cover image The Chandler Legacies

The Chandler Legacies

Abdi Nazemian. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-0630-3932-2

In 1999, five students with disparate identities are accepted into an exclusive writing club, the Circle, at elite Connecticut boarding school Chandler Academy. Beth Kramer, a cued-white townie who attends Chandler on scholarship, lives with anxiety and trichotillomania; Indian American Amanda “Spence” Spencer has a passion for acting; Ramin Golafshar recently immigrated from Iran to escape homophobic persecution, only to be targeted by bigoted classmates; high-achieving Sarah Brunson, cued as white, is still traumatized by her mother’s cancer, now in remission; and Brazilian Cuban American Frederico “Freddy” Bello isn’t sure he wants to continue pursuing a future in sports. The club provides a refuge from toxic campus culture, where Ramin is targeted with vicious hazing by bigoted classmates, and Beth and Sarah, both queer, feel safer remaining closeted. As the five hone their craft as writers, grow closer as friends, and form romantic relationships, they also confront their own insecurities—as well as Chandler’s long, toxic legacy of bullying, homophobia, racism, and sexual assault. In a story told through the protagonists’ alternating third-person viewpoints, not all characters are fully developed; still, Nazemian’s (Like a Love Story) sharp social commentary makes this a riveting portrait of prep school life. Ages 13–up. Agent: John M. Cusick, Folio Literary. (Feb.)