Book Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Book Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth AcevedoClap When You Land Release Date: 5th May 2020
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

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.

In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

I’m posting this review with the caveat that I tend to not enjoy novels written in verse. I knew this when I requested a copy of Clap When You Land for review, but I thought I would love it because I’ve read both of Acevedo’s other books and I thought I was used to the writing style.

So, while I have only given Clap When You Land three stars, that is only because my enjoyment of the book was hindered by my lack of connection to in-verse writing. The rest of the story was worthy of at least four stars, and I want my written review to reflect that.

I absolutely adored the relationship between the two main characters, and I think relationships are really where Acevedo shines with her writing. She wrote the story of these two sisters beautifully, as they discovered one another and came together and connected. It was wonderful, and I loved it.

I also really enjoyed the setting, as it’s set, in part, in the Dominican Republic. As a reader who hasn’t been to either the Dominican Republic or New York City, I still managed to get a feel for the contrast between where the two sisters live and the differences in culture that they experienced. But also the similarities. I thought it was wonderfully done.

Overall, while the writing style just wasn’t for me, Clap When You Land was a fantastic book about grief, sisterhood, friendship, and loyalty. I’d recommend it for YA readers everywhere because I think everyone will get something out of it.

2 comments on “Book Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

  1. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity 13/08/2020 4:12 pm

    It’s in verse? This I did not know from all of the reviews and I’m with you, that definitely will hinder my enjoyment of the book. i might see if the audiobook is available anywhere, maybe listening to it will make it easier to get through? The story itself sounds really interesting it’s just the writing style which puts me off.

  2. czai 16/08/2020 8:48 am

    I’ve been meaning to try her books but knowing that they’re written in verse kinda pushes me away from actually trying them. But it’s really encouraging to know that even though it’s in verse and it wasn’t the strongest point for you, you still liked this. I really like reading books involving sisters.

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