reading: it's literate without being literary and has enough love, sex, desire, secrets, death, grief and obsession to keep the pages turning rapidly. Essentially this is a campus novel and a tale of growing up, and is excellent on depicting sexual chemistry and friendship.

There are lots of implausibilities most obviously the idea of a university lecturer becoming best friends with an 18 year old undergraduate she teaches so that they socialis
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Truants sounded right up my street with a cast of non-conforming rebel students, but I must admit that I was astounded to find this is Weinberg's debut novel as it's such an accomplished, original book. It revolves around main protagonist, Jess, and her current feelings of being the centre of attention when she has only ever blended into crowds seamlessly to become anonymous. Campus novels don't usually work out well for me as I'm not such a big fan but this had everything associated with th ...more
Paulina (aspiringliterati)
’This is the moment. Go. Grab it. Now.’
I always fall for stories of passion. This, ultimately and at its very core, is one of that. What passion can do, how it can alter your life, tilt the world on its axis, the magnificent wonders it can bring to life and the catastrophes it can inflict on its victims.

We meet Jess when she's entering her freshman year of college, seated on her dorm room's bed, writing an overly enthusiastic email to a would-be professor of hers — to professor
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title refers to a book written by an enigmatic instructor at a university located in East Anglia. It also refers to the characters’ desire to shatter norms as they find their place in the world. The main character and narrator, Jess, learns much about obsession and its ramifications on truth. This is an acceptable campus novel complete with the usual secrets, deceit, and tragedy. The most compelling portions centered on discussions of Agatha Christie, triangles and disappearances.
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc for an electronic copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
"People disappear when they most want to be seen"
Disappearance is a constant theme throughout this novel, the disappearance of people, of objects of thoughts and feelings. However just as important is the reappearance of these things and the circumstances of that. The novel constantly challenges the statement it makes. Disappearances in this story are often in contras
Chris Haak
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
My expectations were high. The UK cover looks so beautiful! And the story line sounds very promising. But I was actually rather disappointed. The first couple of chapters are all right, exiting enough and a bit mysterious, but then The Truants becomes just a regular college novel and a pretty predictable one as well.
Thank you though G.P. Putnam's Sons and Edelweiss for the ARC.
Whether you enjoy The Truants or not probably depends on how well you react to familiarity. When I read the proof blurb by Scarlett Thomas that claimed this was like a mashup of Donna Tartt, Agatha Christie, and Liane Moriarty, I wasn’t prepared for how entirely accurate that was: it’s The Secret History set in Norwich with Agatha Christie texts occupying the place that classical Greek culture takes in the former. If you’re keen on genre riffs, and sexily unpredictable men, and the erotics of pedagogy, pick i ...more
Theresa Smith
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
‘But mainly we just talked, in a way I never really had with someone older than me, maybe not really with anyone before. And in that way that makes what you see, what you feel, so raw and right and fragile that you worry, if you shift too much in your seat or go to the bathroom, you’ll break it, whatever it is.’

If you look up this book online, you are going to see this tagline: The Secret History meets Agatha Christie. I haven’t read The Secret History, although I am a fan of Donna T
Eamon Ronan
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was worried that this would be an inferior knock-off version of The Secret History, but in the end my fears were unfounded. The Truants is a well-written literary thriller/mystery that is indebted to similar "campus mystery" novels but still manages to forge its own path.

Jess Walker is our narrator, a first-year student at a fictionalized UEA, where she befriends three other students and falls under the spell of charismatic academic Lorna Clay. The description on the inner sleeve of the book
Murtaza Kuwarawala
Title - The Truants

Author - Kate Weinberg

Genre - Coming of Age Fiction

Agatha Christie has always been one of my most favourite mystery authors and her books have always been my first recommendation to people who are looking for books in the genre.So when I found out the book 'The Truants' is a book where the plot involves Christie's book, I didn't hesitate even once to pick it up and here is my take on the same.<
Laur (Define Bookish)
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are shades of The Secret History in this debut novel; that heady blend of academia, keys-to-the-kingdom wish fulfilment, and delicious menace.

Fresher Jess Walker is newly arrived at the East Anglian university where her hero Lorna Clay teaches a first-year course on Agatha Christie entitled 'Murdered by the campus'. Befriended by reckless aristocrat Georgie and her charismatic boyfriend Alec, middle child Jess is finally able to cast off her suburban ordinariness. As she become
Alfie Fletcher
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chloe Jade
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think this is one of my favourite books of the year? And I can't even really say why, just that it had beautiful prose, lingering mysteries, and characters that were terrible but justified and complex! It's the slightly darker sister to 'Conversations with Friends' by Sally Rooney, and a love letter to Agatha Christie. Days later and I'm still sitting with these characters, and their decisions, I can't believe this is a debut!!
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
A must-read for fans of The Secret History &/or Agatha Christie &/or any “campus” novels. Intriguing—I couldn’t put it down!
Van Chan
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
The course of tru(ant) love never did run smooth
*Maybe a 3.5? Not sure yet. Full review to come closer to publication in 2020!
Lynn Williams
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. RTF.
Sid Nuncius
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I enjoyed The Truants, but it did drag a bit in the middle especially.

The book is narrated by Jess, looking back six years or so to 2012 when she was an eighteen-year-old first-year student at an unnamed university bearing a strong resemblance to the University Of East Anglia. Studying English, she falls under the spell of Lorna, a charismatic female lecturer, and also of a wealthy, drug-dependent fellow student and her maverick older boyfriend. It’s a story of love, desire,
Pile By the Bed
There were probably campus-set mysteries that focussed on groups of students before Donna Tartt’s The Secret History but this seems to benchmark for this type of book. Kate Weinberg’s debut novel The Truants has broader influences than this, including the life and works of Agatha Christie, but the shadow of the campus novel still hovers in the background.

Jess Walker has eschewed the established English universities to come to a small, concrete campus in Britain’s Norfolk to study Eng
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
Originally posted here.

I’ve been waiting for The Truants since last year when I first read a slither of a summary featured within the acquisition announcement. I even featured it as one of my top five most anticipated releases of 2019, back when I posted those in December. When I finally saw it was available on NetGalley I hit that ‘request’ button so hard. I’d been eagerly waiting to read this since winter 2018, and the wait was worth it. A lot of dark academia novels get compared to The Se
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Truants is a novel about discovering the cost of being someone different, someone more noticeable, when you've always blended in. Jess Walker is thoroughly middle class, mostly forgotten in her large family, and about to start university. She chose her university due to an obsession with an academic there, the distinctive Lorna Clay, whose famous book 'The Truants' is about writers having to push themselves to the limits of life. Once there, she makes a close group of friends and their lives ...more
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jess Walker enrols at university in Norwich (rather than the Oxbridge route she could have taken) in order to study under the flamboyant and mysterious Lorna Clay (who has recently mysteriously left her tenured position at Cambridge). Jess is not given a place on the module she wants to study under Clay but on her other less prestigious one about Agatha Christie 's novels and life. Jess has low self esteem so when Lorna notices her and singles her out in class it looks like all Jess's dreams abo ...more
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
“People disappear when they most want to be seen.”

The Truants is a strange, compelling tale that starts out ultra tropey (people at small, idyllic college doing subtly terrible things to each other!) but unfolds and evolves into something fascinating and unique.

Kate Weinberg’s debut novel is a story of love and betrayal and of heartbreak and revenge, but mostly it’s about how easily we are all taken in by a good story. Or maybe how much we want to be, even to our own detriment.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Truants, an engrossing début of mystery and intrigue.

The book was narrated by Jess, looking back with hindsight over about six years or thereabouts to when she was an eighteen-year-old first-year student at university. Studying English, she falls heavily under the influence of Lorna, an enigmatic and charismatic female lecturer and also of a wealthy, drug-dependent fellow student, Georgie and her nonconformist older boyfriend.

Kate Weinberg has a very appeali
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The action starts slowly, for the first 100 pages it was only "ok". Students partying and falling in love, having love triangles and problems at school. I would probably rate it as 3 but then the second part of the book definitely changed everything!!!

First of all I wanted to say thank you for showing abortion as a choice. It is extremely important that every woman who is pregnant has a choice to either keep the pregnancy or have an abortion. I loved how you showed that it is an easy
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