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Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon - Review and Blog Tour

Saturday, June 19, 2021

(This is a proof copy)

Where did I get it? I signed up to the blog tour and then I was lucky enough to win a raffled proofy copy. It arrived and I had forgotten signing up for the tour, but I was very excited to get stuck in to it! I read The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola years and years ago. 

What's it about? Evie is a senior in high school. She lives with her mum and sister Danica. She used to love romance novels and used to believe in Happily Ever After, but ever since her parents split up and she discovered her dad was cheating on her mum, she's lost her faith in love. She donates all her books to a little free library, and as she does she meets a mysterious woman who insists she takes a book called Instructions for Dancing. 

The book seems to give Evie magical powers - when she sees a couple kiss she can see their entire relationship planned out, including when and how they will break up. This makes her believe in true love even less. She tells her friend Martin about her visions. 

The book contains the address for a dance studio not far from Evie's house, so, encouraged by her Martin, she goes along. There, she meets instructor Fifi, and X, a rock musician from New York who, fuelled by tragedy in his personal life, is determined to say yes to everything in life. Fifi wants Evie and X to dance together in an amateur competition. Evie does think X is beautiful and smart and funny, but she's determined to not fall in love. 

Plus she's still not talking to her dad, unwilling to forgive him. 

This is a lovely romantic book. Evie and X are completely loveable characters with complex lives. I liked Evie's friends too, even though we don't see as much of them as I'd have liked. I loved the setting and all the minor characters. I lounged in bed one Friday morning finishing this book because I absolutely loved it and I wanted to know what happened, and it was worth it. 

What age range is it for? 14+ I think 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? There's a subplot with two queer characters, which I won't spoil but which I did like 

Are any main characters people of colour? Yes, I think the only white people are Martin and their friend Cassidy.  

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No 

Is there any sex stuff? Very brief mentions 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No I don't think so

Is there any talk of death? Yes, and it was SO SAD. 

Are there swear words? A few, judiciously used 


What criticisms do I have? None. Not one. It's lovely 

Would I recommend the book? Yep yep yep! 

What do I think of the cover? It's lovely and vibrant! I would pick it up in a book shop 


What other books is it like? It reminded me of anything by Elizabeth Acevedo. 

How many stars? Five out of five 


Where is the book going now? I will probably lend it to my friend Lucinda! 


Instructions for Dancing is out now. I was given a free copy of the novel for review purposes but was not compensated in any other way for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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