If you’re a YA contemporary romance fan, there’s no doubt that you know exactly who Nicola Yoon is. When I saw the opportunity to get my hands on this book a little early, I jumped at it full of excitement, and it most certainly didn’t disappoint! Here are my thoughts on Yoon’s new novel, Instructions for Dancing…
Huge thanks, as always, go to Dave at The Write Reads for the opportunity to be part of this particularly exciting #UltimateBlogTour!
Blurb: 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?
When her mom and dad get divorced, everything Evie loves about love becomes her worst nightmare. Instead of meet cutes and first kisses, all she can think of is break ups and heart ache. When she decides to get rid of her shelves packed with romance novels, Evie meets a old woman who encourages to read Instructions for Dancing, a book that takes her introduces her to a dance studio, a boy and a whole new outlook on what love means.
Even before I managed to pick this book up I’d heard wonderful things from other bloggers and bookworms. I went in with pretty high hopes and the story delivered! This is a classic contemporary romance where love is the over arching theme but it’s shaken up with a main character who isn’t open to it and the gift of visions where Evie can see how a relationship will play out. There’s a fun cast of characters who keep things interesting, all of whom we get to see in different situations, and who all provide an insight for Evie to consider. Danica was one of my favourite side characters – she’s young and has no problem trying out relationships which I think is fabulous. All too often we’re fed the idea that it’s a problem for young girls to date a handful of people, as if there’s something wrong with her, and this character really shows just how wrong that is. I also loved that this story centred around dance! As someone who has two left feet, this was really fun and I really enjoyed getting to see Evie and X find their rhythm together. It took me back to my days of watching Step Up and wishing that was me!
I can’t write a review for this book without pointing out just how much this played on my emotions. From Evie’s rocky relationship with her dad to her feelings about falling in love with X, Yoon succeeded in bringing on my tears! I don’t know whether that was because anything remotely dad/daughter brings on wet eyes for me or if it was just the openness of Evie’s feelings that got to me but I loved that there wasn’t anything that was shied away from. This made me love Evie’s character all the more as she allowed herself to feel whatever she was feeling which is something that I have to remind myself to do sometimes! Through Evie we get to see everything from family complications, the eternal love of a parent, an intense first love and the pain of losing it. For me, this made this story so much more than a happily ever after summer read and got me thinking about my own loves and how I think about it all in general. The ending was definitely the part that got to me the most – I won’t spoil it here but be prepared with a tissue!
Overall, I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary YA romance stories that are bound to give you some perspective on what it means to love someone.
You can check out the thoughts of some other wonderful book bloggers on this book throughout the rest of the Instructions for Dancing blog tour by following along over on social media!
#TheWriteReads #UltimateBlogTour #InstructionsForDancing
Are you looking forward to reading this book? I’d love to know your thoughts on it! You can always find me over on Twitter if you’re looking for a book chat! 😌