The Truants

The Truants

Kate Weinberg

Bloomsbury 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5266-0012-7


 

Whether it’s as basic as skipping school or smoking a bit of pot in the toilets to theft or worse; doing the wrong thing can be alluring. One of the questions Kate Weinberg asks in her novel The Truants is, “could you be driven to kill someone?”

Following the move to University in Norfolk, Jess discovers a sense of freedom for the first time. Being the middle of five children, she’s always felt as if she were invisible, and has mastered the art of being unseen. Bookish and overshadowed by her siblings, university is Jess’s chance to shine. However, after being booted from Lorna’s class “The Devil has the Best Lines” during fresher’s week, Jess feels her world tumbling around her. After a rather intense enquiry to tutor herself, Jess finds herself enrolled in Lorna’s Agatha Christie course instead and is faced with her first challenge: securing the reading-list without blowing her meagre budget. And is it really theft if you plan on returning it? Drawn in by Lorna’s larger-than-life presence and quickly becoming a favourite, it’s almost as if Jess is being seen for the first time.

Having befriended Georgie, Jess finds a social life-line at uni, someone to force her towards the fun things living on campus has to offer. Georgie is wild-willed and Jess revels in her company, forming close bonds with not only Georgie but her mysterious South African boyfriend Alec, who drives a hearse and always thinks up the greatest schemes. Joined by second year geology student Nick, the group are almost inseparable. That is, until it all goes terribly wrong.

With Georgie’s growing drug problem and the rising tensions in South Africa, it seems the fun is over. Jess’s world is about to come crashing down and with no-one else to turn to but Lorna, will it all have been worth it? And who is Lorna, really? Why did she leave her esteemed position at Cambridge to work at Norfolk?

The thrill of doing wrong – and getting away with it – is ultimately captured in Weinberg’s novel as the reader delves into the increasingly complicated lives of Lorna, Alec, and Jess. With authentic, complex characters guaranteed to draw you in and extraordinary wit Weinberg’s writing is a refreshing look at the Christie mystery and the power a charismatic speaker has to influence the lives of those around them. Filled with secrets and mysteries to be solved, The Truants is enthralling. Dealing with a range of issues facing young people including drug abuse, mental and sexual health, and relationships, The Truants is perfect for anyone fifteen and up.

 


Words by Kayla Gaskell

The Good Place Season Three

The Brainy Bunch are back for a new season in Netflix’s ‘The Good Place’.

‘The Good Place’ follows demon architect Michael (Ted Danson), Janet Janet (D’Arcy Carden), Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper), Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil), and Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto) as they journey through the afterlife to become better people.

Now if you remember, season two finished off resetting everything that has happened so far and putting our four favourite humans back on earth to try setting them on a path to a better afterlife.

Michael and the Judge have agreed to save Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason at the moment of their original deaths in order to see if they can become better people with the knowledge they could have died.

This causes a small spike in the amount of good all four put into the world, they face their flaws to try to become better people… for about six months.

Things start going wrong as they always do in life; it never feels like the amount of good you have to give is enough for anyone, and if you aren’t getting noticed – what’s the point? After a while our four humans fall back into their ‘bad’ lifestyles and Michael can’t help but intervene.

After things go off the rails for the humans, Michael concludes that the only reason they started to get better in the afterlife, was because they were altogether for support. Michael gives them all a little nudge, and at soon they are all together again – a nice happy ending, right? Wrong!

With Michael and the Judge’s original plan failing, the gang try to find another solution to their inevitable eternal damnation, investigating just what The Good Place is, who has gotten in, and how did they get there.

Each episode this season always feels packed to the brim with lessons about philosophy and ethics, something the first two seasons have revealed as the main themes for the show. Chidi and Michael often guide the others through these lessons about morality and the reasons behind why something can be inherently bad or inherently good.

If you have enjoyed the struggles thus far of our friends as they search Earth, the afterlife and Janet for morality – you will be happy to know ‘The Good Place’ still has surprises for you.

 


Words by Joel Tuckwell

 

Joel is a twenty-two year old with a passion for art and animation. He likes to think of new ways to do things and works with computers. One day he hopes to have a pet pig named Pudge.