“Maybe a little chaos is necessary when you’re trying to blow up a century of secrecy.”
Chandler is a broken boarding school in so many ways. So when a group of seemingly misfit teens come together in the Circle, an elite writing group, they find they can bond over so much more than learning to write and write well.
This is a special read with a diverse cast of characters. There is someone to relate to in every reader. I appreciate that Nazemian didn’t hold back when tackling some challenging issues. The characters are written to be flawed but able to address those flaws and work things out. It makes them relatable. Reading, I felt some 90s nostalgia that sometimes felt like the after-school specials we watched. But things got really heavy, and the lines of appropriateness blurred. I can see where other reviewers had issues. For such heavy subject material, it didn’t resolve in a satisfying way. But I think there is a benefit for readers in this book.
About the Book:
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?