5 Reasons You Need THE DUKE in Your Life - Booktube Interview +GIVEAWAY

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 Katie introduced herself. I love meeting new people and was excited to check out her Instagram. When I saw that she had a debut novel coming out, I was all, 😱😱😱. Even better, Duke is launching under Sky Pony and I've loved everything I've read from them! 

Somewhere between my fangirling and now, Katie brought us snacks to go with our reading experience. SNACKS. In case you missed them, you can find them over at Sarah's blog.

Settling in with my milkshake and purple Laffy Taffy, I consumed The Duke of Bannerman Prep. I was completely sucked in from the time Tanner entered Bannerman and the Duke entered his life. You can't help but love these characters. Tanner completely embodies the Nick we know and love from Gatsby. He's smart but enamored by Duke, a good person but caught up in the lifestyle, good enough but unsure of himself. I loved his voice. I loved the dynamics between him and the Duke

"Be kind to him. You never know what he might be dealing with."

Oh, the Duke. Completely charming and impossible to not fall in love with. You know the track he's on and yet as the story goes on, the depth of his character grows and you're left with clutching your heart, gasping as the story progresses. 

“Look. I know you’re all worked up. If you’ll just relax, we’ll be fine. You can recite the stats better than the Pledge of Allegiance. And I can talk my way out of anything. Trust me. We’ve got this.”

Even though you know you can't trust him, you do. Katie does not disappoint in creating a complex backstory for the Duke.

A better friend probably would have pressed the issue. A better friend would have stayed up and listened to him talk all night if he had to.

As someone who lives in the Bay Area, I can't express enough how perfect the setting of a (fictional) Bay Area prep school is to the overall tone and themes of Gatsby. For those who live here, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  

If all of that doesn't convince you that you need The Duke in your life, check out Katie's top 5 reasons to read The Duke of Bannerman Prep!

On May 10th, Katie will be in conversation with Christy at the Barnes and Noble in Modesto. We hope to see you there! 

You can also catch Katie at Hicklebee's on May 19th at 7pm. We hear there will be a Gatsby party!

by Katie Nelson
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Published: May 9th 2017
PREORDER: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Words are weapons. Facts can be manipulated. And nothing is absolute—especially right and wrong.

Tanner McKay is at Bannerman Prep for one reason: to win. The elite school recruited him after he argued his public school’s debate team to victory last year, and now Bannerman wants that championship trophy. Debate is Tanner’s life—his ticket out of scrimping and saving and family drama, straight to a scholarship to Stanford and a new, better future. When he’s paired with the prep school playboy everyone calls the Duke, Tanner’s straightforward plans seem as if they’re going off the rails. The Duke is Bannerman royalty, beloved for his laissez-faire attitude, crazy parties, and the strings he so easily pulls. And a total no-show when it comes to putting in the work to win.

As Tanner gets sucked into the Duke’s flashy world, the thrill of the high life and the adrenaline of the edge become 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.

A contemporary retelling of The Great Gatsby, Katie A. Nelson’s taut debut is perfect for anyone who’s struggled to survive the cut-throat world of competitive high school.

Email proof of purchase and your address to katie@katienelson.com 

by May 8th to receive a signed bookplate and bookmark.

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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  1. This makes me just about combusting to read it! With all these posts I don't know how anyone could NOT preorder the book :)

  2. Favorite Gatsby character: Daisy, because daisies never tell. Ha-ha! I'm so witty!!!

  3. Ah, it's been quite a while but I think I'd go with Nick. This sounds like a neat retelling and I hadn't even realized it was YA book (the cover doesn't give off a YA vibe for me). Plus, I tend to love prep school and boarding school settings. Thanks! :)

  4. I've never read the Great Gatsby...

  5. My favorite character has got to be Gatsby. He's so disillusioned and enamored with Daisy that I can't help but to feel for him.


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