Title: Clap When You Land
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Poetry
Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…
In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.
Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.
And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.
Clap When You Land was only the second book that I have read in verse, but I am definitely going to read some more if they are all as good as this. I think that verse is such an interesting way to tell a story and gets you incredibly emotionally connected to it.
The only part of Clap When You Land that I struggled with was the characters. While I liked them both, I did find them starting to blur into one, and I couldn’t tell the difference between them. This may have been down to the speed that I was reading the book, as I did find myself flying through it very quickly. I found the characters’ journeys to be extremely hard-hitting, and they really got to me emotionally. Elizabeth Acevedo told them in a sensitive light, but she didn’t shy away from the harsh realities of what both girls had been through.
The topics that are covered within Clap When You Land are extremely powerful, and they are issues that need to be discussed. Heading into Clap When You Land, I was not expecting the sexual assault element of both girls storylines, but I think that Elizabeth Acevedo did an amazing job at covering it. She showed the trauma that girls go through and also the lasting effect that it has on everyone.
Through Clap When You Land being told in verse, Elizabeth Acevedo created a really tense atmosphere that fits with the book’s pacing. It kept me constantly engaged with the plot and wanting to read more which I loved.
I cannot recommend enough that you pick up Clap When You Land, it is an amazingly moving story that needed to be told. I am definitely going to check out more of Elizabeth Acevedo’s work in the future.