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The Duke of Bannerman Prep

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  283 ratings  ·  87 reviews
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, stra
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published May 9th 2017 by Sky Pony
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
See 5 reasons why you need The Duke in your life, from author Katie A. Nelson:

This book has entered the #1 spot for this year. What an incredibly story that keeps the heart of Gatsby but sets it in today's mechanics.

Sometimes you just know. I'm talking about that special book that you read and know it's going to be your favorite of the year (and maybe a favorite of all time).

The Duke of Bannerman Prep is that book for me.

It all started with the Caraval launch, where
Tara Goedjen
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one sitting and didn’t want it to end! I was immediately enamored by the setting: a private boarding school where the debate team serves as a way for the main character, scholarship recipient Tanner McKay, to prove he belongs among the wealthy elite. Heading this circle is the Duke, a school legend. The intrigue behind the Duke and the increasingly tough decisions Tanner’s forced to make as he’s drawn into the Duke’s orbit make this book a page-turner. But this is a fast-pace ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In Katie A. Nelson’s deft, modern-day retelling of The Great Gatsby, we meet Tanner McKay, a gifted high school orator who has been recruited by the elite California boarding school, Bannerman Prep, to help the school’s debate team win—and win big. Tanner, who does not come from a background of privilege, finds his new surroundings confounding at best. Even more confounding? The behavior of his debate partner, Andrew “The Duke” Tate, a charming, well-connected party boy. On the surface, the Duke ...more
Breeana Shields
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2k17-books
I loved this retelling of THE GREAT GATSBY. I stayed up until the early morning hours reading because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened. The mystery of the Duke—who he is and what he’s up to—pulled me through chapter after chapter. Katie Nelson does a terrific job of staying true to the themes Fitzgerald explores in GATSBY, while keeping her own story unique enough that the plot is fresh and unpredictable.

And the characters—oh, I just loved them. The pressure Tanner felt to succeed was
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Listen, you tell me that there is a retelling of The Great Gatsby, and I'm already there. But I was hooked from the first chapter. This is exactly the kind of retelling I like best. It stays true to the emotional stakes and tone of the original while still feeling unique, original, and (best of all) page-turning. A level of intensity simmered beneath the surface of each page, almost like there was a timer counting down, and I was just waiting for it to go off. And when it did, I felt it.

Tanner M
A Gatsby retelling is no small undertaking, but Katie Nelson pulls it off beautifully in her YA debut.
I loved every word of this book. I stayed up late to finish it and I'd catch myself thinking about it days later. The story pulls you in from the first chapter - with Tanner's uncertainty about Bannerman Prep and his need to succeed - then keeps you engaged with the mystery of The Duke and his effect on Tanner's life.

Smart. Original. Compelling. A must read.
Carlie Sorosiak
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was immediately captured by the idea of a GREAT GATSBY retelling - and this book delivers! I loved the pacing and the prep-school setting and how whip-smart it is. This is the type of novel that you can easily race through in one sitting. Add it to your TBR pile now!
Jessica Taylor
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much I blurbed it!

Official blurb: "A thrilling page-turner and a sparkling debut. Prepare to be drawn into the dazzling escape of lavish parties and riveted by Bannerman's infamous Duke."

Unofficial: The best re-tellings for me stay true to the source material and also offer something new, interesting, and unexpected. Nelson delivers on all fronts! This book drew me in immediately, from Tanner's first experiences at Bannerman to meeting the Duke. At the heart of this story i
Elizabeth Mathis
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
Karen McManus
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is basically the Great Gatsby-boarding school mashup of my dreams. Compulsively readable with vivid characters and a complex, well-paced plot.
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Confession - I don't think I've ever read The Great Gatsby, I didn't love the movie, and I didn't read this book summary until right now so I didn't know this was a retelling while reading it. And even knowing it is a retelling doesn't help me out because I don't remember the storyline of The Great Gatsby. So whether you love or hate The Great Gatsby you can still read this book.

Fun Fact - I was on a bus chaperoning a bunch of high schoolers while heading to judge their state debate tournament w
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 maybe? This was pretty faithful to the feel of the source material, and I found it compelling. Tanner is a likeable Nick Carraway, and I think the retelling in a private school setting really worked well. I personally could have used a bit more resolution, but that's also my problem with Gatsby, so maybe I'm just meant to feel unsatisfied. Overall, this was a solid read.
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this!! I wasn't sure if I'd be able to appreciate it, not being a big Great Gatsby fan myself, but I felt drawn into the story, characters, and the setting (I especially loved the bay area references!). I was drawn in and couldn't put it down.
Mara YA Mood Reader
DNF. I’m. So. Bored. :/
Naomi Schmidt
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I live at a fancy boarding school where my husband is the speech and debate coach. This book was basically written for him. And his students. And me. So of course I had to read it.

I was a bit disappointed that so much of the debating was skipped over: e.g. "The judge came in and the debate started. We won." (FYI, this is not an actual quote from the book, but it happened several times.)
I recognize that it is hard to present an engrossing play-by-play of a debate match for the general public, but
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been so excited about The Duke of Bannerman Prep ever since I learned that this is a YA retelling of The Great Gatsby, and I was certainly not disappointed. This book stayed true to many of the themes from the original work, but is very much its own, captivating story. Be sure to check out this post over on Girl in the Pages to see some fantastic comparisons between the two.

Many of the Gatsby characters have been brilliantly reimagined in this story, yet at the same time, they're much more
Cody Roecker
Mar 18, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: i-need, 2017
so I LOVED Great Gatsby. this is exciting.
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
A moving contemporary retelling of The Great Gatsby. Exceptionally crafted and provoking, though I did wish to know more about the Duke.
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic characters, witty dialogue, smart writing all made for such an enjoyable read!
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED THIS BOOK. I don't know about you but I'm such a sucker for boarding schools and drama of any sort. It doesn't have a TON of drama, but the drama is does have is just wonderful. The Duke of Bannerman Prep is a quick, easy read that will be sure to have you hooked. You can find my full review at Gabriella M Reads. ...more
John Zeleznik
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As an English teacher, I'm always curious with retellings/reimaginings of the classics. It's one of my standard "creative" projects I give at the end of a book or unit. (I usually give one traditional essay and one creative writing project.) I even drove a co-teacher crazy as we did the whole "rewrite Romeo and Juliet" assignment. Every year it feels like these reimaginings go through cycles: Shakespeare, American lit then Victorian age then myths then back to Shakes. Gatsby was inevitable after ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's been a while since I read The Great Gatsby and I haven't seen any of the more current movies of it to help refresh my gmemory of the plot and characters so I read The Duke of Bannerman Prep just hoping for a good entertaining story, something that would keep my interest. I got that and more. As I read, I wanted to know what was going to happen with the characters and their relationships with one another and then how their issues would all get resolved. I like that I'm still wondering how ch ...more
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this novel in one day because I couldn’t put it down, but now I wish it wasn’t over. Nelson has a talent for not wasting words. There was never a point where I wanted to skim, there were never moments where words became redundant, and my mind never wondered to other places while reading this novel. I found the debate aspect to be particularly interesting as I just completed an argumentation class this semester and was thrilled that I had a clear understanding of debate terminology. I was ...more
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first Gatsby retelling, and I’m not really disappointed. I didn’t like The Great Gatsby when I read it for school, so I was cautiously optimistic for this book. I can say that I liked this more than Gatsby. I thought both the high school setting and the debate team both helped create an authentic Gatsby feeling, and made perfect sense for the characters. But I didn't care for the characters, and found myself a little
Jesse Nicholas
Jun 02, 2017 rated it liked it
It was a good Gatsby retelling in a modern school life. I feel like it captured the original novel's essence and mixed it up with her own style. The only dislike, well the major dislike from me would be the debate story line. I couldn't connect with it because I just have no interest in that area of extracurricular. Other than that, it was lovely.

Full review to come.
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really really liked this book. The author wrote in such a way that I found that I did care about the characters and wanted to know what happened to them. The plot kept me reading. The debate references in the story were so real. A very believable book. I recommend this!
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Katie Nelson did such a great job on this retelling of the Great Gatsby! I loved it! Tanner was such a fun character to get to know and I loved the relationship with the Duke that caused so much inner turmoil for Tanner. Great characters and well thought out plot. Overall just an awesome, entertaining read.
Danielle Chambers
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
This was an interesting book. It is a modern day take on The Great Gatsby. It’s been a good 12-13 years since I’ve read The Great Gatsby, but from what I remember the story had a similar feel. I enjoyed the characters. The Duke was my favorite character. I know the point was to not actually know much about him, but I do wish we would have gotten some of his story. There were hints about his real life, but nothing solid. But again. That was the point.
Rosalyn Eves
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This Gatsby retelling did an excellent job staying faithful to the tone and spirit of the original, though the circumstances of the story are different. The writing was clear and powerful, the characters (especially the Duke) vividly drawn, and the story itself was gripping.
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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.

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“You read card after card until you’re talking so fast that it’s hard to tell whether you’re giving your rebuttal or suffering from a grand mal seizure. And you claim that every case you argue will lead to some kind of apocalypse or nuclear war or worse. Because” 0 likes
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