The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie A. Nelson
The Duke of Bannerman Prep was actually, I guess still is, most anticipated debuts of 2017 and I feel so lucky and blessed to have gotten my hands on it so early. I will start by saying while this is said to be a Great Gatsby retelling, I will not personally be talking about that seeing as I have never read or watched The Great Gatsby. On to my other thoughts!
I went into this book full knowing that I was going to love it. I have yet to meet a book featuring a boarding school that I did not like. So the title had me before I even read the description, but once I did I kind of went on to tell everyone how much I needed this in my life. Well it did not disappoint. Our book follows Tanner, a high school debater who recently switched schools in hopes of a brighter future. We see from the very beginning that he is very serious about why he's there and what he came to do. I admire that about him. But also in the very first chapter we hear about "The Duke" and he's kind of this campus celebrity in a way. I mean the way people were talking about him from the very beginning reminded me of all the scenes where people are talking about Regina George in Mean Girls, you know? "I heard this and I heard that." It was so intriguing. I needed to know more even if our main character wasn't interested in meeting this guy. Obviously these two aren't the only people in the entire novel, but they were the first two to gain my complete attention.
Katie actually created these characters quite beautifully in my opinion. I came to care about each and every one of them. Well, will the exception of Blake, but I'm not going to get into that. My favorite side character being Sam. He is just so enthusiastic and you can see how much he looks up to Tanner and he just adds so much to this story even we don't see him as much as I'd like. Now Kelsey and Abby, those two are just opposites to me and I love them both anyway. Do I agree with all of Abby's choices and reasons behind them? Not at all. But I think she's kind of there to teach about self worth and realizing that there is more and you shouldn't settle. Just wonderful characters, all of them.
Now, I will say that I wish this book was longer and I wish I got more of the boarding school in it, but man that debating aspect. I've never really known much about debate teams and such, but it added this sort of intensity when you'd see how hard these kids worked and how passionate they were about getting that win. I mean it would have been cool to read more about this stuff, yet I also see how adding more wasn't really necessary.
I don't know if any of you have read this one yet and I might be alone in this, I hope I'm not though. I NEED MORE. I don't care if it's a whole novel about The Duke, a short story, a continuance on Tanner's story, a book about Kelsey or even Abby because I'd like to see how she ends up. I just need more out of Katie Nelson. I am obsessed! If you want to check out The Duke of Bannerman Prep it comes out on May 9, 2017 and is available for pre-order now! What debuts are you excited for? Let me know in the comments.