Instructions for Dancing

Delacorte. Jun. 2021. 304p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781524718961. POP.
Gr 7 Up–This heartfelt, swoon-worthy love story cements Yoon’s reputation as a must-read writer of teen romance. High school senior Evie used to believe in love, with romance novels her favorite genre. But ever since she caught her father with another woman, she’s given up on love in real life as well as in books. When she goes to donate these novels to a Little Free Library, she winds up with a book called Instructions for Dancing. This book leads her to a ballroom dance studio, and to an intriguing boy named X. His open heart, adventurous spirit, and personal philosophy to say “yes” to everything is the opposite of Evie’s cynicism. Soon the pair are preparing for a ballroom dance competition, with their rehearsals slowly breaking down Evie’s emotional walls. This seemingly straightforward love story is complicated by Evie’s new psychic ability to see the beginning, middle, and end of the love story of every couple she sees. Surrounded by constant reminders that all romances come to an end, can she open her heart to X, knowing that even the greatest romances are finite? Evie and X’s thoughtful, respectful relationship is engaging and easy to root for. Their conversations are fun, energetic, and wholly believable. Alongside the love story, Evie’s personal journey toward a broader understanding of interpersonal relationships is satisfying and relatable. Evie and X are both Black; secondary characters have a variety of ethnicities.
VERDICT This tender love story is sure to appeal to fans of Yoon’s previous novels, as well as to anyone who enjoys a heartfelt romance. A sweet, genuine love story sure to pull on the heartstrings.

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