Book Reviews

Review: The Chandler Legacies by Abdi Nazemian

Having greatly enjoyed Like a Love Story, I knew I had to read The Chandler Legacies. With a different vibe, this story is about finding our voices and telling the truth. It’s a story about hazing, assault, friendship, and healing all in one. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Beth Kramer is a “townie” who returns to her sophomore year after having endured a year of judgment from her roommate, Sarah.

But Sarah Brunson knows there’s more to that story.

Amanda Priya “Spence” Spencer is the privileged daughter of NYC elites, who is reeling from the realization that her family name shielded her from the same fate as Sarah.

Ramin Golafshar arrives at Chandler as a transfer student to escape the dangers of being gay in Iran, only to suffer brutal hazing under the guise of tradition in the boys’ dorms.

And Freddy Bello is the senior who’s no longer sure of his future but has fallen hard for Spence and knows he has to stand up to his friends after what happened to Ramin.

At Chandler, the elite boarding school, these five teens are brought together in the Circle, a coveted writing group where life-changing friendships are born—and secrets are revealed. Their professor tells them to write their truths. But is the truth enough to change the long-standing culture of abuse at Chandler? And can their friendship survive the fallout?


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: sexual abuse, sexual assault, physical abuse, homophobia, hazing

The Chandler Legacies is a story that balances emotional highs and lows expertly. Not only is it a story about bullying, hazing and homophobia, and sexual assault in a deeply elitist and corrupt boarding school, it’s also a story about friendship and agency. There are moments of intense fear, sadness, and rage all within a book about love and solidarity. About the ways writing can unlock these puzzles within ourselves, force us to see ourselves – and those around us.

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These secrets we hide from others around us, hidden moments of truth and barely beating sentiments. The Chandler Legacies is a book devoted to dismantling and interrogating the power and privileges. To recognize these wrongs in the face of a system held up by wealth and a lack of accountability. In the writing Circle, these characters – in multiple POV style – face the difficulties of exposing our vulnerabilities and getting to the root o what haunts us. Nazemian’s latest book is an emotional and powerful read. It’s a book that should appeal both to readers who like the idea of an elusive writing Circle as well as those who enjoy boarding school settings and dismantling the gilded walls.

Find The Chandler Legacies on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What other books do you know that take place at a boarding school?

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