The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson | REVIEW
The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson
Published by Sky Pony Press on May 9th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Retelling
Words are weapons. Facts can be manipulated. And nothing is absolute—especially right and wrong.
Tanner McKay is at Bannerman Prep for only one reason: the elite school recruited him after he brought his public school’s debate team to victory last year. Bannerman wants a championship win. Debate is Tanner’s life—his ticket out of his poor-as-dirt life and family drama, straight to a scholarship to Stanford and the start of a new, better future.
But when he’s paired with the Duke, his plans for an easy ride seem as if they’ve hit the rails. The Duke is the quintessential playboy, beloved by everyone for his laissez-faire attitude, crazy parties, and seemingly effortless favors.
And a total no-show when it comes to putting in the work to win.
But as Tanner gets sucked into the Duke’s flashy world, the thrill of the high life and the adrenaline of existing on the edge becomes addictive. A small favor here and there seems like nothing in exchange for getting everything he ever dreamed of.
But the Duke’s castle is built on shady, shaky secrets, and the walls are about to topple down.
** Received an ARC from Thomas Allen & Son for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion at all. Thank you!! **
We’d been at the barbecue for less than two minutes, but several things were clear:
- I was underdressed.
- I had no idea how to pronounce several of the items on the menu.
- I had completely underestimated the length of time a group of moderately intelligent, narcissistic rich kids could hold a grudge.
COVER 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 PLOT 🌟🌟🌟
CHARACTERS 🌟🌟🌟🌟 FEELS 🌟🌟🌟
WRITING 🌟🌟🌟 ROMANCE 🌟🌟🌟
The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson is a retelling of the classic The Great Gatsby. I don’t consider myself a Gatsby expert, but I have read it more than the average person; more than 6 times over the course of my educational career. So when I say that this one definitely pulls it off I am telling the truth!
Captures Gatsby Essence Perfectly
Like I said above, I’ve read The Great Gatsby many times in the past. So when I heard about this one, I was super excited. Let me start by saying The Duke of Bannerman Prep captures the essence that was the Gatsby himself.
The Duke was mysterious, rich, and threw lavish parties that were attended by everyone. Tanner was fascinated by the new world he has been thrust into as he is on scholarship at this private school. Together they were the epitome of Gatsby and Nick!
From the main plot points, to the relationships and hardships, everything fit so nicely together.
Good Cast of Characters
The Duke of Bannerman Prep hosts a wide cast of fun characters. From The Duke to Tanner, Kelsey, Abby, even Blake the hot headed jealous boyfriend. There was never a dull moment when it came to character interactions and I thought the dialogues were quite witty.
Nelson does a great job bringing these character’s to life and relating them to some of the characters from the original Gatsby tale.
Although is a slow burn, the romance between Tanner and Kelsey was very sweet indeed. I liked they worked their way up to relationship status through hanging out, studying together, helping each other out etc. It’s not often in the YA genre that we get a romance that isn’t almost instant.
Nelson took her time fleshing out the quirks and kinks of the relationship. Even through tough times the pair manage to pull ahead and work things out!
Lack of Interest in Debate
The Duke of Bannerman Prep is heavily filled with debate. Tanner is on full scholarship to Bannerman for debate. All the other characters featured in the story are also on the debate team. So when I say that debate is a huge influence in the story, believe me.
It was my least favorite part of the whole story. I couldn’t relate to the topic, and I found most of those sections to be extremely dull.
I highly recommend this one if you enjoyed The Great Gatsby, like retellings, and fun casts of characters. Let me know what you guys thought of The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson! I would love to hear your opinions as well!
Until next time,
Katie Nelson has always loved words and stories. Formerly a high school English and Debate teacher, she now lives in Northern California with her husband, four children, and hyperactive dog.