Hold Still Vs. Amelia O'Donohue Is SO Not A Virgin Book Trailers

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Now, I’ve watched quite a few book trailers since I started YABookShelf.com, and while some have been great, I have no trouble admitting when one just doesn’t do it for me. Today, for the first time in Trailer Tuesday history, I just can’t choose. Today, I’ve decided to put two contemporary YA book trailers head-to-head, and I can’t decide which one is better than the other. Dear readers, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to watch each of the following book trailers and state which one you think does the job better.

First up is the book trailer for Nina LaCour‘s debut novel Hold Still . Check it out now, and then my commentary will make more sense:

There are, actually, two trailers for this novel, but the one that we’re looking at was created by the author and her friends. (It’s also the more technically interesting of the two.) The video itself switches between still images of text and illustrations drawn by Mia Nolting, the illustrator of the book and video sequences of either two girls, who represent the main character Caitin and her best friend Ingrid or just the actor playing Caitlin. Shot on a Super 8 camera, the film clips have a sometimes grainy texture that lends them a nostalgic feel, fitting for a novel about the loss of a friend to suicide and the recovery from this experience. On the soundtrack, the filmmakers selected a song by Tegan and Sara, called “Call It Off,” which I have to admit endears the book trailer to me. However, it also fits perfectly with the novel because this is one of the songs that would have been on the mix tape that Caitlin listens to throughout the novel. Finally, the voice over of Ingrid reading from one of most important passages in her journal has an achingly, emotive quality to it that is just pitch perfect. Can you tell that I loved this book trailer? But the big question is how does it compare for you to the next trailer?

While I’ve previously read HoldStill before writing this post, I have to admit that I don’t know much about Helen Fitzgerald‘s Amelia O’Donohue Is SO Not A Virgin. About a month or so ago, the creator showed it to me in response to one of the trailers that I was showing on my site that week, and at that time it was the first I’d ever heard of it. I have to say though that I was immediately impressed with this book trailer, but more importantly, what do you think?

Unlike the trailer for Hold Still, the AmeliaO’DonohueIsSONotAVirgin book trailer uses mostly computer-generated graphics and superscript to create the ‘voice’ and direction of the video. While occasionally these type of videos can look subpar or the superscript might be illegible, but neither of these issues plague this trailer. As the shadow-like figure walks down the hall, transparent images of different girls’ faces appear in the video, suggesting a particular character who might be the source of a baby’s cry that gets louder and louder. As the figure reaches the end of the hall, however, the whispers of one or two girls becomes 20, 30, or perhaps even 50 different voices, suggesting the growth of gossip. At the same time, the doors at the end of the hall open, revealing the book cover and what looks like a note being passed to another student, which says, not only the title, but also the gossip about the character, Amelia O’Donohue. From reading a plot synopsis, I can tell that Amelia isn’t the protagonist, that pleasure goes to Rachel Ross, but Amelia certainly is the subject of an unstoppable rumor mill. Therefore, I think that this trailer seems just as fitting and well-put together as the one made by Nina LaCour and her friends.

So yes, I’m stumped. What book trailer do you prefer? Which of these trailers makes you more inclined to want to pick up and read the book for which it was made? Leave a comment below to show which is the better trailer in your opinion. The one with the most votes wins!

  8 comments for “Hold Still Vs. Amelia O'Donohue Is SO Not A Virgin Book Trailers

  1. November 2, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Hmmm…I think they both have a lot of good qualities! I like the grainy, ‘real’ look of the first trailer, and also that it’s narrated in the form of the letter. In the second one I like the mysterious feel to it (music, etc.) and the whispers multiplying at the end. Both look pretty cool!

  2. November 2, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    I agree with you, clearly from my post, that they both have some great qualities, and appreciate that you took the time to voice your opinion, Danya.

  3. November 2, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    definately the first one, Hold Still, a much more effective use of voice over. I didn’t actually like the second one and found the voices in that one annoying, but I’m not a fan of using any voice over anyway, generally they come off sounding amateur, but it actually worked for Hold Still, probably because it seemed more a home video style than polished trailer.

  4. November 3, 2010 at 1:45 am

    I agree with you that the voice over works extremely well in the Hold Still trailer. In general, however, I tend to like voice over better than superscript on the screen, so perhaps we just have different preferences. With the Hold Still trailer though I appreciated the quality of the voice, that it wasn’t completely smooth, but almost vibrated subtly. It gave the trailer a deep connection to the emotion of the scene, in my opinion, more than would have been possible with superscript.

  5. Alicia
    November 3, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I like Hold Still book trailer. I like how it’s more like a movie trailer. The 2nd one sort of annoyed me with the random voices whispering.

  6. November 3, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Very true, Alicia. The Hold Still trailer is much more movie/theatrical than Amelia O’Donohue Is SO Not A Virgin‘s trailer. I can’t imagine the second one being shown on TV or at the movie theatre during previews, but the Hold Still one (or something like it) could definitely work for an Indie film.

  7. TheBookHour
    November 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Hold Still, hands down. I love the narration, imagery, transitions etc – makes me want to read the book! Of course I still want to read Amelia O’Donogue Is SO Not A Virgin because the written synopsis on Goodreads looks awesome!

  8. November 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I agree with you about the Hold Still trailer – it’s pitch perfect in my opinion – and I also am intrigued by Amelia O’Donohue Is SO Not A Virgin. I can say for a fact that Hold Still is a-mazing though as I read it recently. :)

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