Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

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Goodreads | Waterstones

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.
Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.

This book made me realise you should never judge a book because it is written in verse. Having just read two absolutely beautiful books written in verse, after not reading verse for years, I have been absolutely blown away.

The language is flowing, beautiful and tender. It explored the grief of two young girls, separated by an ocean, only beginning to learn that they are sisters. It made my heart ache with hurt and pain and grief. But there is no denying that it is pure beauty.

Can you be from a place

I feel like this book explores so many difficult topics in such a breathtaking way. It explores anger, hurt, loss, forgiveness, family, friendship and grief in a way I don’t think I’ve ever read about before. It captures you by the shoulders and shakes you, until your world feels just as upside down as Camino’s and Yahaira’s has been made by the death of their father.

I loved the way this book spanned oceans, exploring life in both the US and the Dominican Republic. It reflects an everyday tragedy in such rawness and tenderness, through the eyes of two girls who were deeply affected by a plane crash.

One of my only complaints is that in some ways I found it difficult to differentiate between the voices of the two girls, who felt very similar to me in tone. Although I can see this being intentional, I found it difficult to read, especially towards the end where their sections are shorter. My only other small complaint would be I felt something missing in parts, especially when it came to the two sisters meeting and coming to terms with the new relationship they had found with each other. I almost felt we left their story having not explored the relationship between them far enough.

you have never been?

Overall, this is such a beautiful verse novel, and I can’t wait to read more by Acevedo. It pulled on my heartstrings and left me so full of emotion, warmth and hope in light of the darkness.

4 out of 5 stars


May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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3 thoughts on “Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

  1. Pingback: August Wrap Up + September TBR – The Books are Everywhere

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