The Truants by Kate Weinberg

Posted On 15 August 2019

Filed under Book Reviews
Tags: ,

Comments Dropped 13 responses

TruantsWow.  I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down.  I want more.  I was hooked.  HOOKED.  Yes, I’m shouting.

I realise that I have a certain type of book that automatically appeals to me and all sense of reason flies out the window when I see that ‘type’.  Well, two types, fairytale retellings, particularly if they’re about Beauty and the Beast, and campus style books that involve obsession, cliques and mysteries.  So, when I read the description for The Truants I simply had to have it and boy did it knock my socks off.

I can imagine that this will be likened to Donna Tartt’s Secret History and in certain respects that wouldn’t be an unfair comparison but I felt that this stood on it’s own two feet and tells a different style of story completely.  There is an underlying mystery to this that involves the main character turning detective when the object of her obsession dies.

Jess Walker is about to embark on a new path.  She’s attending University and signed up for a course run by someone she idolises.  A woman who is something of an enigma, a master storyteller and such a strong personality that she seems to hypnotise everyone simply by walking into a room – Lorna, beautiful, beguiling, bewitching.  Jess is thrilled to be signed up to Lorna’s course, this is ‘it’, the thing that will change her life for the better.  Jess has always been something of a wallflower, she blends in, never the centre of attention and rarely the eye catching outgoing one.  University is a fresh start for her, a chance to turn over a new leaf and when she makes friends with Georgia, beautiful, bubbly, slightly wicked and something of a force of nature she sets foot on a path that will inevitably lead to upset.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about the plot, this doesn’t solely focus on life on campus although that does play a large part, we also travel further afield when the mystery elements of the story become more prominent.  Instead I’m going to go into full tilt gushing about what really worked well for me.

Firstly, the writing.  It’s difficult to believe that this is a debut novel for Kate Weinberg.  The writing is beautiful.  It’s reminiscent of DuMaurier’s elegance and ability to conjure a scene with remarkable clarity.  Simply put, this was a pleasure to read and even if the plot had been less stimulating I think I still would have devoured these pages with relish.

Secondly, I loved that part of the story uses Agatha Christie as a focus, not just her books but also her own story and in particular the period in her own life that has always been something of a mystery.  I really enjoyed this element to the tale and in fact it’s given me a nudge to go and read some more of Christie’s books.  Much like Christie there are elements to the story that feel a little fantastical but I would say that you have to just go for it and enjoy the story for what it is.

Finally, the characters.  Jess is so well written, as is Georgia.  Both very different, in looks, in background and in personality.  Their friendship is tested to the limits.  In a way they both become victims to the two very strong personalities who are pulling their strings behind the scenes.  This is a story with ever increasing tension, a story where you think you know where everything is going and to some extents that’s true but it’s also quite cleverly deceptive.  There’s a nod to the murder mystery, red herrings and false trails amongst all the student drama and more than that a search for the perfect crime hidden in between the passion and betrayals.

In terms of criticisms.  Nothing really jumps to mind, other than, as already mentioned, there are a few moments where belief needs to be suspended slightly, I’m not entirely sure that all of this would withstand close scrutiny but I was having too good a time reading to stop and pay really close attention.

Overall, in case you were in any doubt, I thoroughly enjoyed this.  It absolutely lived up to the promise and in fact was even better than I’d hoped for.  The Truants is my new catnip and Kate Weinberg is an author I will be watching out for.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

Rating 5*




WeeklyWrap Up : 11th August 2019

Why do I make reading plans?  I don’t know why – foolish inconsistency perhaps.  Anyway, August is racing by like a man on a mission and the best laid plans of mine are going to hell in a handcart.  Never mind, I will press on undeterred.  Last week I read two books –  reviews to follow very soon.

My books:

  1. Lord of Secrets by Breanna Teintze
  2. The Truants by Kate Weinberg

I’m also now about two thirds into The House of Sacrifice and I’m hoping to complete that and the following books over the next week:

Next scheduled reads:

  1. The House of Sacrifice by Anna Smith Spark
  2. Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
  3. Turning Darkness Into Light by Marie Brennan

Upcoming reviews

  1. King of the Road by RS Belcher
  2. Queenslayer by Sebastien DeCastell
  3. A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie
  4. Cry Havoc by Mike Morris
  5. Lord of Secrets by Breanna Teintze
  6. The Truants by Kate Weinberg

I’d love to know what you’re reading this week.

Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Truants by Kate Weinberg:

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : The Truants by Kate Weinberg.  check out the description below – this sounds like something I would love:

TheTruants‘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 out under the flat grey skies of an east Anglian university campus and ending up on an idyllic Mediterranean island, The Truants is about a group of clever and eccentric misfits who yearn to break the rules. As Jess’ experience of infatuation and betrayal, disappearance and loss gives way to a breathless search for the truth, she finds herself detective in a twisted crime of the heart. Unsettling, challenging, surprisingly funny and beautifully written, The Truants is a compulsively readable literary debut with a twist – and a dead body to boot.

Due for publication: August 2019