Staff Reads: Instructions for Dancing

Staff Reads: Instructions for Dancing

Reviewed by Shelby, Teen and Adult Services Librarian

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

At a time in a young girl’s life where love should be exciting and new, high school senior Evie’s viewpoint on romance is ruined by her parents’ divorce. When Evie finds out what caused the divide between her mom and dad, she goes to put all of her favorite romance books inside of a Little Free Library.  A mysterious woman approaches her and curses her with seeing couples’ entire relationships from beginning to end.  At a loss for how to remove the curse, Evie ends up at a local dance studio entering a major dance competition with a free-spirited boy who goes by X.  In their final moments on the floor, X kisses Evie and she learns all about their own relationship and what love should really look like.

This book is an amazing read for several reasons. Nicola Yoon intentionally writes books with diverse characters like herself so her daughter can grow up seeing herself and her parents’ two blended cultures in books and media. This book in particular was striking because after reading it, you are still percolating on the ending as it leaves you feeling upset, happy, angry, and euphoric all at the same time!  This title is a great choice for anyone who wants a good romance novel with strong characters or for those who like to have their belief in book tropes challenged. I would recommend this novel for anyone 15 and up.