It’s time for another blogtour with the @TheWriteReads gang! I’m really happy to have chosen this book. I have many feelings about it. Also, since I’m, again, not the only one who has a lot to tell about this book, be sure to take a look what the other participants of the blog tour think about this book. You’ll find them here.
Thank you to Penguin and Netgalley for the copy of Instructions for Dancing in exchange for an honest review.
#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
This is the first book by Nicola Yoon I’ve read and so I wasn’t really sure what to expect yet. I’ve heard that her other books are rather sad but there was nothing indicating that this book would be, so I dived in with a good feeling.
First thing I wanna say about this book, I absolutely love the writing style. I love how fluent it was, how great the pacing. It was just the right amount of funny withough being too much and the right amount of emotion without being too dramatic. It made the book a fast and enjoyable read. The style was so good that I kept continuing to read even when I didn’t want anymore or shouldn’t have. (Almost missed my trainstop with this one.)
I really liked Evie. I liked her character. She was funny and sassy but also contemplatative. I like that she had such a rich inner life. While it was not all melancholy, there was a deep sadness in her, her dad’s betrayal having her shook in her fundamentals. Her new “gift” does not help with her mindset concerning love but I thought the idea was interesting and unbelievable at the same time. Still, all of this made Evie feel so real and so easy to follow her and wanting her to feel better. I loved the lessons she learned at the end and her character growth into a better and happier person.
X…I’m a bit on the fence about X. I mean, he was great. He was funny and heartwarming and supportive and nice and all the things. He was so great and didn’t seem to have any faults. Which made me wonder on every page, if there might be something majorly wrong with him just around the bend.
Together, they are just so much fun. There was a lot of banter going on and you really root for them to get together and stay together forever. I liked how they made each other better, how they were there for each other and how they were helping each other with their own personal struggles. I also liked Evie’s friends (mostly), just to mention them. Also, shoutout to Fifi. Everybody needs a Fifi in their lives.
The book has many layers with different subplots. Which is great because it gives it more depth. Sometimes I was not sure what the books main focus was, though: Was it the dancing? Was it Evie’s new “gift”? Was it her relationship with X? Was it her relationship with her father? It seemed a bit blocky at times. But I guess that’s just life. You don’t just have one goal or one direction you’re going at all times. Sometimes your path is twisted and has stops and detours.
In general, this book is great. Likeable characters, excellent writing style, and a wonderful realness. There was one (unfortunatly big) thing that I didn’t like about this book: It was terribly predictable. About 25% in I sent a message to Sammie to bounce some ideas off her concerning where this book could go. What would happen to this and this character and plotpoint. Almost everything I predicted came true. It made the book a bit boring. There was no “hey, I was right” moment for me after the first one anymore, it was just resignation that I had foreseen it and that the book couldn’t surprise me anymore.
There was, however, something I didn’t really foresee. (But I guess I should have.) I don’t wanna get too much into it, since this review is to be kept spoiler free, but I can say, that it made me a bit heartbroken. It fit well with the overall message of the book though: About love and how grief can make you focus only on the loss you are experiencing. And how you should value what you have for as long as it lasts, being it love or people or life in general.
In the end, I really liked the book. I can definitely see myself reading other books by Nicola Yoon and encourage you to try this one yourself.
Nicola Yoon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Instructions for Dancing, Everything, Everythingand 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.
So, what do you think? Have I convinced you to give this book a try or do you already have it on your tbr?