This was a beautifully written book that gave me so many emotions from beginning to end! I went into it not really knowing what to expect, but I was hoping for a very sweet romance full of laughter and healing. We certainly got that! However, it was so much more than just a romance, because in the end, it was more about learning not to waste time filling your life with regret. Live in the moment, be present today, and tomorrow will come with its challenges that you can deal with then. It was a roller coast of a ride reading this book, but in the end, it was absolutely, 100% worth it.
Yvette Thomas used to love romance books. Her shelves were full of them, they were her escape from reality, and she dreamt of having a love like that one day. Then reality came crashing in on her, and now she can't stand to look at them anymore. While dropping them off at a local Little Free Library, she comes across the woman who manages it and she insists that Yvette take a book called Instructions for Dancing. Giving in, Yvette takes the book with her, and returns home. And that's when it happens - she sees her sister kiss her boyfriend and suddenly Yvette can see their relationship, from beginning...to the end. It keeps happening, every time she sees a couple kiss, and she begins to wonder if she's losing it. Trying to figure out what's happening to her, she looks for clues in the book and goes to the school the book came from, La Brea Dance. There she meets a young man named X, she's roped into a dancing competition alongside him, and her life will never be the same.
First things first, for those of you who like reading romance for the HEA - you don't get that here. You get a HFN with a look to the future that is heartbreaking. So read this with that mindset, because if you're expecting the two main characters to ride off into the distance with a bright future ahead of them...this is not your book. I wouldn't consider this even a romance, in all honesty - this is a YA Fiction book that will teach you lots of things, not just about love but also about life. Lessons that we wish our kids didn't have to learn at such a young age, but when they are confronted with life's biggest obstacles and deepest regrets, they need to know how to navigate them. Yvette had experienced one of life's greatest betrayals - her father cheated on her mother and she saw it happen. Her bond with him had been shattered, and with him starting a new life with the woman he cheated with, she was left to pick up the pieces of her image of him as a father. She had lost her belief not only in him but in everyone - if a man like her father could do such a thing, then anyone is capable of anything. Thankfully, she met X, and he taught her to see the joys in life and forgiveness. X had his own struggles, and she helped him with those as well. They were exactly what each other needed. In my opinion, they were soulmates. Which just made the future reveal harder to swallow. Absolutely devastating. I had a little cry when the book ended, and I rarely cry when reading.
Highly recommended to all - it's perfectly suited for readers who like a little romance and also readers who like to see a teenager grow in her struggles. It's relatable for everyone, no matter your age.
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**