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The Truants

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  1,107 ratings  ·  184 reviews
Seductive, unsettling, and beautifully written, The Truants is a debut novel of literary suspense perfect for lovers of Agatha Christie and The Secret History--a thrilling exploration of deceit, first love, and the depths to which obsession can drive us.

People disappear when they most want to be seen.

Jess Walker has come to a concrete campus under the flat grey skies of
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published August 8th 2019)
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OliveB I assumed it stood for Sebastian!

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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,107 ratings  ·  184 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
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-trodden 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
Louise Wilson
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 of it was
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 were
Diane S ☔
Not going to rate since I only read twenty percent. Was attracted to the book because of the Agath Christie theme. It just seemed so slow, going nowhere in a timely manner.
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 ...more
2.5 rounded up

The Truants refers to a book written by a somewhat mysterious professor at a British university. The main character is determined to get into the course taught by the professor, no matter the cost. It is also a nod to the students themselves and their exploration into "things forbidden." They will learn much about desire, obsession, and life as they explore these things and each other.

I wanted to like The Truants more than I did, sadly. There were portions of the book that were
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Jess Walker experiences a lot during her first year of college. She has two main focuses - a love interest and a professor she idolizes. The love interest situation is complicated, and it's more of a love triangle than anything. The professor is Dr. Lorna Clay, and she's teaching a class on Agatha Christie that Jess is enrolled in. Jess soon starts to look to Lorna for advice and support.

This is a contemporary novel set on a college campus. There are mysterious happenings in the novel, but I
Roman Clodia
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 socialise and
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 ...more
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
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.
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
"Everything is poisonous, given in the right dose."

Jess Walker's life is just beginning: away from her large family for the first time she's come in to her own with a tight knit group of friends and a coveted spot in author Dr. Lorna Clay's course on Agatha Christie.

Her best friend Georgie is a wealthy beauty with a pill problem, Georgie's boyfriend Alec is a hearse-driving South African journalist, and Jess's boyfriend Nick is a handsome geologist completely devoted to her. The group form an
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 Lorna whose
ila ✨
[actual rating: 4 stars] he looked up with a rueful smile. "i have no idea. it makes no sense at all. but it's how you feel when you fall in love with someone a bit magic. like a mortal falling in love with one of the gods. now you have them, now you don't." this was originally described to me as a The Secret History-inspired, dark academia thriller, but i wouldn't really call it a "thriller" – it's more of a new adult/coming-of-age dark academia novel, really. what i liked: the captivating and ...more
Ana (inquisitivebookworm)
Thank you to G.P. Putnam’s Sons and Netgalley for the free book!

I loved the concept of this book. An impressionable college student enrolls in a literary theory course about Agatha Christie, only to find herself in a murder mystery of her own. My favorite scenes were the ones that took place inside this particularly alluring classroom — it reminded me of my own experience as an English student, and how certain professors can be both strange and fascinating. Overall, I thought the “mystery”
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Truants is a sophisticated, assured debut that perfectly fits the dark academic/campus/coming of age novel category, while subverting mystery genre tropes. Weinberg buries us in the dreams and insecurities of her first person narrator in a way that will remind readers of The Secret History, while tipping her hat to Agatha Christie. Readers should note triggers for abortion, drug abuse, domestic violence and a description of a massacre by gunfire.

Middle child Jess Walker chooses her degree
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 contrast to
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 ...more
Chris Haak
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.
Tinichix (nicole)
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
I want to preface my review with I really did enjoy this book. The mood of it. The characters. The ending. All of it as a whole. I also recognize I am in the minority with my enjoyment of it.

I also really wanted to review this without even mentioning “The Secret History” but to give a honest review with my genuine thoughts I just can’t. It is almost the cousin to “The Secret History”. Most praise for this book, even on the jacket cover, mention it. To me TSH is off the charts and it’s super
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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.

Fair warning:
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I received this as a Goodreads Giveaway and would like to thank the publisher.

Rating: 2.5 stars. The Truants is a book that tries to be a slow-burning thriller but unfortunately only manages to be slow. The book is written well, with engaging and imaginative prose, but the characters and storyline never fully click. The characters – from the flawed protagonist to the enigmatic and flawed teacher prone to behavior inappropriate approaching predatory to the mysterious yet allegedly magnetic (and
Laura Dudley-Smith
Feb 11, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Some quotes from the first 20 pages which demonstrate why I won't be reading further- 'It was unseasonably warm. The kind of cock-teasing mid-September day'. What??

'You don't often spot hearses out of context'. What context?

Last but not least, referring to sex euphemistically as 'a rhythm as old as time', which I have never ever heard an 18 year old say. Just call it sex, don't make it weird.
Hmm... I'm not sure about this book. Although I can appreciate the writing and I did enjoy the twist in the story and the way Jess grows as a person over the book, I can't say I truly enjoyed all of this book. For me the second half was much better than the first, in fact I was very close to putting the book down unfinished just before I got to the death. Even so I still can't say I enjoyed this book, in fact I found Jess rather annoying, especially in the first half. And the ending was more of ...more
Sai Ram (ZanyAnomaly)
LOVED it! Review to come, I'll update soon!
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like The Liar-ants
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a well written, delightful novel!
Leanna (daisychainbooks)
Themes of love, lust, betrayal and grief populate Kate Weinberg’s accomplished debut, The Truants, an absorbing coming-of-age tale wrapped in a mystery that is as subtly sinister as it is entirely compelling.

Jess Walker is finally free. Free from her boring small-town existence. Free from her domineering mother and hum-drum home life. Free to expand her horizons, broaden her mind and all that jazz. When that first taste of freedom lands on her lips like a long-awaited kiss, it takes her breath
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.

The Truants is a story mainly revolving around three people. Jess, Alec (Jess's
Eamon Ronan
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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