Once a week, editor Nicole Brinkley breaks down book trailers and explains whether they’re championship material or worth tossing in the trash. This week, she looks at the book trailer for Struck by Jennifer Bosworth.
I like to pick favorites of things in preparation of the inevitable ‘what’s your favorite’ conversation starter. Favorite books, favorite TV characters, favorite wrestlers, favorite book trailers.
Struck is my favorite book trailer.
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth follows Mia Price, a lightening addict who lives in relatively lightning-free Los Angeles. But soon after her arrival, an earthquake devastates the city, leaving two cults warring for control of the collapsing city. Both see Mia as the key to their doomsday prophecy and the electrical storm that caused the quake
I love this trailer. I want to push this trailer into the faces of all other trailer makers and yell, “This is how you do it!”
It’s not just that this trailer has some of the most glorious and well put-together special effects I’ve ever seen in a book trailer. (Though, for a novel whose world is as grounded in fantastical elements as this one, it certainly helps.) How it puts the trailer together is what makes it great.
It’s your ideal movie trailer. We have the opening shot of Mia, giving us a quick glance at who she is and what she cares about – and then, bam, we’re thrown into the plot. She tells us what’s going on as we get glimpses of the world to add to her words. A school, the crumbling city, the white-eyed cult leader that’s manipulating the people around her. The text used is sparse and adds to it; the music crescendos and drops where it needs to.
(Don’t believe me? Contrast this to the movie trailer for The Hunger Games, which opens up with a shot of Katniss running from her town, which quickly establishes her skills and what she cares about, what she fears, in the first minute. It only takes a few seconds to do this in the Struck trailer, but the stakes there are simpler; here, Katniss’ entire life is being stripped away. Then we’re thrown into the basic elements of the plot, all of which are so dramatic compared to what we saw moments before, shot after shot after shot. It even ends on the same action-packed high note that makes us want more. The Struck trailer may use more voiceover, but there’s no sense in trying to shove quotes from the book into a trailer where they don’t belong.)
A few shots probably could have been cut for a more streamlined Struck trailer, but every little bit we see adds to the story without telling us explicitly what will happen. We’re left to fill in the blanks, to guess at what might happen – or to give in and go buy the book.
This is an amazingly well put-together book trailer, and more books – or, at least, more action-packed books – should seek to emulate it.
What do you think of the Struck trailer? Sound off in the comments below!