INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING by Nicola Yoon

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I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher to write this review.

Evie used to love romance novels. But that was before she caught her dad cheating on her mom. As she brings a box of her once-beloved books to the library to donate, she’s stopped by an old woman who offers her a weather-beaten copy of a ballroom dance manual in exchange. And on the way home, Evie is horrified to discover that the woman gave her something else, too: the ability to see the future.

Not just any future. Whenever she sees a couple kiss, she gets a vision of the heartbreak that awaits at the end of their relationship. Desperate to cure herself, she goes to the ballroom dance studio listed in the back of the old book. But instead of finding the woman who cursed her, she meets X, an aspiring rock star who basically checks every box on the stereotypical perfect hero of a romance novel list. As Evie and X become dance partners, then friends, Evie wrestles with the question: is love worth a future broken heart?

A truly exceptional, must-read YA romance! There are too many strengths to list, so I’ll stick with a few of my favorites:

First, these characters breathe. All of them are so alive, so real, so packed with genuine human emotions and motivations. No secondary character is neglected.

Second, this is a romance about heartbreak and loss (don’t worry, there’s an HFN) but it also made me laugh out loud. As with the characters, the plot and prose are packed with the full range of human emotion.

Third, there is a chapter where the narrator summarizes a bunch of romance novel tropes, and it is amazing.

And finally, this sentence: “Sometimes I think love is the reason language was invented.”

Amazon.com: Instructions for Dancing (9781524718961): Yoon, Nicola: Books

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