Instructions for Dancing – Nicola Yoon

Hello again, my dear friends and book lovers! 

I have another post for you today, and this time, it’s a book that’s all about love. Love lost, love gained, new and old love, and the risks that come with opening yourself up to love and all its complexities.

If you’ve ever loved someone, anyone at all, then you know what it can be like when things are rough and don’t work out the way you expect them. Families break up, marriages end, friendships fall apart… this and more is explored in our latest book, Instructions for Dancing. Thank you so much to Penguin Random House and TheWriteReads for this opportunity!

So, yes, it involves a lot of dancing, but it also involves a lot of healing and growth. I really enjoyed this one, and by the time I finished this one, I was sobbing. The book was very well-written, and there was a great set of characters. I wasn’t entirely sure of the story in the beginning, but by the time I was finished, I was swept away by it.

Anyways, let’s get to it!

Information:

Title: Instructions for Dancing
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genre(s): Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 304
Format: E-book
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Language: English
Publication Date: 3rd June 2021

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star Nicola Yoon is back with her eagerly anticipated third novel. With all the heart and hope of her last two books, this is an utterly unique romance.

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?

Thoughts:

We see Evie, our heroine, struggling with her parents’ divorce. Her idea of love is shattered, and she is unable to see relationships in any sort of good light. One day, when picking up a book from a mysterious lending library, known as ‘Instructions for Dancing’, she finds that she has the ability to see the timeline of relationships when couples kiss. This only seems to encourage her feelings about love, but there may be more to this gift than she is led to believe.

Feeling as if she is stuck in one of her old favourite romance novels, Evie sets out to get rid of this gift, and embarks on a journey that helps her see the beauty of being vulnerable, and falling in love.

I admit, this is my first Nicola Yoon book, so I went into this one not knowing what to expect. However, I was very impressed by the time I finished. The book felt a little slow in the beginning, and I wasn’t too sure about how I felt about Evie in the beginning. Her gift of seeing the timeline of people’s relationships when they kissed also felt a little out-of-the-blue, but it moved the story along well enough, and I began to enjoy the parts when it was used.

I really enjoyed reading about Evie’s relationships though, particularly with Xavier, or X. Seeing their relationship bloom whilst learning to dance was absolutely beautiful. Xavier really helped Evie see things from a different perspective, as well as admit to her own shortcomings and mistakes. X has my heart, and I adore everything about him. A++ romantic hero material.

The exploration of different types of relationships was the best part of this book though. We see Evie navigate many relationships – family, friendships, as well as romantic relationships. This novel really helps you understand the nature of relationships, as well. They’re not perfect, and they don’t always last – but that is what makes them so exciting, as well. Relationships are about committing yourselves to each other, and keeping at it. It’s about taking a leap of faith and living in the present moment with your loved ones- and you experience all the emotions that go with these lessons whilst reading this book. The story also touched a lot on expression through movement and dancing, which I also liked. Fifi, the dance instructor, is now one of my favourite characters – her scenes were hilarious!

The ending absolutely broke me. I was preparing myself for it, but I also thought that it ended well. It was perfect for the message that it was trying to convey; but it left me feeling both heartbroken and extremely grateful for my loved ones at the same time (if any of you are reading this, thank you for being you and being in my life ).

I enjoyed this book immensely, and I highly recommend it!

Rating: 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Instructions for Dancing is perfect for anyone who is looking for a book that will make you feel all the feelings, and make you cry a little – one of the best kinds  You can check out the book at Amazon and Book Depository.

What romance books have you read recently? Let me know in the comments below!



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