Today we’re looking at the book trailer for Kiera Cass’s The Selection, the first in a forthcoming trilogy. Don’t know what a book trailer is? Check out our guide.

Holy budget-busters! This lovely live-action trailer is a big step up from the last trailer we reviewed, Carnival of Souls. An ornate ballroom, luxurious gowns, and even a glittering tiara make this one of the most eye-catching (and girly) previews we’ve seen.

We start with a shot of a line-up of pretty young women in fancy frocks of every color, primping anxiously in the center of a brightly lit (for TV cameras, it’s implied) ballroom. Cut to a formally dressed young man outside in the hallway, swallowing nervously and fidgeting with a sparkly tiara (his face is never shown). He squares his shoulders, pastes on a Prince Charming smile, and walks into the room as the girls spring to attention, smiling widely. After running the gowned gauntlet, he turns, pauses, and hurls the tiara into the air like a wedding bouquet; the video fades out, inviting us to imagine the mayhem as three dozen women fight each other for the crown.

There’s more to the book, of course, but this trailer does a really strong job of capturing some major themes: the intense competition and vicious rivalry seething beneath the beautiful, ladylike exteriors; the glitzy artificiality of the royal-bride-selection reality-show circus; and the contradictions between Prince Maxon’s public persona and his introspective and gentle private nature. The final image of the tiara flying through the air is both memorable and engaging, drawing the viewer into the story before we even hear a single character’s name.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have such a romantic, glamorous premise to work with, but the idea is clever and well-executed, makes the most of a very brief running time, and is good-looking enough to make you want to watch it again…and again. This may very well be the reigning queen of book trailers!

Grade: A+

Stephanie Perry
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