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The Truants by Kate Weinburg

Published : 1st June 2020

Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing

Format : Kindle, Audio, Hardback, Paperback

Genre : Contemporary Fiction


People disappear when they most want to be seen.

Jess Walker, middle child of a middle class family, has perfected the art of vanishing in plain sight. But when she arrives at a concrete university campus under flat, grey, East Anglian skies, her world flares with colour.

Drawn into a tightly-knit group of rule breakers - led by their maverick teacher, Lorna Clay - Jess begins to experiment with a new version of herself. But the dynamic between the friends begins to darken as they share secrets, lovers and finally a tragedy. Soon Jess is thrown up against the question she fears most: what is the true cost of an extraordinary life?

Thank you Anne Cater and Bloomsbury publishing for this paperback copy, I found this quite the intriguing read.

My Review

The story is told in a single person narrative. Throughout the entire book you are living Jess's life and seeing everything from her perspective.

A quiet reserved girl, Jess works hard at a pet shop to put herself through college. She comes from a large family that for the best part is happy, but as the middle child she feels relatively over shadowed by her older and younger siblings, her mother is a doctor and father an illustrator so it is also a busy household.

It isn't until Jess arrives at college and meets the bold, confident and beautiful Georgie that she finally starts to find herself and also pushes herself to do things she wouldn't have normally done.

There is one particular professor who Jess is desperate to be enrolled with, Lorna is a well known teacher with full classes and a reputation, Jess doesn't get her place in Lorna's class but does get put onto her second Agatha Christie class which she feels is just as good.

Whilst at college Georgie and Jess meet a couple of boys and the four end up inseparable during the terms at college, but jess ends up with a secret lust for Alec, Georgie's boyfriend even though she herself is dating Nick.

Alec knows she desires him and revels in the fact that at the very beginning of term Jess caught Alec having sex in the back of his car with some woman just before he starts dating Georgie, this she keeps to herself though as she doesn't want to hurt her friends feelings even though she coverts her own for her best friends boyfriend.

Whilst the story is mostly about the four of them and what they get up to together there is a more underlying ripple throughout the whole book regarding Lorna. Jess and Georgie both Vi for her attention and she lavishes them both, helping them both out individually when things start to go sour.

This causes resentment and when things seriously take a turn for the worst Lorna is the only person Jess ends up turning to, but Lorna isn't all she seems and she isn't being completely honest with Jess.

Why I Loved It

I loved reading through Jess's eyes, everything that she was feeling and the things that she got up to…

I was totally captivated by the way that the author allows you to engage with the character so much.

I did not guess the big twist at the end and once I reached that part of the story it kind of made the whole book come together and you realise that there was hints weaved throughout that led to the finale.

This is a great read and one you will totally find yourself engrossed within.




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Meet the author

Kate Weinberg was born and lives in London.

She studied English at Oxford and creative writing in East Anglia.

She has worked as a slush pile reader, a bookshop assistant, a journalist and a ghost writer.

The Truants is her first novel.

Connect with Kate





Claire's Similar reads

The Dilemma by BA Paris

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this review.

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