Review: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

Review: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon is the ballroom dance book I have been waiting for. With descriptions of dance and a little magical realism, this is a unique read with a lot of heart. The main character is also well-developed, and the philosophical questions throughout the story make for a thought-provoking read. Fans of Nicola Yoon will not be disappointed with this latest work.

Review: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola YoonTitle: Instructions for Dancing
Author: Nicola Yoon
Also by this author: Everything, Everything
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genres: Contemporary
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
Rating: four-half-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

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?

Amazon “Book

Review: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

When Evie receives a book called “Instructions for Dancing” from a free little library, she is  compelled to follow the address inside, leading to a dance studio. While she only meant to return the book, she ends up taking dance lessons and meets a boy named X who ropes her into signing up for an amateur dance competition. At the same time, the book contains elements of magical realism as Evie also gains the ability to see the entire timeline of a couple’s relationship when they kiss. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting for a book about ballroom dance, so I knew this one would be a win for me. However, I would have liked to see more descriptions of dance throughout.

❀ Relatable Main Character

Evie is a relatable main character, and she is cynical when it comes to love because of her parents’ divorce. She isn’t convinced that love is worth the risk, and this outlook on love worsens when she watches countless couples fall out of love. When she meets X, however, he teaches her to live in the moment and appreciate the present. I loved the way the two balance each other out, and getting to watch Evie slowly leave her comfort zone.

❀ Beautifully Written

As is typical of Nicola Yoon’s books, this one is beautifully written. Fun scenes are mixed in with serious subjects, and the style is both whimsical and filled with emotion. Fans of Nicola Yoon will recognize her tendency to explore philosophical questions in her prose. In this book, she explores relationships and themes of whether or not love is worth the heartbreak. Love may not last forever, but the story ultimately contains a beautiful message of enjoying the present while it lasts.

❀ Touching and Realistic Story

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon is a touching and realistic story about living in the moment. I adored the ballroom dance scenes, and the main character is relatable. Nicola Yoon’s writing style, both lyrical and philosophical, makes the book shine. I would definitely recommend this one, especially to those looking for a thought-provoking yet entertaining read.

About Nicola Yoon

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.

12 thoughts on “Review: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

  1. Sam@WLABB says:

    I am getting all emotional over here just reading your review. This book broke me in the best way. Like you said, it was about living in the moment and left me with a lot to think about. And, yes, Yoon’s writing is beautiful. She totally left me a puddle with this one.

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