A trend we’ve been seeing lately is the “book trailer,” a short web video advertising an upcoming or just-out book. Here’s one I recently watched for Ruby Red, by Kerstin Gier (read my review of the book):

While a one-minute-long animation can’t go into much detail about the story, I think it gets the basic concept across pretty clearly: a teenage English girl suddenly faces the unexpected downsides (and possible romantic perks) of her newfound time-traveling powers. Sure, it sounds cool… but not if you have to learn a bunch of boring history, ditch the makeup and cellphone, and you can’t even tell any of your friends about it! To say nothing of corsets — gulp.

The biggest aspect of the book that the trailer glosses over is the delightfully creepy setting and mood. Gwyneth, the heroine, belongs to the nobility and lives in a tumble-down old mansion with her eccentric family. Time travel is a genetic power passed down through the generations, and this generation’s traveler was expected to be Gwyneth’s smug and snooty cousin. Not to mention the bejeweled tomes and steampunkish chronographs that make all this magic possible! While the book certainly has its flaws, it’s also more complex and fantasy-oriented than the trailer makes it sound.

Overall, I think the trailer is true to the book’s girly and romance-oriented tone, and the book delivers on the trailer’s promise. And I’m glad they chose not to show an actual Gwyneth on-screen. Some things should be left to the reader’s imagination — at least, until they make it a movie.

Grade: B+

Stephanie Perry
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