105 Ways to Give a Book


Last year TeenReader did a book trailer for Ash, by Malinda Lo, as part of a contest. Sadly, she didn’t win the contest, but I’ve always been impressed by what she came up with completely on her own. Well, my voice and my husband’s hand are in there, and occasionally we pointed the camera where she told us to. But she did everything else, and I love that she did an ambitious, storylike version.

Recently, she got a comment asking why she didn’t include the character of Kaisa in the video. The reason was really logistical — she didn’t involve anyone else in her project — but it made me think about whether that was an essential thing to include. After all, Ash’s love for the huntress is what really set this book apart from other Cinderella stories. Made it the book with a twist, as it were.

But in thinking about it, what I liked about Ash — and the twist — was how matter-of-factly her love for another woman was handled in the story. It was a conflict for the character, certainly, but it wasn’t an Issue. Her choice wasn’t mired in wrestling with her sexual identity, but more of a struggle between holding on to the past or moving on, more about either escaping from the real world or diving into it with joy. The love story was true and beautiful and essential to the story. But maybe not in the book trailer, because that would have made it seem more of the point than it really was. In any case, it’s a lovely, haunting book and a good book trailer — in my humble opinion.

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Sarah Stevenson said...

That's what I liked most about the book, too--it wasn't an Issue Book.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Hey - NICE TRAILER! I loved the end with the hoof sounds of horses. Very atmospheric, and really in keeping with the book's tone.

I do think it's challenging to distill a whole book down to a pitch or a trailer - and yet while I've been referring to "Ash" as "a lesbian Cinderella" I think teen's trailer captured the FEEL of the book beautifully!

thanks for sharing!

Peaceful Reader said...

This is a book on my to-read list. The trailer makes it even more so.

Abby said...

That is fantastic!!!!

Mystee said...

I love your blog and wanted to let you know that you have an award that I've passed on to you on my blog. :)


Bibliovore said...

That was my favorite part of Ash too. And it wasn't a case of glossing over angst. I remember same-sex couples being absently mentioned as part of the wallpaper in certain scenes, showing that it's perfectly acceptable in this society.