Y’all!! I’m very excited to share Instruction for Dancing by Nicola Yoon. This book is expertly written which is probably the reason it absolutely shattered me and my emotions lol. It’s about love, loss of love, dance, living, and appreciating every good moment you can. Highly recommend!
As you scroll through, make sure to check out the gorgeous cover, the synopsis, my review, and a little about the author.
Alright, let’s do this!!
#1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star Nicola Yoon is back with a new and utterly unique romance.
Evie is disillusioned about love ever since her dad left her mum for another woman – she’s even throwing out her beloved romance novel collection.
When she’s given a copy of a book called Instructions for Dancing, and follows a note inside to a dilapidated dance studio, she discovers she has a strange and unwelcome gift. When a couple kisses in front of her, she can see their whole relationship play out – from the moment they first catch each other’s eye to the last bitter moments of their break-up.
For Evie, it confirms everything she thinks she knows about love – that it doesn’t last.
But at the dance studio she meets X – tall, dreadlocked, fascinating – and they start to learn to dance, together. Can X help break the spell that Evie is under? Can he change Evie’s mind about love?
Praise for Nicola Yoon:
‘Gorgeous and lyrical’ New York Times
‘Powerful, lovely, heart-wrenching’ Jennifer Niven
‘This extraordinary first novel about love so strong it might kill us is too good to feel like a debut’ Jodi Picoult
THIS. BOOK. OMG. I cry reading just about every book, but the ending of this one…SOBBING, head between the knees, and trying to stay quiet so I didn’t wake anyone up with my crying. I won’t give away the ending, but just…bring your tissues.
Ok, let’s talk main characters
Evie is my favorite character of the while book. I loved her when she was blocking herself off from love (because I totally get that) and I loved her when she was fully open to love and was ready to be in a relationship with X.
At first, when she gains this new power of seeing how people fall in love and how they break up, she sees it as a curse because she sees all these sad, heartbreaking moments. She doesn’t quite get why anyone would fall in love or take a chance on it when it’s going to end and you’ll be heartbroken.
But the more she sees, the more she feels for X, and the more her relationship with her father develops for the better, her feelings about love start to change. Nothing quick. But slowly, her thoughts about love begin to change.
That is…until she sees the end of her relationship with X. How is she supposed to be with him, love him, be vulnerable when she knows the ending? When she knows there isn’t a happy ending?
As someone who also wonders this about love, I was very much on this journey with Evie and perhaps that’s why I had such a strong emotional response to the ending. I could completely relate to her throughout the book and to see her getting less than her happily ever after hurt like hell.
And because of how much she loved X, I loved him too. He really opens her up to a different world or a different way of seeing things. How can he not when he sees her like no one else does? Also, he’s a musician! How could Evie resist?!
Can we talk about his grandparents??? Maggie and Archibald?!! OMG I love their love! And their love for dance! I love their encouragement of Evie and X’s relationship. They are just so wonderful and I want to hug them.
And we can’t end this review without talking about Fifi. I love her more than life. You can hear her accent when you’re reading because of how her dialogue is written and it’s perfect. She’s perfect.
She’s a bit of a taskmaster, but she loves dance and she wants Evie and X to win the competition. Her whole personality is just delightful. Maybe it’s my Russian ancestors calling out to me in her, but any time she showed up, I was happy!
I also really loved Evie’s mom and dad. They are so complex and as the adults in the story, they needed to be. I also liked their different relationships with Evie and how those relationships changed and developed as the story went on. YA parents can be one-note sometimes (good or bad) but these two weren’t at all and I really enjoyed seeing how Evie’s view of them changed the more she opened herself to love.
Instructions for Dancing was definitely an emotional ride for me (I literally have a lump in my throat writing this review), but like Evie learns in the book, just because the ending is utterly heart-destroying, doesn’t mean the happy moments that came before didn’t happen or don’t count.
I highly recommend Instructions for Dancing, but….PREPARE YOURSELF!
Nicola Yoon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Instructions for Dancing, Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star. She is a National Book Award finalist, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book recipient and a Coretta Scott King New Talent Award winner. Two of her novels have been made into major motion pictures. She’s also co-publisher of Joy Revolution, a Random House young adult imprint dedicated to love stories starring people of color. She grew up in Jamaica and Brooklyn, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the novelist David Yoon, and their daughter.