Book-to-film adaptations have been an ongoing phenomenon for years, and with so many great books being released every month, the movies just get better and better. Of course, before the movie there was the book and the book trailer that inspired it all. Book trailers are even mistaken for movie trailers, if done right. So here are 10 YA book trailers that led to movie deals, previously released and releasing in the near future.
1. MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
Author: Ransom Riggs; Director: Tim Burton; Release date: September 30, 2016
Miss Peregrine’s is great for lovers of horrors and thrillers, and all things that go bump in the night. Quirk Books released the novel back in 2011 and wanted to create a promotional trailer, so Riggs went on a European tour through Belgium where he filmed scenes for the book trailer himself. Put together beautifully, the cinematic trailer leaves readers of the series hoping the movie is just as great and visually enticing. It’s Tim Burton, after all. Who are we kidding? It’s going to be amazing.
2. RED QUEEN
Author: Victoria Aveyard; Director: Elizabeth Banks; Release date: TBD
The excitement for Red Queen began in the YA book community long before it was released. It’s been pitched as a Graceling and The Selection mix, and grabbed the attention of actress/producer Elizabeth Banks. While the trailer is a little on the simple side, the music, the voice-over, and the actress plays on the plot of the story perfectly without giving too much away. The cut on her finger? Believable. It also helps that the crown matches the one on the cover. Perhaps it will in the movie?
3. AN EMBER IN THE ASHES
Author: Sabaa Tahir; Movie Rights: Paramount Pictures; Release date: TBD
An Ember in the Ashes has been dubbed “captivating” for a reason. A few seconds into the trailer and your eyes are glued to the fast, metallic words and the fiery background that light it all on fire. Sabaa Tahir released the book with HarperCollins just last April and it became an instant bestseller. While it’s a simple trailer as well, the fast pacing and exciting score music is enough to keep readers in anticipation for the movie, which is bound to be great.
Author: Veronica Roth; Director: Neil Burger; Release date: March 21, 2014
Divergent released in 2011 with a loud, resounding boom. Readers were just hopping off the Hunger Games train (see what we did there?) and were in need of another dystopian fix. The book trailer is in the same realm of An Ember in the Ashes, but it sticks to a lot of the same symbols used in the book and on the book cover, and even the movie. Short and sweet, the trailer relays everything you would need to know before reading the book. The movie was a hit in 2014, its sequel even better in 2015, and this year we’re getting Allegiant.
5. THE MAZE RUNNER
Author: James Dashner; Director: Wes Ball; Release date: September 19, 2014
Continuing with the dystopian trend, The Maze Runner’s cinematic book trailer is so close to the movie, it’s frightening. The first fifteen seconds are the most jarring and you really feel all the suspenseful vibes. The makers of the movie had to really sit and study the trailer, for sure. With great acting and an even better setting, they might as well box the trailer up and sell it too. The movie did so well in 2014 that the writers and producers are continuing with the film franchise, which expands through the plot of four books.
6. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
Author: John Green; Director: Josh Boone; Release date: June 6, 2014
The Fault in Our Stars was a change of pace for everyone. The book hit shelves in 2012, about the same time John Green crushed the hearts of thousands—in the good, less sinister way. Everything about the trailer pulls at your heartstrings and you know—you just know—that you’re in for a crying fit. The music and the images draw you in slowly while the words keep you there forever with its relevance and beauty. Green should have put a huge “beware the tears” sticker on the book. A head’s up before the movie would have been great too.
7. QUEEN OF THE TEARLING
Author: Erika Johansen; Movie Rights: Warner Brothers; Release date: TBD
Queen of the Tearling may be giving Game of Thrones fans a run for their money. The book trailer’s score music captures you immediately, and then throw in Harry Potter nostalgia while we’re at it. While there’s no set date for the movie, the book has actress/producer Emma Watson’s full attention, even though she’s sworn off doing another franchise. Queen of the Tearling’s magical, medieval plot and Erika’s writing is just that good.
8. PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS
Author: Rick Riordan; Director: Chris Columbus; Release date: February 12, 2010
The YA book community really needed some greek mythology to toss things up. The Percy Jackson & The Olympians book trailer is actually a series trailer (all books in one), but it’s dark, mysterious, and adventurous just like the books. It’s fast-paced and timed perfectly with the music. As it gets louder, images unfold. Your heartbeat will quicken; you will want to read these books. The Lightning Thief released in 2010 with its sequel, Sea of Monsters, following in 2013. Will we get Titan’s Curse someday? One can hope.
9. VAMPIRE ACADEMY
Author: Richelle Mead; Director: Mark Waters; Release date: February 7, 2014
What’s the YA genre without vampires, romance, and a lot of sarcasm? Vampire Academy is, perhaps, one of Mead’s biggest hits. The book trailer showcases the familiar iron gates to the school where most of the drama and love happens. The music sounds like something straight from Rose Hathaway’s butt-kicking playlist, and bonus points for including the same ‘VA’ symbol. The Vampire Academy movie was anticipated for years but what felt like eons. Since it did veer off from the book’s plot a bit, the movie stood on its own for its 2014 release.
Author: Lauren Kate; Director: Scott Hicks; Release date: TBD
Fallen was pitched perfectly for fans of the Immortal Series and the Twilight Saga, respectfully. It’s easily one of the darkest books in the YA genre, with its star-crossed romance between a human girl and an angel, and its graveyard/boarding school settings. The book trailer is probably what most readers look to when they think about the coming movie, which has been in the works for several years. Like a proper trailer should, it hooks you with the music and imagery and the succinct sentences that leave you wanting more. The music alone could pitch this story as a TV series. Suspenseful theme song, anyone? It’s definitely there.
Written by Nadege Richards.