Blog Tour Review: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

About the Book:

Publisher: Penguin

Length: 304 Pages

Pub. Date: 3rd June 2021

ISBN: 9780241516911

Synopsis: 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?

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

LINKS: Goodreads    |      Amazon    |

My Review:

After her parent’s divorce, Evie has given up on love. Why fall in love when it always leads to heartbreak? While donating all of her favorite romance novels to a Little Free Library, Evie picks up a book, which magically gives her visions of couple’s relationships from the very beginning to the very end. After seeing the end of so many relationships, including some couples close to her, Evie is more convinced than ever that love is not for her.

The book also leads her to a local dance studio where she meets X. Evie decides to sign up for classes and is paired with X. As feelings between them develop, Evie has to decide if loving someone is worth the risk of potential heartache. Is it better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all?

Love stories are like fairy tales: you’re not meant to believe in them forever.

I enjoyed this story. It has so many great characters, a unique magical element, and wonderful messages about life and love. Evie is such a well-developed and interesting character with a quick wit and a bit of cynicism. She has become a bit bitter of love, which isn’t surprising considering her parents recently divorced, and she can see visions of people’s relationships. Some of Evie’s thoughts about romance are hysterical, and I love the chapters where she talks about romance novels. She’s so afraid to give in to her feelings and fears loss more than she wants love.

X, Evie’s dance partner and potential love interest is fabulous as well. He and Evie really get each other, and they develop a lovely connection. X is a musician and the grandson of the owners of the dance studio, and his support and understanding of Evie are so sweet. They have fantastic banter throughout the story. Evie’s friends, as well as the people who work at and own the dance studio, are fantastic, especially Evie’s dance instructor Fi. She is so funny and has some memorable lines in the story! When she instructs Evie and X and says things like “Steer a little less. She’s not a large construction vehicle,” and “You’re leading her, not kidnapping her,” I couldn’t help but laugh. She has a fun and easy way with her students, and I love her humor.

No rocking side to side. You are not a little teapot.

The magical element (Evie’s visions) is really unique, and I love how the author delves into the positives and negatives of it. I also love the dancing element. From the practices to the final competition, the dancing is so exciting and fun, and the chemistry between Evie and X shines in these scenes. Their dates and moments with friends are also endearing and show a deep connection growing between Evie and X.

One of my favorite parts of most books is the romance, and I adored this aspect of the novel. Though the story focuses on and I loved the budding romance between Evie and X, I was also captivated by some of the other romances in the story. X’s grandparents, for example, had an epic, long-lasting, and beautiful love story, and Evie’s parent’s both experienced new love. I definitely think there are strong messages throughout the book about different kinds of love (new love, unrequited love, long-lasting love, etc.) and embracing love.

Instructions for Dancing is a great book about growing up, healing, friendship, and learning to let go of things you can’t control. Messages of living in the moment, embracing love, and forgiveness are also explored. I didn’t expect it to be such an emotional read for me, but it was. It’s cute and charming and little bit devastating, and I may have cried on more than one occasion while reading the book. I definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoy contemporary YA romance and am so thankful to NetGalley, Nicola Yoon, and The Write Reads for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The love story and messages about love.
  • The characters!!

Favorite Lines:

I used to believe in happily-ever-afters because they had one. I want to go back and unknow all the things I now know. But you can’t unknow things.

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.

Love is the question and the answer and the reason to ask in the first place. It’s everything. All of it.

About the Author:


Nicola Yoon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Instructions for Dancing, Everything, Everythingand 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.

17 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

  1. so glad you enjoyed this one! i’ve seen it around and i’ve been wanting to get to it. the whole dancing premise sounds interesting, and i loved reading your review! 🙂

  2. I still haven’t picked up a book by this author yet but I love the sound of this one! Glad you liked it.

  3. I am right there with you. I did not expect to be a puddle from reading this book. Yoon really did a great job showing the beauty in the pain here.

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