Holding on and letting go: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

I responded to the book by answering the questions on the California Book Award Website.

By Raihaan G. from New Tech High at Coppell in Texas

What would you like to tell or ask the author?
I would like to ask the author about her ideas about love. Is falling and getting hurt ok? Do you put your heart on lock and key as a young person to avoid pain? How did she develop the ideas in the story? How was Evie chosen to get her powers? I would also like to tell the author that I appreciated their story and that It was very interesting and beautiful, especially the end.

Which character was most meaningful for you?
In my opinion, X was the most meaningful character. He lived every part of life with a carefree attitude, and didn’t stress about anything. He says yes to new experiences and enjoys things each step of the way, instead of overthinking the future. He provides a good contrast with Evie, who is constantly worried about the future and scared of trying new things at the beginning of her character arc. I enjoyed how he changed the perspective of the narrator of the book, slowly taking us along the journey with her toward the acceptance of his ideas. We can learn lessons from X about the value of accepting spontaneity into our lives. Not everything goes to plan every time, and that’s hard to accept for a lot of people.

How would you change or add to the story if you could?
I feel like more exploration of Evie’s ability would be interesting. We see the couple’s kiss and then we see how their relationship ends, but we aren’t able to see how romances started. I think an interesting exploration of Evie’s abilities would be to look at people before their romances started and find their partners and how they discovered they loved someone. There are more ways to explore her abilities that I would like to see. For example, a short story from a book about someone else with these powers would be a fun thing to write, or to see from the original author.

Which book do you think should win the California Book Award?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. There were many subtle lessons to be learned about life and the importance of letting go, as well as holding on to what you love. I feel like this book has good lessons to be learned, as well as funny moments that make the book an enjoyable read cover to cover. There are sections that are very powerful and beautiful, as well as other parts that make the book truly something I’d recommend. I would nominate this book for the California Book Award.

New Tech High at Coppell

English I Section 2

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