One of our favorite Book Nerd activities is going to book club! Book clubs create community, help us stay on track to get through our TBR pile while also discovering new faves, and allow space to talk for hours on end about our favorite characters. To help with your book club endeavors, we’ve created book club guides for some of our favorite YA titles. This Instructions for Dancing book club guide will help you get the most out of reading Nicola Yoon’s latest New York Times bestseller.
Book Club Discussion Questions
- Let’s cut to the chase: Did you cry at the end, and for how long did you cry?
- While there is plenty to unpack about the ending, let’s go back to the beginning first! Evie does not believe in love at the start of this story, like, at all. What led Evie to hate love so much? How does her mistrust of love drive her decisions throughout the novel?
- Yoon goes a little meta in this novel and writes openly about classic romance tropes, even going so far as to have Evie say, “I grab my bike and head out and tell myself I’m not in a romance novel.” What effect did this have on the story and your perception of it?
- Family plays a big role in all of Nicola Yoon’s novels. Think about Evie’s and X’s families. How do these relationships influence the way Evie and X see the world?
- It is an indisputable fact that this story is magical . . . literally. In chapter 58, Evie has the chance to confront the old woman who gifted her the magical powers. In response to Evie’s frustration, the old woman says, “It wasn’t supposed to be a curse, Evie. It was supposed to be a gift.” How did Evie see her powers? How else could they be seen? In the end, do you think it was a curse or a gift?
- Can we obsess over X for a second?! What did Evie (or you!) like and dislike about him? What about him changed Evie’s perspective on love? Did he change yours?
- Evie and X’s love story unfolds inside La Brea Dance Studio. How did Yoon use dance to bring her main characters together? What were your favorite swoon-worthy dance scenes?
- Yoon introduces some irresistible characters alongside Evie and X, from Evie’s friends, Martin, Sophie, and Cassidy, to the people in X’s circle, Fiona, Maggie, and Archibald. Who were your favorite characters? What did you like about them? What might happen in their epilogues?
- If you’ve read Everything, Everything or The Sun Is Also a Star, you know that Yoon is a masterful storyteller. For example, after Evie realizes what is going to happen to X, she recalls “I remember the round of Tipsy Philosophicals we played at our first bonfire, the one where we first kissed. I’d asked everyone if they’d want to know when and where we were going to die. X had said no.” The smallest moments come full circle and have the biggest impact. Can you think of any other subtle clues or hints that connected the dots in the end?
- At the beginning of Instructions for Dancing, Evie declares that “almost nobody gets out of love alive.” What does it mean to survive a love story that ends too early? Can you survive it alone?
- Nicola Yoon has often said that Instructions for Dancing is her love letter to love. While this novel ends with tragic heartbreak, what do you think is Yoon’s ultimate message about love?
Read Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
About the Author: Nicola Yoon
Nicola Yoon is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Sun Is Also a Star and Everything, Everything, both of which were turned into major motion pictures. She grew up in Jamaica and Brooklyn and lives in Los Angeles with her husband—the novelist David Yoon—and their little girl. She’s also a hopeless romantic who firmly believes that you can fall in love in an instant and that it can last forever. Follow Nicola Yoon at @nicolayoon on IG and TikTok!