#1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star Nicola Yoon is back with a new and utterly unique romance.
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?
Wow. What an absolute beaut of a book. And I mean that with all my heart. With Instructions for Dancing, Yoon has crafted a wonderful, intricate novel, full of hope and strength and heartbreak. For as much as I cried reading this – right from the very start – I still got the warm, fuzzy feeling I read Romance for, even it was tinged with a bit of sadness.
I connected with Evie instantly. She’s a teenager who no longer believes in love after her parents’ divorce. Her own experiences and situation resonated with me, and Yoon really gets the reader right into the character’s head. It’s hard not to feel for her, as she gets rid of the Romance novels she used to love. But when she gets struck with a strange ability, Evie searches for answers. When she witnesses a couple kissing, she sees how their romance began, key scenes from their lives together, and the end of it all.
For Evie, it really cements her idea that love is pointless and painful. And it’s hard not to feel deeply for her in her predicament. She’s at an age where she’s trying to figure things out, just about to see everything change for her and her friends, and the complications at home make this all the more difficult. Things change, however, when she finds herself at La Brea Dance.
It’s here Evie meets X, and they’re pulled into a partnership. X’s philosophy is to say yes to everything, and Evie starts to really reconsider her stance on love.
Yoon absolutely draws you in, each page bringing you deeper and deeper. I actually read this book fairly fast for me, devouring it in just a few days. It’s so heartfelt, with a lot of moments that are easy to relate to. Throughout the book you really see Evie’s struggle between her brain and her heart, and witness her growth as she grows closer to X. There’s a sense, too, of time being lost, a theme present throughout the book.
Evie’s life is completely different to how it was a year before, and although she gets all these hints that she should make the most of the time she does have with people, her own issues and worldview get in the way of that.
This is a Romance, but it’s not a love story as such. Although the story centres in part around Evie and X, it has more to say about family, friendships, and the bonds we form in life, how it really is worth, sometimes, taking a chance.
It’s a wonderfully written, heart-warming and heart-breaking read, with truly tender moments and a lot to say. So if this isn’t yet on your TBR, what are you waiting for?
‘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
About the Author
Nicola Yoon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Instructions for Dancing, Everything, Everything and 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.