I know, I know, Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday, blah blah blah, but while I enjoy reading stories of romance throughout the year, I especially enjoy them in February, and I refuse to feel bad about it. That’s why I am super excited that this month’s book club pick is a delightfully swoon-y, charmingly funny, emotionally layered novel about a girl who no longer believes in love due to her parents’ divorce. Oh yeah, and ballroom dancing is involved.

When I read Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon, it absolutely waltzed away with my heart, so I hope y’all enjoy it as much as I did! Can’t wait to hear what you think.

Note that while the icebreaker is spoiler-free, the questions contain vague spoilers.


As you know from her lists in the book, Evie is an expert on romantic tropes. Do you have a favorite and/or least favorite romance trope?


1. Evie’s ability to see other couples’ futures is never really explained, other than the fact that the old woman with the Little Free Library gave her the power. Did that bother you, or did Yoon’s storytelling allow you to suspend disbelief?

2. When Evie is at Shirley’s bridal shower, she can’t help but resent her intrusion into the family. She thinks, “I know what I’m feeling isn’t exactly fair, but that doesn’t make it any less true.” How did you feel about Nicola Yoon’s exploration of grief through Evie’s character? Did it feel authentic? Did you ever get impatient with her or were you able to consistently empathize with her?

3. What did you think about Evie’s mom asking her to keep her dad’s affair secret?

4. Overall, how did you feel about this book as a portrait of divorce? What about as a portrait of love?

5. Did X feel like a fully realized character for you? Or was he too much of a, to use Evie’s words, “Classic Romance Guy”?

6. So, Fifi! Did you love her, or did you find her cartoonish?

7. What did you think about the big twist near the end?!

8. There’s a lot of fictional bands in YA literature, and some have killer names (Spinnerbait) while others… not so much (looking at you, Shooting Star). Where does X Machine rank for you?

Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.