Howdy all! Tis the season for late blog entries, long lines, and overpriced shipping ... Hooray! Seriously, I love just about everything about this time of year, but it can be a little taxing on the nerves. So let me give you something to take your mind off of your burdens. If only for a couple minutes--while you guzzle down your favorite hot (or cold) beverage and steady yourself for the 2nd to last weekend of shopping left before C-DAY--I welcome you to kick back and enjoy a couple of book trailers with me.
Together, we can play highbrow and scrutinize the work of others! How could that not make you feel better about the day? Leading us off this week is another referred trailer (You rock, Claire!), and it's one you can't miss.
TRAILER # 1: The Absolute Value of - 1 by Steve Brezenoff
What's It About? (Via Booklist) "Lily, Noah, and Simon survived middle school together, thanks mostly to times spent together smoking pot and ditching class. Now in high school, Noah has a crush on Lily that goes unnoticed because she only has eyes for Simon. Making matters even more complicated is that Simon’s father is dying of cancer, straining Simon’s unusual relationship with his sister Suzanne. Framed by the funeral of Simon’s dad, this novel gives readers firsthand perspectives of all three characters regarding a series of events leading up to the funeral. At times raw with emotion (“Why didn’t anyone say, ‘Your dad is going to die’?”), the story compellingly explores how teens connect with one another and how they view themselves. Many readers will relate to the feelings of isolation and lack of hope portrayed here. Edgy and gritty, Brezenoff’s YA debut reads like a cross between the screenplay for Cruel Intentions and some of Robert Cormier’s novels. Grades 9-12. --Melissa Moore"
Why It's Full of Win: Woo doggies! This is a good one! You know I'm a sucker for the crafty animated trailers, and the Sharpie-style and grainy camera treatment on this one is pitch perfect. From the opening lines of, "I'm not as dark as I seem," you really get a feel for the tone of this book. It's going to be snarky, insightful, and edgy. I also loved the soundtrack. It really gave a nice rhythm to the video. There is also a powerful lesson to all trailer makers hidden in this gem: You don't have to lead off the trailer with the best hook line from your story. By placing the "absolute value ..." (the hook) thing at the end, this trailer really finished me off. Furthermore, it makes me think the author knows how to finish a story and make you think.
Why It's Not: Very few quibbles with this one, but I didn't think the review towards the middle of the trailer was necessary, and may have even detracted from its edge/vibe. I loved the trailer so much that it kind of seemed like putting an advertisement on the Mona Lisa. The trailer was probably a touch long, but would have been spot-on had they simply left out the review.
I've Seen the Trailer, Would I Read the Book? Heck yes. This one wins on every level.
TRAILER # 2: The Indigo King by James A. Owen
What's It About? (Amazon book description) "John and Jack are mystified when they discover a cryptic warning on a medieval manuscript—a warning that is not only addressed to them, but seems to have been written by their friend, Hugo Dyson. But before they can discover the origins of the book, Hugo walks through a door in time—and vanishes into the past.
In that moment, the world begins to change. Now, the Archipelago of Dreams and our world both suffer under the reign of the cruel and terrible Winter King. Dark beasts roam the countryside, and terror rules the land.
John and Jack must travel back in time—from the Bronze Age to the library in ancient Alexandria to the founding of the Silver Throne—to find the only thing that can save their friend and restore both words. The solution lies in the answer to a 2,000-year-old mystery: Who is the Cartographer?"
What I Liked: I like the setup. Someone disappearing into a door in time instantly gets the imagination going, and the music sets us up for what promises to be a frantic, action-packed journey. Really liked how the art, etc. was juxtaposed onto the maps, which echos the 'journey' theme. Plus, I thought the use of the old ink drawings gave everything the historical feel of reading a textbook, while the narrative promises to give us much more than a lesson in the past.
What I Didn't: We learn a ton about the story premise, but very little about the characters. If you're a fan of character driven fiction, this trailer might not give you much to look forward to. I would have also liked to have seen some specific historical references--like, 'John must convince Genghis Kahn to love puppies!'--to give us a feel for the author's ability to weave fiction and reality. It also could have been shortened by 20-30 seconds and not lost much in the translation.
I've Seen the Trailer, Would I Read the Book? If you're a fan of Percy Jackson, and some of the other action-packed books for younger readers out there, I see no reason why this trailer wouldn't inspire you to give the book a shot. In other words, I think it is well done, and does a solid job of pitching to its targeted readers.
So what say you, viewers great and small? Do these trailers get the thumbs up or do we send them back the abyss? :)
As always, have a great/safe weekend!