Instruction for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
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I was sent a copy of this novel by the publishers to review, however this has no bearing on my rating or review.
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?
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Instructions for Dancing is a bittersweet yet life-affirming romance read, Evie, the main character, used to be a romance reader until her parents marriage ended in divorce after her father cheated on her Mom. Evie no longer believes romance can last forever, and with this she begins to see visions of every couple’s eventual break-up, I loved this little magical element to the story, it gave the plot a new and unique twist that I wasn’t expecting. Instructions for Dancing delves into the question of why bother to fall in love with someone if it’ll only end in heartbreak, and Evie is convinced every relationship ends in heartbreak and misery.
The dancing element of the story is a little random to begin with, and the training scenes are quite few and far between but it creates an interesting addition to the plot, Evie attends a beginners class and is paired up with X in the hopes of entering an amateur dancers competition. And from here, their romance begins to blossom, but it all depends on Evie’s willingness to potentially have her heart broken. Nicola Yoon has created a story that fuels Evie’s character development, Evie’s journey throughout the book is so well written!
I loved how realistic and relatable this story is for many teens and young adults, it’s a complex story of love and loss, of hopes and regrets, tied up in a deceivingly joyful and enticing cover! The chapters varied from written paragraphs to lists and text messages which really gave you a feel of Evie’s personality, I personally loved the lists, they were usually quite funny and sarcastic. I was definitely expecting a light and fluffy novel, but instead, Nicola Yoon has crafted an emotional and personal read. Instructions for Dancing is a fantastic book about taking a chance on love.
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