Book Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

‘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.’

A book that is completely in-verse was completely out of my comfort zone. Yet, I found myself reading Clap When You Land. If I can read through this book without feeling overwhelmed by the poetry then so can you. And believe me when I tell you, you should give this book a go.

This is the story of two sisters who didn’t know each other existed until their father died in a plane crash. We get to hear the story from each of the sisters and it adds so much more sentiment to the book when you hear how each sister is feeling. Yahaira Rios lives in New York, has a lovely girlfriend and thinks in a very strategic manner after playing chess for years. Camino Rios lives in DR, wants to go to Columbia University to become a doctor, and only gets to see her father in the summer.

Camino and Yahaira live very different lives but the death of their father unites them. As readers, we follow the sisters from finding out about their father’s death, dealing with their grief and getting to know each other. We get to see their day-to-day life, their hopes, their loves and their losses.

When it comes to describing the book, I’m slightly lost for words. Although Clap When you Land only have a very simple plot, it manages to hold many emotions. I think that takes a lot of skill in writing.

If you’re the type of person who enjoys reading about families, secrets and grief then I definitely recommend this book.

My rating: ★★★★✩

Have you read Clap When You Land? Does this book seem like something you’d be into?

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