Wednesday, November 25, 2020

REVIEW: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Release Date: May 5, 2020
Acquired: Purchased (hardcover)
Goodreads: ADD
Purchase: Amazon/Indigo/Book Depository

In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

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.

I'll admit, I was weary as hell going into my first book written in verse. I don't read poetry (not as a rule, I just don't seek it out), so Clap When You Land felt like a mountainous feat. If you're feeling the same way about this one, DON'T. My God, don't. THIS BOOK WAS EVERYTHING.

Told from alternating perspectives, Yahaira in New York, and Camino in the Dominican Republic, the sisters explore the depths of their individual fears, loves and aspirations, until they are finally made aware of each other and begin to share a single pain: the loss of their father.

My copy of this book is overrun with a rainbow of tabs; lines highlighted with no regard to my anxiety about writing on pages. Acevedo created something with this narrative that spoke so unbelievably loud to my heart, that I had to pause in moments, put the book down and sit in my awe of some seriously powerful lines. The characters were so distinct, their emotions so appropriate to their circumstances. This was a reading experience that I will never forget, and I urge you to experience it too!

Read if you like:
Pride by Ibi Zoboi
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Key themes: 
family, loss, coming-of-age, pain, familial connections, long lost family 


credit: goodreads author page



ELIZABETH ACEVEDO is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Poet X, which won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Pura Belpré Award, the Carnegie medal, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and the Walter Award. She is also the author of With the Fire on High—which was named a best book of the year by the New York Public Library, NPR, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal—and Clap When You Land, which was a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor book and a Kirkus finalist.

She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. Acevedo has been a fellow of Cave Canem, Cantomundo, and a participant in the Callaloo Writer’s Workshops. She is a National Poetry Slam Champion, and resides in Washington, DC with her love.



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