book trailers

50 Most Cinematic Book Trailers Ever Made (Updated)!

By March 24, 2021No Comments

Cinematic book trailers have the power to send a book into the stratosphere…and they’re an art form. Why not give props to boundary pushers? We’ve selected the 50 most cinematic book trailers ever made to showcase just how powerful they can be.   

Trylle Series by Amanda Hocking 

Here’s a trailer for a trilogy condensed into a single minute of interesting filmmaking. The first shot of a joint being lit fades into the flame of a 6th birthday candle then to the psych ward. Our protagonist is reading a book in bed at night when suddenly a handsome young man appears at her window. He whisks her away from her ordinary world of darkness to an extraordinary world of darkness. But hey, at least now she’s a princess destined to combat forces of evil while wearing a tierra. Not to mention several strapping young lads are vying for her affection in this world. Wait…is she still stoned in bed? 

Watch the Trailer 

 

Read the Book

http://hockingbooks.com/

The Ecliptic by Benjamin Wood 

This book trailer hardly reveals anything other than the story deals with young runaways with possibly supernatural baggage converging at a mysteriously snowy place. A narrator reads a portion from the book while we see the character she is describing traipsing through the snow. This is intercut with imagery of a frigid seaside and mortar and pestle mixing an unknown pink substance. We know nothing, but it’s shot and put together so damn well we can’t help but feel compelled to learn more of what this story is about. 

Watch the Trailer

Read the Book

http://www.benjamin-wood.com/

The Blessed by Tonya Hurley 

This trailer features spectacular set and costume design along with stellar graphics that help it play. The overall look and feel of The Blessed book trailer is like a feature film in the vein of Twilight with the production value to boot. An impressive feat for a book trailer. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://www.tonyahurley.com/

The Last Voyage Of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie 

“Who do you become when you have nothing left to lose?” A badass, presumably. The Last Voyage Of Poe Blythe trailer promises action and adventure from a female protagonist set in some undefined time in the distant past. A lone teardrop falls from our protagonist’s eye as she describes love lost and newfound resolve. The teardrop morphs into a map of the Serpentine river where, as captain of the ship, she vows to “sail for gold…and for blood.” Crisp visuals and sparse-yet-powerful sound design bring it all home in this Film 14 produced trailer.

Watch the Trailer

Read the Book

https://twitter.com/allycondie

United We Spy by Ally Carter 

A quick 30 seconds that delivers the point with style and intrigue. The trailer for United We Spy shows us this is a story about a teenage spy without really telling us–the hallmark of true cinema. 

Watch the Trailer

Read the Book

https://allycarter.com/

Dragonbane by Sherrilyn Kenyon 

The trailer for Dragonbane boasts some wild ass CGI that would make even the creators of Zena The Warrior Princess jealous. Sourcery, armor, dragons, and plenty of fireballs promise fantastical action with animation that at first glance looks very real. Unsheath your sword for this one and get ready for a dragon-slaying romp through a CGI fireball hell fantasy. 

Watch the Trailer

Read the Book

https://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/

We’ll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean 

“Leaving them hanging” is an excellent book trailer device that We’ll Never Be Apart expertly employs. All we know as we see this girl in handcuffs calmly escorted to her cell is that she is seriously disturbed. She tells us in voiceover she’s only feigning innocence. She knows exactly what she’s done and she’s happy about it. Damn, this girl is twisted. Exactly how twisted and in what way remains a mystery. Guess we’ll have to read the book to find out! 

Watch the Trailer

Read the Book

https://www.emikojean.com/

Magnoia by Maria Dahvana 

Ethereal music and serene imagery of our protagonist lying on the grass while she tells us about the signs she sees in the sky leave plenty of unanswered questions. What is the significance of this feather drifting into her hands? What is it she sees in the sky and why is it so familiar to her? Who knows, but the trailer is beautifully shot and scored. Interesting side-note, Magnonia author and NY Times bestseller Maria Dahvana released a new translation of Beowulf last year. 

Watch the Trailer

Read the Book

https://www.mariadahvanaheadley.com/

The Worst Thing About My Sister by Jacqueline Wilson 

This trailer plays like Scott Pilgrim and does it just as well. Two little British girls beat the crap out of each other, with comic book style “slams” and “pows” to boot. Our protagonist lists all of the “worst things” about her sister, obviously lost in the fantasy of claiming her revenge. The wonderful set design favors old-school tricks to pure CGI, like the mother towering over a cityscape with lasers coming out of her eyes. A nice blend of new animation and old-fashioned cinema magic.

Watch the Trailer

Read the Book

https://www.penguin.co.uk/puffin/jacqueline-wilson.html

Yellow Brick War by Danielle Page 

She’s back in Kansas, but she’s not the same person she was before. This midwest charmer is ready to slay Dorothy to fulfill her one job in Oz. Get the feeling that things are not quite as they seem in Oz after all? That’s the intention. 

Watch the Trailer

Read the Book

https://daniellepaigebooks.com/

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken 

This trailer employs projections, sending our main characters to various landscapes throughout  time and space. From a city skyline to the Sahara Desert and eventually the Himalayas and a stormy sea, this trailer takes us around the world from the comfort of a brick-walled studio. In-camera analog effects are the best. Absolutely genius. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

http://www.alexandrabracken.com/

The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden 

This “love letter to New Orleans” takes us there with seductive imagery of The Big Easy. Cobblestone streets, candles dripping with hoodoo wax, the gurgling croak of a raven send us through this “evacuated city” with all of its dark magic. A room full of skeletons and an open spellbook? We’re in! 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://www.alysarden.com/

Vampire Girl by Karpov Kinrade 

A cosmopolitan girl turns into a vampire and hangs out with werewolves. The effects at the end of this trailer are especially impressive. Lightning cracks across stormy purple skies while this girl transforms into a demon. Sweet. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://karpovkinrade.com/

Creatura by Nely Cab

This trailer vibes like the cover of a Fabio-style romance novel came to life to the tune of some gnu pop. Melodrama, magic, and even a cameo from Satan himself render this novel irresistible for those who can’t resist that sort of thing. Whoever made the trailer knows what they’re doing, that’s for sure. 

Watch the Trailer

Read the Book

https://www.nelycab.com/

ARV-3 by Cameo Renae 

Striking imagery of an iron city in the dead of winter opens this trailer that plays like a scene from Pitch Black. A solider in a post-apocalyptic world shines his light–and his gun–on a creature lurking in the dark. But wait…there are more. The trailer tactfully throws in an accolade “Winner YA & Teen Readers Literary Awards 2013 Best Dystopian Book.” The end of the trailer prompts us to find out more about this thriller with the mysterious title from the author’s website. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://www.cameorenae.com/

Tesla’s Attic by Neal Shusterman & Eric Elfman 

What happens when some modern-day kids get into Tesla’s old attic and start messing around with stuff? A weird spaceship thing might come flashing from the sky into your baseball mitt. Obviously, a lot of strange electrical phenomena will occur. Spoiler alert! There’s a toaster involved. This author collab between YA heavyweights Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman (no, not that Elfman) was released via Disney Books. The trailer certainly looks like Disney money. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

http://www.storyman.com/

http://ericelfmancoaching.com/

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Sometimes simple ideas are the best. Especially when trying to get the point of an entire book across cinematically in one minute of trailer time. This one does it very well. The essence of this story is conveyed via a hand shaking a polaroid. But it isn’t a new photo that is developing each time, but rather the terrifying thoughts of a stalker tracking their prey. All the reviews say it’s the new Gone Girl. Whether it is, the trailer is cool. Here’s a great example of an effective and stylish way to get the point across on a low budget. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://marykubica.com/

Half Bad by Sally Green 

A kid in a cage breaks free from his shackles in this Film 14 produced trailer for Penguin Teen. Half good witch, half bad witch, this kid has to escape from bondage before both sides tear him apart. The trailer is beautifully simple– a tracking shot up to this young man shackled in a cage, alone in a cold wilderness. This is intercut with reviews for the book against a backdrop of black ink slow-flowing through water like smoke. This trailer creates tension and suspense along with a solid sense of the story. Not half bad. In fact, it’s all good! 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/226650/sally-green/

An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir 

A book trailer doesn’t have to be super complicated. This one simply shows a female warrior unsheathing her shiny sword in a stony underground room. A few clean shots and the rest is done in post. This 30 second promo gives us a sense of the story with economy and grace. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://sabaatahir.com/

Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick 

Sensual imagery is the hallmark of this book trailer, and it works well. Snapshots of our protagonist going about her life as a teen in private school, along with her supernatural extracurricular activities like making love to an angel. Dunking for apples, fencing practice, and kicking bad guys butts are some of the more ordinary chores in the life of this witchy teen, and we see it all in fast, black and white cuts. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Becca-Fitzpatrick/62751281

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

We’re back in school again with this trailer for The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan. It’s hard to tell if this is a Dead Poets’ Society kind of situation or something a little more sinister. But the trailer looks great! Cinematic shots of castle-like private school, then Tim’s lost love as he runs through a snowy forest. Haunted by fear, destined for tragedy–sounds like some fun, light reading. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

http://elizabethlaban.com/

Strands Of Starfire by May Sage 

Multiple moons in the sky over our intense heroin in a futuristic desert scape open this sci-fi trailer. Very cool effects and superb acting. When a book trailer has both it makes us want to read the book! 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://www.maysageauthor.com/

The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

This indie-flavored trailer looks like it was partially shot on VHS. A deliberate choice to achieve a certain lo-fi aesthetic appropriate for this “serial killer who likes Death Cab For Cutie.” What would prompt a teen beauty to rampage out? Guess we’ll have to read on to find out. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Michelle-Hodkin/78193621

My Sister Lives On The Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher 

Orion Children’s Books bring the realness to the youth with this story about a British kid dealing with the death of his sister. He scooped up what was left of her after a terrorist bombing on London. Now she’s in an urn on the mantelpiece. The dad’s a drunk. The kid retreats further inward to his imaginary life where he has a new sister. Heavy. How is this a children’s book? 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://annabelpitcher.com/books/

The Power by Jennifer L. Armentrout 

Sexual tension builds as these oiled-up, rock-hard bodies kick box each other into the bedroom. I can’t believe he’s dating Apollo’s daughter! Never underestimate the lusty lives of fit teens with mythological powers. The trailer opens with a quote from The Theogony of Hesiod, letting us know this is not your ordinary teen romance drama. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://jenniferlarmentrout.com/

The Curse Of The Werepenguin by Allan Woodrow

Wow, thought this was serious for a moment. This spooky trailer of a kid running terrified through the woods turns surprisingly light-hearted when he falls and discovers what has been chasing him. It’s a cute little penguin! What I want to know is, how the hell did they animate the penguin? Or is it a real penguin plopped in the middle of the forest? Looks pretty real. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://www.allanwoodrow.com/

United As One by Pittacus Lore 

Voiceover narration tells us these kids thought they were sent to another planet to escape a war. Turns out they were duped. Now they’re training for revenge and it’s not going to be pretty. Dubstep sounds, steel, and sparks enhance the sci-fi feel of this action drama. This trailer really sells it. Who wouldn’t trust an author with a name like Pittacus Lore to bring the sci-fi heat? 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book 

https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/42804/pittacus-lore.html

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee 

A candle lights. A steampunk inventor works off of Da Vinci-esque journals while creating some kind of machine out of metal and wood. What is this monstrous thing? 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

http://www.mackenzilee.com/

Chosen: Girl Of Myth And Legend by Giselle Simlet 

What happens when an average teenage girl spontaneously combusts? Why, she’s transported through a portal to a mythological forest where she is a battle princess. Of course! Impressive special effects, interesting camera work, and believable costume design set this trailer apart from the rest. 

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Read the Book

Endgame: Sky Key by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton

The entire world is going to perish because of her, and boy is she stressing. I’ve had acid trips like that before. Infrared intensity lets us know there’s a lot on the line in this Hunger Games style sci-fi thriller. Oh yeah, and it’s written by the legendary James Frey. Yes, that James Frey. Did you know he’s been writing YA sci-fi for years? 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://bigjimindustries.com/wordpress/

https://www.harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/nils-johnson-shelton

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz

For some reason the YA fantasy world loves a story about a good looking girl in prison. Here’s one that takes place on a dying planet earth where there is only one temperature: freezing. 

Watch the Trailer 

Buy the Book

https://melissa-delacruz.com/

Need by Joelle Charbonneu

A computer screen, a house engulfed in flames, a close-up of a gun firing. Rapid fired editing of evocative shots culminate to produce a feeling of paranoia that promises action and high-tech suspense. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

http://www.joellecharbonneau.com/

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld 

This trailer sports fancy camera work and editing that send us on a cityscape whirlwind. A woman packs her suitcase, slams the trunk of her beater car, and suddenly we’re in Chinatown. Now we’re on a rooftop gazing at the city skyline lights at dusk. Now a street war between the military and revolutionaries–or are they zombies? So many mysteries to be uncovered in the trailer for Afterworlds. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://scottwesterfeld.com/

Endless Knight by Kresley Cole 

A crazy desertscape with the remnants of an Old West town give way to a swirling deck of tarot cards. We’re introduced to each character in their element before they are framed by the gilded rim of their card and added to the deck. Cool special effects!

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://kresleycole.com/

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia 

A secret society of ghost and demon hunters? Rad. The trailer for Kami Garcia’s YA novel Unbreakable takes us on a tour of the world of the professional ghost hunting world filled with magic and violence. Our protagonist is also involved in a love affair with her hunky twin ghost hunting colleges. Kinky. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://kamigarcia.com/

The Ring & The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz 

Oh the weight of the crown is such a heavy burden to bear. Our protagonist clearly wants the bad boy street boxer, but she got the milktoast prince instead. Gotta do what you gotta do to get that crown. Unfortunately, by the time she gets it her soul is dead..but she still looks good! Western imperialist capitalist values in a nutshell. 

Watch the Trailer 

Buy the Book

https://melissa-delacruz.com/

Light by Michael Grant 

Lord Of The Flies meets Logan’s Run. It’s been a year since everyone under the age of 15 disappeared. Now these post-apocalyptic kids with superpowers must battle it out at the end of time. But why? Read the book!

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://www.michaelgrantbooks.co.uk/

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers 

A pretty assassin from medieval times practices archery and spearhead throwing skills, waiting for her chance to be sent out into the world to “do death’s work.” Cool camera work and editing slow down the arrows as they speed from her bow across the screen and into the bullseye. Robin Hood for the next generation. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://www.robinlafevers.com/

Survive The Night by Danielle Vega 

This trailer is a techno goth deathtrap. Follow a speeding subway train to an all night rave intercut with skulls and squirming rats to a bass drum pulse. Tight. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book 

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/231117/danielle-vega/

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick 

A killer stalks his next prey by clipping out bios from the newspaper. Britt Pfeiffer wasn’t prepared for the blizzard that sent her car off the road, prompting her to seek refuge in a cabin full of sadists. Now she has to lead them off the mountain or they’ll kill her. Impressive aerial shots of the frozen mountain landscape in mid blizzard give this book trailer “A grade” production value. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Becca-Fitzpatrick/62751281

The Mindjack Trilogy by Susan Quinn

This high school girl has the power to read people’s thoughts…and kill them with hers. Why does the music sound so inspirational, that’s horrible! 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

http://susanquinnbooks.com/

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

The magic of this trailer is all in the choreography, costumes, and editing. Slow motion kung fu interpretive dance done Shakespere style. These two look like they’re straight out of Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo And Juliet as they duet a sensual dubstep that will make you sweat. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book 

https://evelynskye.com/

I Am Mercy by Mandi Lynn

That moment when the Black Death comes for you in 14-century France. Bergman would be proud of this homage to The Seventh Seal. A glorious shot of our protagonist in a dreadful black hooded cape on a seacliff vista, looking out over the breaking ocean waves. Produced by Film 14 for Stone Ridge Books. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://mandilynn.com/bio/

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Oh my gosh, Mila has been turned into a cyborg! Well, sometimes these things do happen. Listening to music and making out with boys will never be the same, that’s for sure. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book 

https://www.harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/debra-driza

Spellcaster by Claudia Gray 

Dark magic has taken root in the New England seaside town of Captive Sound. Only love can defy the laws of witchcraft…but will it be enough? The mixture of animation and live action shots in this trailer is wicked! 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

http://www.claudiagray.com/

Monument 14: Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne 

Impressive special effects of a gigantic plume of black smoke, fighter jets, and explosions in the sky open this cinematic book trailer. Nice production value. The meat of the trailer is a dolly shot in to our protagonist describing how the old version of herself is dead. Some kind of disaster has stolen her youth. The black plume of smoke threatens to consume her just as she is reunited with her love, Nico…but her inner rage won’t let that happen.  

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://www.emmylaybourne.com/

The Rising by Kelley Armstrong 

Cool projections are the hallmark of this sci-fi trailer. High tech surveillance. Top secret psychological operations. DNA double helix superimpositions. Wait…is this sci-fi or our current reality? 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com/

Watch Over Me by Nina Lacour 

These fools in a cult? Striking imagery of a range of folks engaged in daily activities, possibly on some kind of modern hippie commune where chickens run free. We don’t know quite what it is, but something sinister is brewing underneath the tranquil surface. Produced by Film 14 for Penguin Teen. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://www.ninalacour.com/

What’s Left Of Me by Kat Zhang

The soul of her unborn evil twin sister is alive and well inside of her body–in fact, it’s making all of her decisions while she watches helplessly. This plot highlights the ancient question: who watches the watcher? Who’s thinking about those thoughts you’re having? As Krisnamurti said, “the observer is observed.” 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

http://katzhangwriter.com/index.php/about-me/

Trust by Kylie Scott

Several little twists lead up to the big twist in this trailer for Trust. The first–we think our protagonist’s sister is bullying her, but we quickly realize they just break each other’s balls like all siblings do. Next, our protagonist bumps into another customer at the snack shop in front of her crush. He doesn’t notice–instead an armed gunman bursts in and holds the place up. We’re lulled into a false sense of security from the start and slapped in the face with an action twist. Totally broke my trust! Nicely done. 

Watch the Trailer 

Read the Book

https://kyliescott.com/

 

Patrick Salway is a writer, musician, and actor living in Los Angeles. Follow him on social media @patsalway and @veneer_publications. Listen to VENEER.

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