It’s always great to end the week on an amazing book.
Instructions For Dancing
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?
I honestly feel like I’m on an emotional knife edge at the moment, it’s been a while since I’ve felt this invested in a story and gotten so emotional especially one that managed to strike such an incredible balance between being lighthearted and easily readable but also exploring the evolving nature and breakdown of relationships. This is the kind of story that I got so engrossed in that time moved a little differently and I really didn’t want to put it down and I don’t know if I went in with too many expectations but I certainly wasn’t anticipating feeling all my big feelings in the course of one book.
I loved the magical element of the story, even though it has a mostly negative impact on Evie it was a really interesting aspect of the story and I quite enjoyed seeing how the relationships evolved even though they didn’t always last and I liked how this helps Evie work through some of the things that hold her back in relationships.
I really appreciated the way the relationships were handled in this story, it was great that the time was taken to look at Evie’s Dad’s relationship from different perspectives, to show that we are more than our mistakes and that there is sometimes room for forgiveness. I also liked that that was echoed in the changing dynamics of her friendship group and that Evie learns that love is also an evolution.
I found Evie wonderfully relatable and loved getting to take this journey with her, especially when it came to X and getting her a little out of her comfort zone. X is so sweet and his joy in life was definitely contagious, I had big smiles every time X and Evie were bantering together. I have to say though special mention goes to Fifi, some of her one liners had me laughing out loud, she was a perfect catalyst for X and Evie’s budding relationship.
The little interludes were also a lot of fun, the messages between the group of friends, the funny extra insights that made me laugh but let me get to know the characters better.
Honestly I feel like I had so much I want to gush about with this book but I’m finding it so hard to get the words out, all I will say though is that I would highly recommend reading it because it has everything you could hope for, a little bit of magic, a sweet romance, secrets and betrayals and characters that you can’t help but love.
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.