My dear bookish friends,
I am so happy to kick off the new Ultimate Blog Tour by TheWriteReads for Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon today! Big thanks to Dave (as always) for another amazing read (seriously been reading some incredible books lately thanks to these tours!), and also to the author and Penguin for my review ecopy of this beautiful book! This is the perfect summer read, so grab your beach bag and a towel (and don’t forget your copy of this book!) and head to the beach (or the couch, wherever you want to read really)!
#1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star Nicola Yoon is back with her eagerly anticipated third novel. With all the heart and hope of her last two books, this is an utterly unique romance.
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?
I am utterly, deeply, fully in love. With this book! When I first saw it I knew it would be a book I’d like, but that I loved it THIS much…? WOW. I’ve never read a Nicola Yoon before, but trust me when I say I will rectify this now. I want to read them all! And I hope there will be many more to come!
But now, let’s get back to Instructions for Dancing (how cute is this title?!) first. I knew I would love it, but that it would give me ALL THE FEELS? That it would rip my heart out and put it back together, that it would leave me so full of emotions – I really did not expect that. If all Nicola Yoon books are written like this, I know I will enjoy them just as much.
Evie doesn’t believe in love anymore, even though she used to love her beloved collections of romance novels so much. But then she found out that not every love story has a happy ending, especially not in real life – finding out that her father cheated her on her mother crushed Evie. And with that, her romantic heart. So, Evie decides to get rid of all her love stories. After all, they are all lies anyway, aren’t they?
And then, all of a sudden, something weird happens to Evie, after a mysterious woman hands her a book with ‘instructions for dancing’, and then disappears. Suddenly, Evie can see how other couples’ love story began, how they fell in love, how they enjoy every moment together, but also… how their love ends. What happened to her? What is this special power she now has, and why her? Is the mysterious woman to blame, and the book she gave Evie? The book offers a clue: it leads her to a dance studio. There, Evie meets X – a boy who will soon be her dance partner! Might he be the key to all of Evie’s questions?
Right from the start, I fell in love with Yoon’s writing. It’s so beautiful and vivid, I could imagine everything right before my eyes! Most contemporary YA novels don’t feature much of magic or fantasy, but this story had an element of magical realism which I absolutely loved. For me, it was the cherry on top of a big cup of yummy ice cream. AND it had sprinkles too! I loved that on top of this, the story was very deep and meaningful. The way Yoon managed to combine love, sadness, heartbreak, and magic made for a very special read, and once I started it I couldn’t stop anymore.
As you can tell from the start of my review, this book isn’t all happy and fluffy. There are some seriously sad parts to it, but it was also so heartwarming and full of meaning, something I really appreciate in my reads, especially when they are YA. I loved that it included really deep questions and made me think – I think a really good book should do just that. Is a moment of happiness worth heartache in the future? I think this is something that many people ask themselves, not only as teenagers, but through all the ages, and I really appreciated this much depth in the story.
But on top of this, it was still also a proper YA contemporary novel. It had so many cute moments, so much anticipation of love – you could say that it is all about love, really. How is ends, but also how it starts, and what it feels like to love.
Despite the magical element, Instructions for Dancing felt so real, so deep, so moving. It definitely raises some important questions, and it teaches some lessons, too – if you want to hear them. Make as much of every moment in life, live in the moment, and love deeply. While you can. Be bold, be courageous, take chances. And, most of all, LOVE.
I had actual gooesebumps at some points while reading this, and I loved every moment of it. If you are a fan of young adult novels, if you like your reads to be sprinkled with kindred souls, love, great friendships (and dance moves!), all garnished with some magic, Instructions for Dancing is THE book for you!
Definitely a 5 star read for me!
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! Be sure to check out all the other stops on this tour! (Also, can I just add how much I loved creating the banner for this tour? The cover of the book is so beautiful and I loved working with the colours!!)
Thank you all so much for reading!