It’s time for my first The Write Reads blog tour of June and we are starting with an absolute gem! Today, I’ll be talking about a sweet young adult romance that turned me into a puddle of emotions. It’s by a well-known author in the young adult community, though this is my first book by here. I promise you, it won’t be the last! What book am I talking about? It’s Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon!
Before I get started, I have to thank Dave @ The Write Reads, Penguin, and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for my participation with this tour. As always, it is much appreciated! Small plug: if you’re a book blogger looking to get into the blog tour scene, you cannot go wrong with Dave and all the wonderful people that make The Write Reads so fantastic. Get it on the fun!
Alright, now let’s get to the post 😁
“#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?
Praise for Nicola Yoon:
‘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.
I’ve been sitting here, looking at my screen, trying to figure out a way to write a post the encapsulates the feeling of utter enjoyment that enveloped me after I finished this book. Mostly, I just want to flail my arms and beg you all to read it in all caps. But I’m going to attempt to be coherent.
Instuctions for Dancing follows a young girl named Evie who has fallen out of love with romance after the recent divorce of her parents. Evie idolized her father and now she’s having to grapple with her feelings for him when she knows the reason behind the divorce. At this very inopportune time, she is given the power to see how a couple’s past, present, and future just by witnessing them kiss. For someone who has recently become very jaded to love, you can guess just about how well Evie takes this. Not only that, but when a mysterious dance manual leads her to a dance studio, she bumps into a boy that she could find herself falling in love with. Evie thinks a relationship is the last thing she wants or needs… but it could it help her break free from her curse?
Y’all, this book was SO SWEET! Seriously, there were moments where I could feel myself just melting into a pile of goo over how sweet it was! But it wasn’t the kind of sweet that can feel cloying, no. This was a sweet and beautiful story that packed a wallop. When I say be prepared to shed a few tears, I’m not joking around. Nicola Yoon will having you feeling all the feelings, one right after another! I was an emotional puddle after I read the last page and I still don’t know if I’ve fully recovered. I mean, I’m still thinking about the book on the daily, so probably not recovered, right? Ugh… it’s so good…
I think my favorite thing about this book is how it presents relationships and love as not just this wonderful, happy thing. Love is great, yes, but love can also hurt. The inspection of grief is so well done in this book. And it’s not just exploring grief due to death. It looks at grief from seeing someone you love and idolize, like Evie does her father, in a completely different light. It looks at grief from losing friends. It explores so many different aspects of grief and I think Nicola Yoon does it with a deft hand. It also explores so many different aspects of love, as well, and shows the reader that it can be messy and it can be hard, but it can also be so, so worth it.
What else can I say besides, well, I loved this, lol! I loved everything about it! I loved the characters (Evie and X are just the best). I loved the representation. I loved the setting and how I felt like I was biking around Los Angeles right with Evie. Also, can I get a Surf City Waffle in Massachusetts? I know it doesn’t exist, but it sounds like absolute heaven! This book was a breath a fresh air. It’s the perfect summer read: light, sweet, with a touch of the harder emotions and a spattering of beautiful life lessons. I want to read it again already and young adult romances are not typically my thing! It’s just an incredible, heartfelt story and I want everyone to read it pleeaaaase. What a way to kick off June!
Final thoughts: No thoughts, head empty PLEASE READ THIS BOOK! Seriously, though, this was a fantastic young adult romance/contemporary that pulls you into the story and wrecks every single one of your emotions along the way. If you enjoy romance that delves into some harder subjects, but still leaves you feeling like a hopeless romantic, with strong characters and beautiful writing, I think you’ll love Instructions for Dancing!