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All booksYoung adultInstructions for Dancing
Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
Young adult

Instructions for Dancing

Repeat author
Nicola Yoon is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include The Sun Is Also a Star.

by Nicola Yoon

Quick take

Thanks to a life-changing book, a girl finds love and renewed purpose on the dance floor after her parents' divorce.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FemaleFriendship

    Female friendships

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Teen


Why I love it

Syed Masood
Author, The Bad Muslim Discount

What do you look for in a book? There are readers who want an escape. Others want a page-turner. Some read in the hopes of experiencing raw and real emotions. I don’t look for any of those things. At least, I don’t look for them first. But we’ll get to that.

What’s remarkable about Instructions for Dancing is that no matter what kind of reader you are, you’ll find something for yourself in it. It’s about a teenager named Evie Thomas, who has lost her faith in love. Her doubts become certain when she begins to magically see the history and future of every couple who kisses in front of her. Through these visions Evie realizes that there are no fairy tale endings.

Perhaps reasonably she considers giving up on relationships until she meets the confident and seemingly carefree musician X at a dance studio and attempts not to fall for him. After all, he’s got heartbreaker written all over him, and if love isn’t forever, then what’s the point?

The answer to that question is the heart of this book, but that isn’t why I read it in one afternoon. That happened because of the writing. You see, I look for books which make me feel like there is a possibility that within their pages is a sentence so beautiful and true that I’ll wish I’d written it. Nicola Yoon’s writing promises that and delivers. Once, I even took a picture of the text, because I didn’t want to forget a sentence I’d found. That’s why I loved Instructions for Dancing. That’s why you should read it.

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Evie Thomas doesn't believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually.

As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything—including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he's only just met.

Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it's that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?

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Get an early look from the first pages of Instructions for Dancing.

Read a sample →

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  • 52% Love
  • 42% Like
  • 5% Dislike
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