6.30.2021 | Wednesday

Instructions for Dancing

category: Book Reviews

Instructions for Dancingtitle: Instructions for Dancing
author: Nicola Yoon
published: 1 June 2021
publisher: Delacorte Press
genre(s): magical realism, romance
pages: 281
source: Book of the Month
format: hardcover
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | BookBub | Goodreads

rating: five-stars

the blurb

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?

my review

Do NOT let the gorgeous cover fool you into thing that this is a softly sweet YA romcom! It is not. It pulls at every single heartstring. It is magical. It is thought-provoking. And it’s incredibly emotional, running the gamut of the spectrum. It is simply… beautiful.

he magical realism element is one I’ve never seen before, and I really liked how it was used to structure the story. Evie has gained the magical ability to see the romantic history, at least the high points, of a kissing couple… but only the first time they kiss. This is hard for her to accept, as she is still struggling with the demise of her parents’ marriage. Nor does it help that virtually every story she sees ends in heartbreak, not helping her increasingly cynical outlook on love. But then one thing leads to another, and she meets X, who slowly chips away at that wall of cynicism.

This book is so much more than a love story. It’s so much more than a love story. It’s a story about friends and family. It’s a story about finding yourself in a new normal, and finding a way through it. It’s about love and loss, and everything in between.

Such a beautiful read!

About Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything is her first novel.

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