Cover Image: The Chandler Legacies

The Chandler Legacies

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Member Reviews

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the e-ARC of this novel based in experience.

The Chandler Legacies was unfiltered look at some of the abuse suffered in prep schools around the. country. It shines a light on experiences that have been kept in the dark for far too long, and adults should be reading this book and demanding better.
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The topics in this book were very heavy but interesting. I would strongly suggest checking the trigger warnings before you dive in.
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A book for lovers of writing ✍️ 📚🌿

“We need light to grow.Just like our stories do.”

I loved loved LOVED these characters and the setting. The story follows 5 POVs of students at an elite boarding school in the 90s and a small writing group they are in. I adored seeing the five characters spend time together and become so close knit throughout the story. The story handled VERY complex and triggering topics but I think handled them with care. 

I feel like the book should’ve been longer! There is a fallout in the book that we don’t get to see much of, the book kinda just…ends. Plus with 5 POVs a longer story could’ve really provided more depth to everyone. Still, solid 4⭐️ read!

*Look up triggers before reading! Author’s note at the start of the book was perfectly written and placed!*

“Maybe a little chaos is necessary when you’re trying to blow up a century of secrecy.”👊🏻📖

Thank you NetGalley & the publisher for the ARC! Looking forward to more from the author!
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This was a brave story that showed teens dealing with real, heavy issues. Plus it was set at a boarding school.
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The Chandler Legacies started out really well, then at about the 75% mark I seriously considered closing the book and not returning. The characters were initially so well fleshed out and felt so real, but as the story moved along I couldn't see what the characters motivations for doing certain things was, and it all got super confusing. I think the main crux of the plot needed to be introduced a lot earlier; 75% of the book felt like just vibes and then comes the real plot (which is a teacher SA-ing students and deserves way more attention) which is only about 25% fleshed out. Needed either another 50 pages or a lot less fluff in the beginning. It could have been so much more, but in the end, I was slightly dissapointed.

2.5 stars - rounded up.
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I liked that there seemed to be a character that everyone could connect with. However, I almost feel like the characters weren't fully developed. Still a good read.
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I am a sucker for a multi-perspective book, as i always think that makes the book fly by, and this was no exception. This book is set in a boarding school for gifted/rich kids in 1999 and really explores how the culture at that time viewed and spoke about different minority groups, including different ethnic groups and the LGBTQ+ community, highlighting both how far we have come, and how far we have yet to go. The only drawback for me in this book was the pacing of the plot, it was hard to hold the thread of it the whole time. But I really enjoyed the characters and their friendships. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to Hcc Frenzy, Netgalley & the author for this ARC!

+check tw’s!! [a lot of heavy topics] 
+release date: february 15th, 2022

I’ve always been a sucker for boarding school books, and this has been on my radar for a while! As the author stated this book is based off of his experiences, this book isn’t a romance, it isn’t a cute comedy, this book is real. it tackles all the issues that come with boarding school, that come with finding yourself, your identity and your passion. 

I do wish this book was a bit longer and we had more development in the ending, especially when the “conflict” was being solved.
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Oof I did not like this book. None of the characters seemed fully formed, the plot was all over the place, and the trajectory of the story didn't make any sense. Really disappointed with this one.
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Five students from differing backgrounds attend Chandler, and elite private school. They are selected to participate in a writing group called The Circle. were its said the members become like a family. As secrets are revealed, the five must decide how to shed light on them and foster change at their school. 

I think the best part of this book was the found family aspect. I love how close these 5 grew to one another, and how they each supported one another through their varying problems. I liked all of the characters for the most part, and liked how the were all so different from one another. I think they were all well-developed and had their own distinct voices and unique personalities. The biggest complaint I have is definitely the romance, I wish it was left out and we had just gotten the platonic relationships instead. I enjoyed how the book tackled some heavier topics and didn't shy away from the nitty gritty of those topics. I do think it took a bit long to get to the main "reveal" and wish we had gotten to it sooner so it could have been explored more thoroughly. I also felt the chapters were very long, which definitely brought me out of the story at times as they felt like they were never ending.
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“If you had a choice between telling the truth and hurting someone you love or keeping a secret that eats away at you, which would you choose? I think that most people would choose to keep the secret. We weren’t most people.”

TW‼️: sexual assault, racism, homophobia, anxiety disorder, hazing, bullying

Beth Kramer, Sarah Brunson, Amanda Priya Spencer, Ramon Golfshar, and Freddy Bello are accepted into The Circle, an exclusive writing group at Chandler, an elite boarding school. Once in, the five are bonded by each and every secret written down. Will the Circle dare to expose Chandler, or fall further into the loud silence of abuse and privilege?

What this story has:
•Found family
•Multiple POVs
•Diverse characters
•Hope

What I wanted more of:
•Detail for the ending. I wanted more of a wrap-up than was written. There is a big jump in time, and it made parts of the story feel incomplete.

Overall, I truly loved this novel. The characters feel so real that you both love them and get frustrated at them. Nazemian’s writing made me want to be a part of their circle. I hope you all will check out this powerful read. And I’ll leave you with a quote…

“It takes more than truth to liberate. It takes action.”

The Chandler Legacies by: Adbi Nazemian // 🌙🌙🌙🌙.5

A big thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Children's Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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About The Book: The Chandler Legacies by Abdi Nazemian  5/5 Stars (Diverse, Realistic Coming of Age YA)

 

The Chandler Legacies is a boarding school story set in a fictional Connecticut town in 1999. The story is told in alternating first person point of view following Beth Kramer, a townie who attends Chandler on scholarship, lives with anxiety and trichotillomania (a condition sparked by her severe anxiety - she pulls out her hair one strand at a time); Indian American Amanda “Spence” Spencer who has a passion for acting; Ramin Golafshar recently immigrated from Iran to escape homophobic persecution and possible death, only to be targeted by bigoted classmates; high-achieving Sarah Brunson who 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 as an Olympic level pole vaulter. Beth and Sarah had shared a room during their freshman year, and that experience adds complexity and conflict to the story. All 5 students are selected to participate in the elite writing group "The Circle" where their professor encourages them to speak truths in their writing, and to get to know one another - they have to spend time together often and share their writing with one another. Through writing and socializing with one another, the characters reveal who they are, find out deep secrets - these revelations also reveal bullying, hazing and a dark legacy that has gone on at Chandler. The characters are able to establish their own legacy during their time in the Circle that also reveals who they really are - thoughtful and compassionate human beings who are able to make change and create their own destiny. 

The Chandler Legacies is one of the most thoughtful boarding school novels I have read in a long time, and as thought provoking as Looking for Alaska by John Green. I was able to devour this YA novel in one day, as the story is compulsively readable with well-drawn, realistic characters who all carry personal trauma, concerns and hope for the future. This is on my Best of 2022 Young Adult Novels list. I consider this a must read, and will be purchasing this book for our school library. I loved the cast of characters, and feel that readers will relate to one or another. Although I found the characters diverse, I did not feel as though they were stereotypical caricatures - rather thoughtfully created people - teens may find themselves in the story. The story perfectly depicts how teenagers can come together to achieve their goals, find themselves, solve problems and effect change for their world while developing meaningful communication in relationships with one another.  ~ Review by Nicole Nicosia
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I was expecting a fun romp in a boarding school, and while it's okay that that's not what I got...I didn't love it. I also think it's a little lazy to set it in the 90s to basically get rid of everyone having a cell phone and social media, but that is more of a personal pet peeve, I guess.
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The Chandler Legacies was a nice book. I haven't read books that analyze school culture and bullying such as this one has. The themes of abuse, bullying and harassement were well portrayed here because it felt like there was no easy solution or quick-fix to get rid of all these problems and every character was affected differently by the system of abuse in the school. I loved the found family trope in this novel and the friendships between the five main characters clearly illustrated the importance of solidarity. Sarah Brunson's story was particularly interesting to me and I liked seeing her reflect on her past and grow from her realizations. 

However, in my opinion the book ended too quickly. I felt like many plot lines especially the one concerning sexual harassement were resolved too abruptly. What is more, one of the scenes in the book was a bit too graphic. The revelation that Professor Douglas had helped a sexual harasser and would have done nothing to correct this had she not been found out soured the book for me.
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This was another great novel from Nazemian, but it did have some flaws. 

The 90s vibes were immaculate, they were so good and made the novel so fun! The characters were wonderful, lovable, and all had distinct voices. But there was a real pacing issue for the book. The letter from the author gives away what the plot is going to be (that's fine! it's a sensitive subject and people needed to know about it), but then that plot point doesn't come in until nearly the 60% mark. 

I think instead of moving that point up, this book really needed another 50-100 pages added to flesh out that point and give it the proper resolution. As mentioned, its a serious topic and it would have done more service if it had had more time. 

Otherwise, a great, enjoyable story,
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While not nearly as impactful as “like a love story”, this was still pretty good coming of age story. In a boarding school full dark secrets and powerful young voices, you quickly learn who your friends are. I enjoyed the multiple points of view, especially when two characters gave you two sides of the same event, as it helped us to see inside all five of our main characters’ minds. My only complaint was that it was weird to have some people referred to by last name (Spence even calls this out, which is even weirder because not everybody does it. For example, Brunson calls her host Mrs. song but Spence just called her Song. There are no internal rules for who is surnamed and who isn’t). I also felt that Brunson and Beth are pretty much interchangeable and cardboard cutouts. And while I found the ending to be cute, I kind of wish we would’ve found out more of the impact of what they did (intentionally vague).
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overall this was a great YA, but i did find some things quite iffy and wasn't really sure about how i felt about the characters. I devoured this book pretty quickly though!! so that's great! it was my first abdi nazemian book as well! excited to see what else he writes!
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Nazemian does a great job weaving an interesting narrative with compelling characters even though there are several POVs. I love a boarding school novel and this one shows the darker aspects of dark academia in a post #metoo reckoning. I also enjoyed the diversity of the characters instead of just your average rich, white kids.
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okay so yes there are a few areas where i don’t think the full details were necessary like it was giving euphoria, but at the same time i don’t think there was another way to translate the severity of the situations. 

i didn’t have that much of an attachment to all of the characters but i didn’t mind the switch in perspectives though i do wish it was in first person. my favourites were freddy and amanda. 

overall, it was a pretty enjoyable read. i LIVE for boarding school mess so that part was definitely fulfilled.
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The Chandler Legacies started out really well, then at about the 75% mark I seriously considered DNFing. The characters were initially so well fleshed out and felt so real, but as the story moved along I couldn't see what he characters motivations for doing certain things was, and it all got super confusing. I think the main crux of the plot needed to be introduced a lot earlier; 75% of the book felt like just vibes and then comes the real plot which is only about 25% fleshed out. The ending was not good, and I felt cheated after finishing. 2.5 stars.
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