Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 587
beautiful read about romance, family, and personal growth
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING is an engaging YA contemporary about romance, family, and coming of age. Evie stopped believing in love when her parents' marriage ended with an affair. Now, she wants nothing to do with her father, and she has no interest in love for herself, her friends, or her family. This includes the romance books that used to be her favorites, and she is taking some of them to a little free library to pass along. A mysterious woman comes up and chats with her about them, insisting she must also take a book, as those are the rules of LFLs. The only book that is not hers to take is "Instructions for Dancing."

Not long after, she sees her sister kissing her current boyfriend, and suddenly, she is watching a movie of their romance from the start to present to the future when they breakup. When what she saw later comes to pass, Evie knows she has a new, witchy skill around romance, something she has no interest in. When she discusses with her BFF, Martin, he suggests that she needs to go with the flow and check out the studio in the book she was told to take by the mysterious woman.

As she does, she enters the world of ballroom dancing and continues to see snapshots of everyone's romances when they kiss. What Evie notices most is the way they all end, and she is not ready to take a chance on her handsome and talented dance partner.

What I loved: This book was completely riveting - the storyline really kept me hooked, between the magic, ballroom dancing, and romances. The touch of magic was really interesting, and I loved watching the relationship snapshots that Evie sees. It's passive (she cannot change anything), but they show so many different types of beginnings and endings that I really loved it. Add that to the tidbits about Evie's favorite romance novels, and this was a really great showcase of love. Also, as a romance reader, I found a lot of the lists and discussions around romance novels to be particularly entertaining.

The characters were really compelling as well. Evie has a lot to work through with the way her parents' marriage ended and her views on relationships. She is grieving the life she lost and the disillusionment of those changes. During the book, Evie really starts to realize more about the people who are important to her and forgiveness. There is a lot of character growth, particularly towards the end of the book that was really beautiful. The other characters, particularly those at the studio, were also really fantastic. I fell in love with all of them.

The romance was really lovely. Evie and X (Xavier) were both dealing with their own grief and reactions to it, and together, they are able to support each other and grow so much apart and together. I was definitely cheering for them all the way through, and I cried at one particular scene that I won't share to avoid spoilers. This was all the feels.

Final verdict: So much more than a love story, INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING is a beautiful YA contemporary about romance, family, and character growth with a touch of magic. Highly recommend for fans of INSTANT KARMA, THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END, and DON'T DATE ROSA SANTOS.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Bluebird
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 1946, Eva leaves behind the rubble of Berlin for...
Merci Suárez Can't Dance
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventh grade is going to be a real trial...
When You Know What I Know
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This harrowing, and ultimately hopeful novel in verse sensitively...
Between Perfect and Real
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving YA debut about a trans boy finding...
The Cost of Knowing
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dear Martin meets They Both Die at the End...
Gold Spun
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
If Nor can't spin gold, she can always spin...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic...
Small Favors
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ellerie Downing is waiting for something to happen. Life...
If You Go Down to the Woods Today (Brown Bear Wood)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Journey through a magical woodland, with poems to read and...
Bunny Will Not Jump!: Ready-to-Read Level 1
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the endless imagination of Jason Tharp comes a hilarious...
Milo's Christmas Parade
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A new picture book from Jennie Palmer starring Milo, a...
Slow Down: 50 Mindful Moments in Nature
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Slow down to watch 50 nature stories that command calm...
Once Upon A Pizza: Eight Crazy Ways Pizza Wasn't Really Invented, And One It Might Have Been
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Everyone loves pizza, but how was it invented? ...
A Kid's Guide to Fandom: Exploring Fan-Fic, Cosplay, Gaming, Podcasting, and More in the Geek World!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Help young fans get in touch with their inner geeks...
Awaken    Book 1 The A'vean Chronicles
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
SOME PEOPLE AREN'T DESTINED TO BE ORDINARY. With a...
Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Underdogs, unite! Celebrated nonfiction author Melissa Stewart offers young readers...

Latest Member Reviews

Tell No Tales: Pirates of the Southern Seas
 
4.5
"TELL NO TALES is a graphic novel that features Anne Bonny and her tale of pirating. She has an amazing..."
Into Darkness (Stuffed, Book 2) (Stuffed, 2)
 
4.0
"STUFFED INTO DARKNESS features Clark who is so excited to go to camp, where the Stuffies protect them from monsters...."
If You Go Down to the Woods Today (Brown Bear Wood)
 
4.0
"IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS TODAY has a poem on each page which opens up to the items..."
Bunny Will Not Jump!: Ready-to-Read Level 1
 
4.0
"Bear wants nothing more than for Bunny to jump, but he won't do it. Bunny doesn't want to jump and..."
Milo's Christmas Parade
 
5.0
"MILO'S CHRISTMAS PARADE features a little opossum who wants nothing more than to join the Christmas parade. For this reason,..."
Taking Care of Mama Rabbit
 
3.5
"When Mama Rabbit falls ill, it's up to Papa Rabbit to go get medicine and her children to make her..."
A Kid's Guide to Fandom: Exploring Fan-Fic, Cosplay, Gaming, Podcasting, and More in the Geek World!
 
5.0
"A KID'S GUIDE TO FANDOM is exactly what it says and is full of anything and everything nerdy. From cosplaying,..."
Mine
 
4.0
"Lily isn’t thrilled about her family’s move from Colorado to Florida. In Colorado, she had her drama club and her..."
The Republic of Birds
 
3.0
"Once, birds and humans lived together until a war erupted over a firebird’s egg. Now, the humans have their own..."
This Is the Glade Where Jack Lives: Or How a Unicorn Saved the Day
 
5.0
"THIS IS THE GLADE WHERE JACK LIVES is a new take on the traditional "This Is the House that Jack..."
The End Is Just the Beginning
 
5.0
"THE END IS JUST THE BEGINNING is exactly as the title reads. It's a story about how all endings are..."
Dust & Grim
 
4.0
"Thirteen-year-old Molly finds out she's entitled to part of a mortuary business after the death of her father. She also..."
Get Up, Elizabeth!
 
5.0
"Elizabeth needs to get out of bed because she's the princess and has a lot to do. As a princess...."
Happy Little Ogre
 
5.0
"HAPPY LITTLE OGRE features our favorite characters from Shrek as babies. It's full of ogre fun and silliness from burps..."
Clean-Up Time!: Ready-to-Read Pre-Level 1
 
5.0
"Our favorite character, Daniel the Tiger, heads to the park to play with his friends. But when they get there,..."
The Secret Starling
 
3.5
"Clara Starling is used to the drudgery of life with her uncle in his huge mansion. It’s all routine, cold..."
The Stitchers
 
4.0
"Quinn’s neighborhood is mostly normal, until you look at Goodie Lane. The residents of Goodie Lane have lived there for..."
Cardboardia: The Other Side of the Box
 
4.0
"Pokey is a very enthusiastic six-year-old living with her grandparents, older brother Mac, and imaginary friend, Colombo. On her brithday,..."
Ciao, Sandro!
 
5.0
"What worked: This is an adorable story of Sandro who gives readers a quick peek of Venice. Sandro is the..."
The Tossy-Turny Princess and the Pesky Pea: A Fairy Tale to Help You Fall Asleep (Feel-Good Fairy Tales)
 
4.0
"THE TOPSY-TURNY PRINCESS AND THE PESKY PEA is a cute twist on the Princess and the Pea fairytale about what..."