Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking those links, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you.Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on June 3, 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Magical Realism, Young Adult Fiction
Format: eBook (291 pages)
Purchase: Amazon • IndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads • Bookhype
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?
Instructions for Dancing is about avid Romance reader turned romance skeptic, Evie. After her father cheated, and her parents got divorced, Evie has given up on the idea of love. Why bother if it’s just going to end in heartbreak? Then one day, she visits a Little Free Library and picks up a book and suddenly her life is changed. And no, that is not metaphorical. She gains the ability to see couples’ entire history and future, which Evie, of course, continues to interpret as love sucks because it always ends. Whether by choice or by something more permanent. Obviously, this story is about her changing her mind about all of this, but it doesn’t go quite like you’d expect.
A good chunk of Instructions for Dancing is Evie getting to know her new dance partner, X. He’s the type of person who lives every moment to the fullest, and he wants to share that with Evie. They’re relationship was super cute to watch develop. I do think declaring someone “the love of my life” after a couple months was a bit over the top, but I was rooting for them! Evie also has to learn to forgive her father and move on as a family. I was less interested in this part, especially since she was acting like him cheating on her mom was this big huge secret that she must protect her sister from. I wasn’t under the impression that her sister was some wilting flower who needs lies to get through the day, but whatever. Internal conflict I guess.
Other than that, I really enjoyed Instructions for Dancing. It was quick and fun and at times sad.