It’s been said countless times: 2016 has not been a good year. The economic impacts of Brexit. The social divisions caused by the presidential elections. The ongoing tragedies in Syria and many other areas of the world. We’ve lost too many inspirational people, such as David Bowie and Alan Rickman. But there have been a number of things going on in the book community this year that are worth celebrating. So here are 5 bookish reasons why 2016 wasn’t so bad.
YALC returned to London for the third time in the summer! There was signings, workshops and talks with authors such as David Levithan, Patrick Ness and Malorie Blackman, teen diary readings from Juno Dawson and Lisa Williamson, a Harry Potter party and so much more! I attended YALC in 2015, but couldn’t make it this year – I have seen people wearing YALC hoodies ever since and been feeling extremely envious. It looked absolutely fab and was surely a summer highlight for all who went.
The world of Harry Potter has been brought back to us
Although it’s debatable as to if it ever left us. Nevertheless, we have been blessed with three huge additions to J.K. Rowling’s world of magic. The first is new stage production Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play which takes us 19 years later to witness the problems faced by Harry, his son Albus, and Draco’s son Scorpius. Previews of the play began on the 7th of June this year, and it officially premiered on the 30th. One day later, the screenplay was released, the 8th book in the Harry Potter series (it’s also the fastest selling book of this decade, with 680,000 sales in three days!). Finally, less than a month ago Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them came out in cinemas! With the promise of another four films, we have been introduced to a whole new magical world set in 1926 New York, where Muggles are No-Majes, and Voldemort is years off being born (although Dumbledore is apparently already on the scene!).
Here’s a book convention that I did attend this year. Held in Uxbridge in October, just for one day, there were panels and workshops with well-known people from the YA community, and it was so much fun! After the event I wrote a long write up, but without going on too much, YA Shot was a lot like a smaller scale YALC, with a fantastic atmosphere and the chance to meet lots of authors and fellow bloggers (Uxbridge also had a ton of lovely shops, including a Waterstones!).
So many amazing debut authors!
As well as the return of everyone’s favourite magical world, there have been a number of fantastic books released by debut authors. Just a few include Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands), Louise Gornall (Under Rose-Tainted Skies), Sara Barnard (Beautiful Broken Things) and Manuela Salvi (Girl Detached). Many of these authors have books that are to be published in 2017, which gives us all another reason to look forward to the New Year!
Three Spinster Club books have been published this year
This one is more of a personal highlight, as I am self-professed Holly Bourne trash. Myself and my fellow fans of the Spinster Club series have been treated to three new novels throughout the year – in February, it was How Hard Can Love Be?, a few months later What’s a Girl Gotta Do? was published, and the beginning of November brought us the release of novella …And a Happy New Year? to conclude the series. I have loved every one of these books, and a few months ago I won a Spinster Club book bundle in the first (and only) giveaway I’ve ever won!
These are just a few bookish things that have lifted my spirits this year. In reality, the YA community is thriving more than ever, and there have been countless Twitter chats, book events and other exciting things happening in 2016 (too many to possibly fit in one post). Hopefully there will be even more wonderful things to come next year.
A big thanks to Bex from Myshelf and Myself for the wonderful guest post!