Title: Instructions for Dancing
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publication Date: June 3, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Number of Pages: 304
Summary: From Goodreads: Evie Thomas doesn’t believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually.
As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything–including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he’s only just met.
Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it’s that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?
Review: Thank you to The Write Reads for organizing and inviting me to participate in this blog tour. Thank you, Penguin Platform and Net Galley, for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
After her parents divorced, Evie decides that she doesn’t believe in love anymore, and she needs to get rid of her romance novels. When she finds a Free Little Library to stuff them into, the woman who owns it insists that she take a book called Instructions for Dancing in exchange for her donation. After Evie takes the book, she starts to get visions when she sees couples kissing, which shows her how their relationship started and how it ends. This book also leads Evie to a dance studio, where she meets X, enters a ballroom dance competition, and realizes that love and life are more complicated than she initially thought.
The first thing I want to say about this book is that it was beautiful, and it made me feel a whirlwind of emotions. After I finished the book, I sat on my kitchen floor eating bread because that seemed like the best way to process everything I was feeling. This is a book about love and heartbreak, family and friendship, and learning to savour the moment. It’s a book that has a lot of layers, and it’s a story that makes you think and reflect on your own life.
As far as the characters go, I loved them. Evie is snarky and stubborn, and she’s dealing with a lot as her world is changing around her. Her parents got divorced, she’s in her final year of high school, and she doesn’t believe in love anymore. X is a beautiful soul who moved across the country to chase a dream, who is determined to always say yes because of a recent and tragic experience. I loved watching the relationship between Evie and X grow, I love what they brought out in each other, and they had a lot of moments that made me laugh out loud.
As far as secondary characters go, Fifi was my favourite. Fifi is the dance instructor at La Brea dance studio, and I adored her. She was so determined to turn Evie and X into the best amateur ballroom dancers, and I thought she was wonderful. I also liked Martin, Evie’s best friend from high school, and I liked that they had the kind of friendship where they could confide in each other, even when weird things were happening.
As I mentioned before, this book has a lot of layers in it, and I loved how all of the storylines intertwined. I don’t want to go into too much detail about all of the different storylines, but I thought that they all combined beautifully, and together they hit me with a tidal wave of emotions that I wasn’t ready for. I also loved that the storylines featured different kinds of love and not just the romantic kind.
Overall, I loved this book. It tore my heart out and made me feel way more emotions than I was ready to feel on a Thursday night. I highly recommend this book because everyone deserves a book hangover.
Rating: 5 Stars!