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Instructions for Dancing

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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 h 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?


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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 h 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?

30 review for Instructions for Dancing

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    Despite how it might seem, this is not a love story. My friend had to convince me to read Instructions for Dancing. I've read both of Yoon's previous books and felt... incompatible with them. I felt like Yoon's cutesy starry-eyed romances were not for me, especially as someone who is super picky when it comes to the romance genre. But I was right to give this one a shot. Figures I'd like the only one of Yoon's books to make me cry. The opening quote is accurate. Though love is central to Instr Despite how it might seem, this is not a love story. My friend had to convince me to read Instructions for Dancing. I've read both of Yoon's previous books and felt... incompatible with them. I felt like Yoon's cutesy starry-eyed romances were not for me, especially as someone who is super picky when it comes to the romance genre. But I was right to give this one a shot. Figures I'd like the only one of Yoon's books to make me cry. The opening quote is accurate. Though love is central to Instructions for Dancing, it is not a love story. At least, not in the way we would usually expect. It's more about the narrator, Evie Thomas, who has become disillusioned and cynical about love ever since her dad had an affair and left her mother for another woman, finding it in herself to take a chance on love (and heartbreak). Not everybody can dance good, but everybody can dance. Sorry if this is a bit cheesy, but it struck me as appropriate that a book dealing with these issues was also about dancing because it reminded me of that Garth Brooks song 'The Dance'. And now I'm glad I didn't know The way it all would end, the way it all would go Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain But I'd have had to miss the dance It's really all about saying, yeah, sure, you might get hurt and it might all end up in flames but, hell, maybe it's worth it for all the love and joy? I did not know this until the author's note at the end, but Yoon was dealing with a lot of pain while she wrote this book and I think she channelled a lot of that heartache into her writing. It's a very bittersweet story, and maybe that's why it felt truer to me? Sometimes love ends, doesn't work out, falls apart, dies. But, then again, sometimes it doesn't.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Ohhhh my poor, broken heart! It hurts like hell! Don’t get fooled by this beautiful, vivid, inspirational cover promises you sweet, soft, entertaining YA romcom! It’s heart wrenching, extremely emotional, magical, though provoking story shakes you to the core! True love, epic dance moves, kindred hearts, quirky best friends, a girl’s magical ability to see the kissing couple’s heartbreaks ! They’re the first words come into my mind when I read this book. I’ll barely gathered my words because th Ohhhh my poor, broken heart! It hurts like hell! Don’t get fooled by this beautiful, vivid, inspirational cover promises you sweet, soft, entertaining YA romcom! It’s heart wrenching, extremely emotional, magical, though provoking story shakes you to the core! True love, epic dance moves, kindred hearts, quirky best friends, a girl’s magical ability to see the kissing couple’s heartbreaks ! They’re the first words come into my mind when I read this book. I’ll barely gathered my words because the author threw a big bomb in my lap and ran away. After finishing the book, I’m still giving blank looks, looking at the walls, my tears drop against my cheeks automatically ! I think I’ll stay like this throughout entire weekend! Ms. Yoon turned me into statue of misery! Yes! This book is magical! It’s sweet! It’s sensational! But it delves your heart, rips it apart! You keep saying what what what? No way! I might have read it wrong! This shouldn’t happen! It can’t ! No freaking way! Without giving spoilers: I have to tell you : this is book is true introduction of how to gather your pieces of your heart after it broke into tiny pieces! It’s about true love! It’s about falling in love and falling out of love! It’s about choices we made! It’s about taking risks! It’s about living fulfilled! It’s about being bold! Short summary of the story: after her parents decided to divorce and seeing her father kiss another woman, 18 years old Evie stops believing in love, gathering her entire romance books collection to donate to the library but when she leaves her house abruptly to give space to her sister and her boyfriend, she realizes it’s Saturday! The library is closed! So she walks to the park close to their home for spending time and bumps into a woman who displays books at the corner, accepting her books in return to give her one book as a gift. She finds herself holding “Instructions for dancing” book. She keeps the book for not being rude to kind woman who suddenly disappears when she looks at the other way! Weird! And things get weirder for Evie after taking that book because in front of the house, she sees her sister and boyfriend kissing and this triggers images in her mind: how her sister and boyfriend met, how they fell for each other and finally how they broke up! Evie doesn’t share her visions with her sister. She only shared with Martin who is more open minded person than her other two best friends who are flirting with each other! And guess what? Everything happens like she visioned about her sister’s love life! From now on when Evie sees a couple who are in love, she resumes to see how their relationship will end! She wants to get rid of her curse and she thinks the book the woman at the park gave her could help her. There is an address at the book drags her to the La Brea Dance club. She finds herself sign for dance lessons and become dance couple X ( short for Xavier) the owners’ grandson. She also finds herself sign for dance competition, learning bachata, West coast swing, hustle, Argentine tango, salsa! She doesn’t only learn to dance! She starts to develop feelings for cool, charming, lead singer of rock band Xavier! As she sees people’s heartbreaks , could she learn to risk her heart to be broken? Overall: beautiful characters, creative, heartfelt, inspirational story developing, meaningful ending! Ms. Yoon did it again! It’s a big hit! It’s probably going to be adapted to big screen. And I know I will watch it without thinking any further and cry for weeks ! Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children ‘s / Delacorte Press For Sharing this powerful digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions. Follow me: instagram facebook twitter

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    I finished this book in one day. And although my first reaction to it was a total delight, I closed it with my heart a little broken. This story is cute and tender, but it will also leave you in tears. Essentially, Instructions for Dancing is about this - how do you allow yourself to love, when you know this love will almost always leave you miserable? Evie is already skeptical about love when she finds out her parents' marriage ended because of her father's infidelity. But when she miraculously I finished this book in one day. And although my first reaction to it was a total delight, I closed it with my heart a little broken. This story is cute and tender, but it will also leave you in tears. Essentially, Instructions for Dancing is about this - how do you allow yourself to love, when you know this love will almost always leave you miserable? Evie is already skeptical about love when she finds out her parents' marriage ended because of her father's infidelity. But when she miraculously acquires an ability to see any kissing couple's future, her belief in love wears out even more, because she witnesses every love story's end. The same miraculous fate leads Evie to a ballroom dance studio, and there she meets X, who, somehow, is destined to teach her a lesson about love, but what lesson is it? There are many aspects of this story that I loved - for one, how no one in YA has had dance lessons in a plot before? How? That's a gold mine right there. Dirty Dancing-redux! Secondly, the touch of magic was just right - the replays of people's love stories was a tremendously successful gimmick. All in all, Instructions for Dancing is a touching YA story, which you can tell, came deep from Nicola Yoon's heart (just read her afterword). I personally would have shuffled some parts around for a better story flow, but you know me, I always have something to complain about. This will be a great companion to E. Lockhart's Again Again. P.S. I liked this novel, but I think it has a terrible title.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Warda

    I didn’t even need to know what it was about to preorder it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey (munnyreads)

    Finished this in one sitting. Such a delightful and heartfelt read. I thought this was just going to be just another cute YA contemporary romance, but there is more than meets the eye with this. My heart hurts, yet I am happy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    SincerelyTahiry

    She did it again yall. Nicola Yoon FUCKING destroyed me. When TSIAS came out I was in a long term relationship with my high school sweetheart. I read the book in a day. Cried abt it. Made videos on it. 2 yrs ago at BookCon I was so blessed to tell Nicola in person how much I resonated with her book because it displayed a love that looked like mine. About a Caribbean girl and an Asian boy from NY with limited time who loved each other despite it not making sense and the odds stacked against them She did it again yall. Nicola Yoon FUCKING destroyed me. When TSIAS came out I was in a long term relationship with my high school sweetheart. I read the book in a day. Cried abt it. Made videos on it. 2 yrs ago at BookCon I was so blessed to tell Nicola in person how much I resonated with her book because it displayed a love that looked like mine. About a Caribbean girl and an Asian boy from NY with limited time who loved each other despite it not making sense and the odds stacked against them Then the movie came out. Me and my boyfriend saw it on our anniversary. We LOVED it. We cried in the theaters when we saw that they filmed some of it in our favorite part of the City. We even went to the same restaurant afterwards which was where we had our first date 4 yrs prior. Here we are 4 yrs after the book release date and 2 yrs after the movie. As I write this, I realize today would’ve made 6yrs for me and my now ex boyfriend. like Evies mom, I ended things with him. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I wasn’t okay for a very long time. And tbh...sometimes I’m still not. But this book reminded me of one of my favorite quotes “Just because it wasn’t forever doesn’t mean it still wasn’t magic”. Heartbreak truly is indescribable and I remember feeling just like Evie when I went through it. I looked at my divorced parents and all the other broken couples around me and questioned how they’re still standing when literally all I felt was pure agony. I find myself still mourning both the past AND the future. Sometimes I cry at 4am, beating myself up for allowing someone to affect me that much. But like Evie said, the worst thing abt heartbreak is that it DOESNT kill you. We’re all just learning how to deal with that ache in our chests day by day. This book made me hopeful again. It made look back on my relationship and still be able to see the beauty in finding a connection with someone. It made me realize just how fucking brave I was to give all of me to someone knowing a happy ending wasn’t promised. So as I sit here on my would be 6 year Anniversary, I’m deciding to still celebrate the love that I had, and lost.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hillary

    3.5 stars Wasn’t expecting this book to make me sad but here we are. I will think about that ending for a while now. I should have known Nicola Yoon would hurt my soul after The Sun is Also a Star, why am I even surprised? This is an incredibly cute story that reminds me of a Disney teen movie. It would be great if Disney actually picked it up because this would be an amazing match. It’s a feel-good breezy book that gives you all the feels. Also, it’s very hard to put down, it’s definitely a just- 3.5 stars Wasn’t expecting this book to make me sad but here we are. I will think about that ending for a while now. I should have known Nicola Yoon would hurt my soul after The Sun is Also a Star, why am I even surprised? This is an incredibly cute story that reminds me of a Disney teen movie. It would be great if Disney actually picked it up because this would be an amazing match. It’s a feel-good breezy book that gives you all the feels. Also, it’s very hard to put down, it’s definitely a just-one-more-chapter book. I was so engrossed in the romance and the dance classes I flew through it. I love how X and Evie gradually fall for each other. Reading about them made me so happy; they’re so supportive towards each other I can’t 😭 Despite that, I feel like I could have liked this book way more. I certainly had fun reading it but I didn’t love love it. At this point it’s not surprising for me, this is actually confirmation that while I love Nicola’s writing, I don’t really enjoy how the characters are written and the pacing of her books. This book in particular was rushed but also slow at the same time. The dance competition plot and Evie’s visions were shoved to the side more than once, and that’s a shame because I wanted more. In particular, the dance competition is very rushed, while parts with family, romance and friendships are very drawn out. I’m not saying I didn’t like reading about those, but the pacing seemed a tad too unbalanced. I also liked the characters, but apart from Evie and X, the others were too flat for me to actually care (this especially applies to the friend group and Shirley). I loved X to death though, so that kind of made things better. I’m sure NY fans are going to seriously love this book. It has a lot of the same elements that lots of people loved in her previous books with the added fun of a sprinkle of magic. I would say this is definitely another step up from Everything, Everything. I received an advanced reader copy through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    exploraDora

    ***3 stars*** DNFing this book because towards the end it takes a very sad turn, one I do not like and did not expect. Read on if you don't mind having this story spoiled. (view spoiler)[Near the end, we find out that X, the male love interest in this story, will die within the next 10 months. I do not know how or why and I don't want to know. I said in a review a while ago that I am still not ok with reading about people dying suddenly (especially if it's because of an illness that came out of t ***3 stars*** DNFing this book because towards the end it takes a very sad turn, one I do not like and did not expect. Read on if you don't mind having this story spoiled. (view spoiler)[Near the end, we find out that X, the male love interest in this story, will die within the next 10 months. I do not know how or why and I don't want to know. I said in a review a while ago that I am still not ok with reading about people dying suddenly (especially if it's because of an illness that came out of the blue). I still find myself easily triggered and I avoid any and all books who have even a hint of anything similar. (hide spoiler)] But that is my issue, it does not mean the book is not good. It is! I actually enjoyed it very much up until that point and I can't believe I'm saying this, but I am disappointed it's not just "another cliché romcom". If you're familiar with Yoon's other work, enjoy her writing style and don't mind crying, then this one might be a right fit for you. Honestly, I think it deserves a higher rating and I might have given it 5 stars under different circumstances, had I read it last year or anytime before February. But today me is not up to have her heart broken - hence only 3 stars..

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alex (The Scribe Owl)

    6/5/21 See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl! Thank you to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! 4/5 stars When I first saw a new Nicola Yoon book pop up on NetGalley out of the blue, I thought I read the name wrong. Or maybe it was a different Nicola Yoon. But no, she's back! I loved The Sun is Also a Star and Everything Everything is at the top of my TBR! I'm happy to report that this new edition to Nicola Yoon's repertoire did not disappoint. Firs 6/5/21 See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl! Thank you to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! 4/5 stars When I first saw a new Nicola Yoon book pop up on NetGalley out of the blue, I thought I read the name wrong. Or maybe it was a different Nicola Yoon. But no, she's back! I loved The Sun is Also a Star and Everything Everything is at the top of my TBR! I'm happy to report that this new edition to Nicola Yoon's repertoire did not disappoint. First of all, I loved the main character, Evie. She's obviously been through a lot, but she's still witty and fun to read about. When I heard the love interest was named X, I was a little nervous for the punk/grunge tall, dark, and brooding character that we were likely going to get, but I'm much happier with the way X was actually written. As with any Nicola Yoon book (so I presume, this is only my second), the big kicker of the story is the theme/themes portrayed. In Instructions for Dancing, those themes are loss and whether the high of love is worth the low of heartbreak. Both themes are powerful in their own right, though the latter is the one that is focused on the most. The way the themes were expressed was both masterful and heartwrenching, though I would expect no less from the author who made me bawl my eyes out over a previous novel. While hard topics and adorable romance are in Nicola Yoon's wheelhouse, it's pretty obvious that magical realism isn't. While the magic itself was interesting, all the stuff with the weird old lady trying to teach a lesson is overused and cliché. All in all, this was an engrossing novel with important themes and great characters. While The Sun is Also a Star is still my favorite, I'm so happy to see a new Nicola Yoon book. -------------------------- 2/12/21: GUYS GUESS WHO JUST GOT AN ARC OF THIS? NETGALLEY, I LOVE YOU 😂 -------------------------- 1/27/21: OH MY GOSH A NEW NICOLA YOON BOOK

  10. 4 out of 5

    Irena BookDustMagic

    Full review to come later today This is our book club pick for July. I am really enjoying it but I hate that I've seen spoilers in few reviews and now my whole reading experience is ruined. If you want to write spoilers, if that's your thing ok, but please don't do it in first two sentences of your review. Full review to come later today This is our book club pick for July. I am really enjoying it but I hate that I've seen spoilers in few reviews and now my whole reading experience is ruined. If you want to write spoilers, if that's your thing ok, but please don't do it in first two sentences of your review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Azanta

    i am terrified of love. i believe in it and i want it fervently but i am terrified of it. i’m terrified to fall and i’m cynical and basically what i’m trying to tell you is that i really saw myself in Evie as a main character. this book i think will be my comfort novel in all my heartbreak in my life. to remind myself that yes — that pain is real and that pain is a reminder that happiness existed, that it’s just love in a different form. my heart hurts and i’m going to go cry myself to sleep but i am terrified of love. i believe in it and i want it fervently but i am terrified of it. i’m terrified to fall and i’m cynical and basically what i’m trying to tell you is that i really saw myself in Evie as a main character. this book i think will be my comfort novel in all my heartbreak in my life. to remind myself that yes — that pain is real and that pain is a reminder that happiness existed, that it’s just love in a different form. my heart hurts and i’m going to go cry myself to sleep but i will carry these words with me, always.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    4.5 stars Nicola Yoon's new YA novel, Instructions for Dancing , is beautiful, emotional, thought-provoking, and so much more than the simple YA romance I was expecting. Ever since her parents got divorced and she discovered it was because her father met someone else, Evie stopped believing in love and happy ever after. She’s even giving all of her romance books away. At a strange Little Free Library, she is left with a manual called Instructions for Dancing . But that’s not all—when she sees 4.5 stars Nicola Yoon's new YA novel, Instructions for Dancing , is beautiful, emotional, thought-provoking, and so much more than the simple YA romance I was expecting. Ever since her parents got divorced and she discovered it was because her father met someone else, Evie stopped believing in love and happy ever after. She’s even giving all of her romance books away. At a strange Little Free Library, she is left with a manual called Instructions for Dancing . But that’s not all—when she sees her sister kissing her boyfriend, suddenly Evie can see the entire arc of their relationship, from joyful, romantic start to sad finish. And what she sees turns out to be a completely accurate picture of what happened before and what comes after. Suddenly she is bombarded by seeing what eventually will happen to happy couples in love, and it shakes her. Why would anyone want to fall in love if it is just destined to end in heartbreak? In an effort to figure out what is happening to her, she winds up at a dance studio, and starts taking ballroom dance lessons. It’s not long before she’s paired up with X, short for Xavier, for a dance competition. X is a confident, sexy, funny musician, and his philosophy is to say yes to everything, so this sudden ramp-up for a ballroom competition with a girl he has never met before doesn’t faze him. As the two draw closer and her resistance to live starts to create problems with family and friends, Evie has to wonder whether taking a leap of faith with X is worth the probability of failure and sadness. Should she just trust her heart? I finished Instructions for Dancing early this morning and really loved it. It made me smile, laugh, and it definitely made me cry. Nicola Yoon continues to dazzle me with her storytelling and slay me emotionally. Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Woodward

    Enchanting, wistful, and lovely! Nicola Yoon is such a gift. This book, at under 300 pages, proves that less can be more and quality always outshines quantity. This was a beautiful and heartbreaking read but ever optimistic, cheeky, and of course romantic. This book is a sweet blend of ballroom moves, first love, and loss, capped with just a tinge of magic! If you’ve considered or enjoyed her books before, do yourself a favor and please pick this one up! 4.5 ⭐️

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    “Why are you always so mad at dad? Danica asks her sister, Evie?” “He didn’t do anything wrong. They fell out of love and got divorce. It happens all the time”. Evie Thomas is in her last year of high school. Her father had an affair with another woman—manifesting in Evie, Mom, and her sister Danica moving into an apartment. Evie is angry and no longer believes in ‘happily-ever-after’ love. Evie meets a mysterious woman at a neighborhood Little Lending Library box. Evie was giving away her old “Why are you always so mad at dad? Danica asks her sister, Evie?” “He didn’t do anything wrong. They fell out of love and got divorce. It happens all the time”. Evie Thomas is in her last year of high school. Her father had an affair with another woman—manifesting in Evie, Mom, and her sister Danica moving into an apartment. Evie is angry and no longer believes in ‘happily-ever-after’ love. Evie meets a mysterious woman at a neighborhood Little Lending Library box. Evie was giving away her old favorite romance books. The magical-type-mysterious-woman encourages Evie to take home the book called “Instructions for Dancing”— and take dance lessons. Enter the studio in the world of ballroom dancing— and… there’s something else going on…. Evie has developed romantic sorcery powers. “Instructions for Dancing” is an adorably bittersweet young adult - coming-of-age - endearing novel…… with supernatural romance, tango dance competitions, inscrutable humor, (neon-purple spandex outfix?/!)… and questions about love. Why I read this? At age 69?/! #1…. Nicola Yoon is an an author I respect. She writes meaningful-insightful-emotional-young adult novels….with irresistible characters. I enjoyed meeting her at a book festival in Berkeley…. and I have enjoyed all of her books. #2….my friend Lauren inspired me. She was reading it. I joined her. (that simple)! Glad I did. 💃 “Instructions for Dancing” reminds us that love is messy, complex — not about how it ends—but rather about the moments we spend together - what we choose to focus on. “Love is too small, too singular a word for the feeling it’s trying to hold. Just one word isn’t enough, so I want to use them all. Sometimes I think love is the reason language was invented”. Evie…. “I fall asleep thinking about the fact that even though I’ve been trying to deny it, I’m in love with Xavier Darius Woods, and I have been for a while now”. Awwwww 💕 A little love never hurt anyone.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    thank you to turning pages (penguin books nz) for the arc! i vlogged my reading experience here :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_eJu... thank you to turning pages (penguin books nz) for the arc! i vlogged my reading experience here :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_eJu...

  16. 4 out of 5

    sirius proserpine

    you should’ve seen how fast i clicked that tbr button when i saw the cover and the face i made when i read the synopsis and realized this isn’t wlw 😭

  17. 4 out of 5

    kimberly ☆

    thank you so much delacorte press for this arc! 5/5 stars!! i know i’m a little late to the game, but this book was worth it. this story is like a calm roller coaster with a devastating twist almost. i wasn’t expecting the ending, and it’s very bitter sweet emphasis on the bitter but i really enjoyed the story. i like the realism of the story and almost magical realism as well i never really read books like that and i’m glad that this is the one that introduced me to it. the main character being b thank you so much delacorte press for this arc! 5/5 stars!! i know i’m a little late to the game, but this book was worth it. this story is like a calm roller coaster with a devastating twist almost. i wasn’t expecting the ending, and it’s very bitter sweet emphasis on the bitter but i really enjoyed the story. i like the realism of the story and almost magical realism as well i never really read books like that and i’m glad that this is the one that introduced me to it. the main character being black and having box braids, and having a love interest that also is black is so important to me, because you don’t really see that in contemporary romance is like ever which really needs to change. but the story has so many important meanings embedded in it and even though it did it end how i was expecting, or really wanted it too it was still a very good book. 10 out of 10, nicola yoon is at it again she’s everything i love her.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

    Actual Rating: 3.5✶ TW: alcohol, death, grief, infidelity.

  19. 5 out of 5

    emily • emilybookedup

    all i can say is... WOW 🥺 INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING had everything—beautiful writing, diversity, comedic one liners, love, life lessons, OMG moments, amazing characters, nods to readers and LFLs, dealing with grief and loss, short chapters... 🙌🏼 on top of all that, Evie and X might just make their way into my top 5 fiction couples ever. i went into this blind simply because i’ll read anything Yoon writes and i highly reco you do the same 🤍 thank you to Penguin Randomhouse and GetUnderlined for the all i can say is... WOW 🥺 INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING had everything—beautiful writing, diversity, comedic one liners, love, life lessons, OMG moments, amazing characters, nods to readers and LFLs, dealing with grief and loss, short chapters... 🙌🏼 on top of all that, Evie and X might just make their way into my top 5 fiction couples ever. i went into this blind simply because i’ll read anything Yoon writes and i highly reco you do the same 🤍 thank you to Penguin Randomhouse and GetUnderlined for the gifted copy 🙌🏼 full review on @emilybookedup

  20. 5 out of 5

    Camryn

    This is Nicola Yoon’s best book. Full stop. The question this book grapples with the whole story is whether or not love is worth it when you know it’s going to end or won’t last forever. And I admit to feeling the same way as Evie, the main character. I hate the idea of falling for someone and breaking up. I think I close myself off to people because of it. But I thought about my dad. He died two years ago. I wondered if I’d go back and somehow make it so that he’d never existed so that I wouldn This is Nicola Yoon’s best book. Full stop. The question this book grapples with the whole story is whether or not love is worth it when you know it’s going to end or won’t last forever. And I admit to feeling the same way as Evie, the main character. I hate the idea of falling for someone and breaking up. I think I close myself off to people because of it. But I thought about my dad. He died two years ago. I wondered if I’d go back and somehow make it so that he’d never existed so that I wouldn’t have to feel the pain of losing him. And of course I’d never do that. Loving my dad — and him loving me — is part of who I am. I’m the person I am because of that. I’m glad that I had all the moments I had with him, even when I hated him, even when I didn’t want to talk with him. I wouldn’t give that up for the world. I think this is Nicola’s best book because it’s romantic, but talks about the realities of love. A lot of times it doesn’t last forever. But that doesn’t make it any less important to us. (That being said, I don’t know if I’ll be able to reread this for a while. I loved Evie’s dad very much. He reminded me so much of my own that it kind of hurt. The whole family situation did. I love Evie. I love how snarky and vulnerable she is, even though she tries to hide it. I loved how effortless the relationship between her and X seemed to be. So many times relationships feel forced, especially with guy love interests, but I got it here. I got it. And I love, love, love X. Not afraid to be “feminine.” Not afraid of Evie and all of her contradictions. Funny, smart, angry, talented. And I’m imagining he’s hot — I love a boy with locs.) God, what a book. I’m so grateful Nicola shared it with us.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay (pawsomereads)

    4.5⭐️ OMG, my poor heart. This was an amazing book that broke me and put me back together at the same time. I love Nicola Yoon’s writing and her characters so much and this book definitely captures the same charm as her previous novels. Instructions for Dancing follows Evie, a high school senior, who used to swoon over romance novels, but she doesn’t believe in love anymore after finding out her father cheated on her mother. When she decides to rid herself of all her romance novels, she encounter 4.5⭐️ OMG, my poor heart. This was an amazing book that broke me and put me back together at the same time. I love Nicola Yoon’s writing and her characters so much and this book definitely captures the same charm as her previous novels. Instructions for Dancing follows Evie, a high school senior, who used to swoon over romance novels, but she doesn’t believe in love anymore after finding out her father cheated on her mother. When she decides to rid herself of all her romance novels, she encounters a mysterious elderly woman and suddenly develops a special power. She can now see visions of a couple’s full romantic relationship from beginning to end. Determined to discover what’s happening to her, Evie finds herself at La Brea Dance studio, where she learns ballroom dancing with a boy named X. A boy who might just be the key to finding answers and opening her heart up to love again. Nicola Yoon’s writing is so good! It’s vivid and descriptive without being too fluffy or drawn out. It’s so beautiful and keeps you so engaged with the story. I loved that she chose to add a magical realism element to this one. It definitely made things interesting and set up some important plot points. It made for a quick yet extremely meaningful read. This was a really touching story. There were definitely some sad parts but heartwarming ones as well. There was so much discussion about the concept of love and happiness such as the question of whether happiness in the moment is worth heartbreak in the future. It took such an in-depth view of relationships and vulnerability that felt so impactful. I forgot that I was reading a YA novel during most of it because, while there were cute parts for sure, a lot was about questions I’m sure people ask themselves throughout their whole lives. It was ultimately all about love; the beginning and the end but mostly all the moments in between. This was so poignant and moving, I had all the feels while reading this. Although it had a magical element, it was also extremely realistic and taught some important lessons: live in the moment and love while you can.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ebony Rose

    I'll admit it: I am a crying mf. I cry all the time - movies, tv, books, commercials...anything with even a slight emotional quality to it will usually make me cry. But this book? I finished it last night and WEPT. I mean, I sobbed myself to sleep, feeling incredibly moved by another phenomenal Nicola Yoon read. I am not sure how to put into words what reading this book was like - especially the second half that was full of so much emotion, and so many equally wonderful and painful life lessons. I'll admit it: I am a crying mf. I cry all the time - movies, tv, books, commercials...anything with even a slight emotional quality to it will usually make me cry. But this book? I finished it last night and WEPT. I mean, I sobbed myself to sleep, feeling incredibly moved by another phenomenal Nicola Yoon read. I am not sure how to put into words what reading this book was like - especially the second half that was full of so much emotion, and so many equally wonderful and painful life lessons. Nicola Yoon is so special, and I feel so lucky to have experienced this book (which is how I always feel reading her work). Instructions for Dancing was just so beautiful, so full, so tender, so raw, so aching, and so loving. I feel cracked wide open. Highly recommend.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maisha Farzana Himi

    "Despite how it might seem this is not a love story" "Happiness is tricky. Sometimes you have to fight for it. Sometimes, though—the best times—it sneaks up behind you, wraps an arm around your waist and pulls you close." In this book, we are following our protagonist Evie Thomas. Evie is a bookworm. Rather I should say, she used to be a bookworm. Books were her friends. She used to live in the pages of books, specially she loved romance. Romance was her favourite genre. She loved to dream abo "Despite how it might seem this is not a love story" "Happiness is tricky. Sometimes you have to fight for it. Sometimes, though—the best times—it sneaks up behind you, wraps an arm around your waist and pulls you close." In this book, we are following our protagonist Evie Thomas. Evie is a bookworm. Rather I should say, she used to be a bookworm. Books were her friends. She used to live in the pages of books, specially she loved romance. Romance was her favourite genre. She loved to dream about happily ever afters until her dreams shattered... "I could pluck any random book from my favourites shelf and settle into my fuzzy pink chair for a good read. By chapter three or four at the latest- I'd be feeling better." "The books don't feel like they belong to me anymore. They love stories are like fairy tales you're not meant to believe in them forever. I stopped believing in them the day after dad moved out." After seeing her dad who used to be her idol cheating on her mom, Evie stops believing in happily ever afters. The divorce has snatched all of her sweet dreams about love and relationships. Then one day Evie miraculously acquires an ability to see the future of any couple when they kiss; her life takes another dramatic leap. Her belief in love wears out even more when she herself witnesses that Every love story end up with a heartbreak. "Given enough time, all love stories turn into heartbreak stories- Heartbreak = Love + Time." "Second chance- these days I realize this is the most unrealistic trope. If someone hurts you once, why would you give them the chance to do it again?" Evie sets off to enquire about her new power and know more about it. She stumbles into a boy named X into a dance academy and is kinda forced to participate in a competition where ishe's partnered with X. This boy this different. But to fall in love is the last thing Evie wants. Is it worth taking the risk? Will Evie take the risk despite being afraid that her own story may also end up with a terrible heartbreak? “Sometimes I wish there were a weather report for your life. Tomorrow’s forecast is for routine high school shenanigans in the morning, but with dramatic parental betrayal by late afternoon, ending with wild emotional despair by nightfall. Details after the next commercial break.” “Love is the question and the answer and the reason to ask in the first place. It’s everything. All of it.” I finished this book just a few minutes ago. Finished it in a single sitting. It was a fast read and the chapters are also relatively short but the book is amazing. It first broke my heart into pieces then also mended it. This book is all about hope, giving life a chance. It did it's job perfectly. It delivered me hope after making me shed a few tears from my eyes. "The problem with broken hearts isn’t that they kill you. It’s that they don’t." "To love is human. We can't help ourselves.' Instructions for Dancing is a very touching story. There were both sad and heart warming parts in this book. The overall message is wonderful. But somehow the romance felt a bit rushed to me. Evie and Xander are great together but I didn't really see much chemistry building. Would loved the romance if it was given a little more time.( well, I love slow burns more, you know? The effect of reading MZ's books..lol) The writing is gorgeous of course. Nicola Yoon never disappoints her readers. The characters and the humor is also really good. Really enjoyed this book. I'm really glad that I read it. Our fingertips brush and it feeels like I'm going to slip away from him. But I don't. At the last second I curl my fingers and our hands catch. And then I do the thing you're supposed to do when you find love. I hold on."

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Gillan

    Nicola Yoon strikes again! I have loved every book of hers and this one is no exception. The story is so creative & nothing I would ever expect. Who knew dancing & future telling went so well together? My only problem was how fast X and Evie’s relationship developed. Maybe I’m just more used to slow-burn but WOW that was fast. I feel like we didn’t deserve the kiss when it happened. If anything it would’ve been better after the finals. All in all, it was a great read and I would definitely recomm Nicola Yoon strikes again! I have loved every book of hers and this one is no exception. The story is so creative & nothing I would ever expect. Who knew dancing & future telling went so well together? My only problem was how fast X and Evie’s relationship developed. Maybe I’m just more used to slow-burn but WOW that was fast. I feel like we didn’t deserve the kiss when it happened. If anything it would’ve been better after the finals. All in all, it was a great read and I would definitely recommend. Yoon is the YA author I definitely needed this year

  25. 5 out of 5

    jesse📚

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an Advanced Reader’s Copy for this book in exchange for an honest review. RATING: 3.5 STARS But I’ve seen the ground. It is covered in lethal spikes fashioned from the bones of other jumpers. The fall is not at all survivable. While I’m not particularly a huge fan of Everything, Everything, I read this book on the same day that the ARC was given to me simply because Nicola Yoon is a wildly popular Young Adult author and Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an Advanced Reader’s Copy for this book in exchange for an honest review. RATING: 3.5 STARS But I’ve seen the ground. It is covered in lethal spikes fashioned from the bones of other jumpers. The fall is not at all survivable. While I’m not particularly a huge fan of Everything, Everything, I read this book on the same day that the ARC was given to me simply because Nicola Yoon is a wildly popular Young Adult author and this is her newest work in nearly five years! Instructions for Dancing is a light but heartfelt tale of Evie, a girl dealing with her life in the aftermath of her parents’ divorce and her father’s betrayal. Just when she decided to change her entire view on love and dating and after a strange occurrence with a ‘library’ and a strange woman, she suddenly discovered she had a newfound ability to see glimpses of relationships; what happened, what is happening, and what is going to happen, whenever a couple kissed. This book made me feel a bunch of emotions. There were times when I was left smiling at me e-reader and there were other times when I mouthed ”oh no!” to certain scenes. It’s a special kind of book; there’s an element of magical surrealism in it and yet Evie’s journey of tackling her own demons take the center stage. I love the way the story leans more toward acceptance than anything else. I love how Nicola Yoon wrote the dynamics between Evie and her friends, and I could feel how deeply personal Evie’s journey in this book is. But most of all, I like the way this book wrapped: that people can fall in and out of love, but what matters is what is happening in the present, and that yes, people can fall out of love too, but that doesn’t mean that what they had wasn’t real or that the love they had was pointless or wasn’t worth it. It’s not all about how it ends; it’s also about the beginnings and the in-betweens. One of the things I noticed about this book is how rushed some of the parts are, especially the competition scenes where everything seemed to happen in a blur. Though I do understand that this is an ARC and there might be changes with the final book. Evie’s newfound ‘powers’, I think, also didn’t take the center stage long enough. Though I like the openness of the story and the ending, I would appreciate it more if we’re given more background about where she got said ‘powers’ (I would love to know about the mysterious woman and the library!) and Evie’s realization of how the power changed her life and the way she thinks. One of the other cons in this book is that in the end, we don’t get any solid ‘conclusion’ after all. We didn’t get to see what happened afterward to our characters. This book didn’t end with a “happy ending” but it wasn’t a “sad ending” either. But in a way, I do understand that it’s also how life works, and I like the ‘openness’ to the ending which also means the readers can make it what they like it to be, so in a way, it’s a thing that I felt a little skeptical about but eventually came to like.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brittany (whatbritreads)

    *Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for review!* I literally read this book so quickly I didn’t even have time to add it to my ‘currently reading’ shelf. That is a testament to how much I didn’t want to put it down. First and foremost, these are two of the sweetest protagonists of any YA ever. Individually and as a couple, they just made me little heart so happy. The protagonist of this book is literally a romance obsessed teenage girl and there is an entire chapt *Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for review!* I literally read this book so quickly I didn’t even have time to add it to my ‘currently reading’ shelf. That is a testament to how much I didn’t want to put it down. First and foremost, these are two of the sweetest protagonists of any YA ever. Individually and as a couple, they just made me little heart so happy. The protagonist of this book is literally a romance obsessed teenage girl and there is an entire chapter dedicated to her listing her favourite romance novel tropes?! Literally, she has great taste as well. It just made me laugh at how completely relatable that bit was. And to make it even better, the love interest is a man who READS ONE OF HER FAVOURITE ROMANCE BOOKS?! Sigh. They’re so cute, funny and have amazing banter and chemistry, swoon worthy. There was a subtle fantasy element to this book that I really enjoyed, though I’m not going to lie I didn’t really understand it. It felt unexplained and just appeared and disappeared periodically. Don’t get me wrong, it was really cool and an intriguing concept that worked well within the narrative, but I wish it would’ve been explored a tad more – it felt like a wasted opportunity. Through the use of this though, the book did an amazing job of talking us through love and loss. Some of the insights in here were truly beautiful and it was nice to see the characters have changes in perspectives and think about life in different ways. I enjoyed the different portrayals of love and forgiveness, and the message that just because something might end it doesn’t mean it’s not worth enjoying in the moment. I loved that. It was a short and sweet book, the pacing was quick and it did keep me engaged. The chapters are mostly super short so you can dip in and out of this story super easily. Although this is a positive, it does feed into my main criticism of the book – I wish it was longer. I feel like having a more bulked out story would’ve felt a lot more engaging for me as it was over so quickly I kind of couldn’t believe it. It all happened a bit *too* quickly. Though I’ve said that, that might be the kind of book you enjoy, so it’ll be perfect for you!

  27. 5 out of 5

    TheEuphoricZat

    Thanks to #TheWriteReads and Penguin for making this book available to me as part of the blog tour! This is the first Nicola Yoon book that I have ever read and it is good that I am definitely going to be reading her other books. We follow Evie Thomas who has lost all hope in love since she found out the reason her parents got a divorce. It seems to her that everyone (her mother, sister and even father) have gotten over the divorce and she is the only one still holding on and dealing with her loss Thanks to #TheWriteReads and Penguin for making this book available to me as part of the blog tour! This is the first Nicola Yoon book that I have ever read and it is good that I am definitely going to be reading her other books. We follow Evie Thomas who has lost all hope in love since she found out the reason her parents got a divorce. It seems to her that everyone (her mother, sister and even father) have gotten over the divorce and she is the only one still holding on and dealing with her loss of faith in love. She decides to get rid of all her romance novels. All the books have built her standard of love and romance. Contemporary and Paranormal genre romances that she used to enjoy, no longer hold importance or even spark hope in her anymore. She takes all her books and donates them to the little library in her town. That is when she meets an old lady who advises her to pick up a book title "Instructions for Dancing". A book that illustrates dance sequences. When she gets back home and see her sister, Danica and her boyfriend kissing she is instantly thrust into a vision. A vision of how their romance started and how it ends. She is immediately fazed and when her sister tells her later that she had broken up with her boyfriend just the way she saw in her vision, she knew immediately that something was wrong. When she gets back to school, she tells her friend Martin about her vision and he is immediately intrigued. He suggests that her visions have something to do with the elusive old woman she met at the Little Free Library. He suggests that she follows the instructions on the book and visit the dance studio whose address was on the book. This leads her to La Brea Dance, a small dance studio that specialized in group and private ballroom dance lessons. (to avoid enticing spoilers) She is enrolled in a dance competition with a handsome guy, X. X is adventurous, daring, passionate with a philosophy to say yes to everything including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he just met because his grandparents asked him to. In learning to dance together, they had to get to know each other. Once she got to know X and how he viewed the world and his presence in it, she started to think about her new gift and how it has made her see love in a different way. How she had let her new gift hold her from believing in love. When they finally kissed and she saw what the future had in store for them she is heartbroken and she returns to her shell. The love she has for X has sadness and pain at the end, she could see that but was she willing to spend the time she had with him now mourning for the end of their love. Mourning for the end of them. She is faced with the sudden fear of losing the NOW because of the FUTURE. The ending definitely made me cry and made me mad at the same time but the fact that she came to the understanding, that will things might last forever, it is better to enjoy things at the moment so that you can reflect upon it in the future.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Roaringwave

    This book was enjoyable. I especially liked the fact that the author almost seemed to be making fun of the romance cliches that she used.

  29. 4 out of 5

    bright.books

    That was beautiful.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katie ♡

    Nicola Yoon has just announced the cover for this book and I am 100% here for it!!

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