Clap When You Land

Clap When You Land

Book - 2020
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AlishaH_KCMO Mar 23, 2021

Trigger Warnings: Death of a parent, sexual assault, stalking, plane crash

Clap When You Land is a novel-in-verse, duo POV, about grief and love. Camino Rios' favorite time of the year is the summer when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But when his place is supposed to land, Camino is met at the airport to crowds of crying people. In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called into the principal's office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father died in a plane crash. Separated by distance - and their Papi's secrets - the two girls must face this new altered reality. But then, when it all seems like their father has completely disappeared, they learn of each other.

I lost my father suddenly myself at twelve-years-old, this book made me cry at what the girls were going through.

"For the rest of my life I will sit & imagine
what my father would say in any given moment.
& I will make him up:
his words, his advice, our memories."

I still do this, sixteen years later...

Both girls have their own struggles, but Camino especially does. Now that her father isn't alive to pay him off, the local pimp, a man called El Cero, begins following her around. All she wants to do is escape the island, go to New York to study premed, and have a chance at a better life than what she sees around her. Then, Yahaira finds her on social media and it changes everything she thought she knew about her father.

This was beautifully done - the girls discovering their father wasn't perfect, that their hero was complexed and flawed. Even though he was a good father, he wasn't the greatest husband. Both girls are matured by the intensity of their loss and the discoveries made afterwards and they take a lot of others grief into their own hands, especially Yahaira and her Mom.

I can't say enough praise for Elizabeth Acevedo and the way she cuts and merges words together. I use to be wary of books in verse form but the way Acevedo writes really makes you stop and think. It grips at your heart.

I will always highly recommend Acevedo to anyone to read.

"Never, ever, let them see you sweat, negra.
Fight until you can't breathe, & if you have to forfeit,
you forfeit smiling, make them think you let them win."

Jan 27, 2021

Modern Mrs Darcy

JCLMirandaA Nov 19, 2020

I love Acevedo's books and this might be my favourite of hers so far. This book weaved together two very different girls who are both Dominican and discover they are sisters, one lives in NYC and one in the DR. They both are coping with the tragedy of their father's death and in the wake of that they discover that he was living a double life one with each of them. This book deals with loss in such a real and heartbreaking way. And how to reconcile yourself when someone you've known your whole life and loved isn't who you thought they were and your life wasn't what you thought it was either. Ultimately this book is about family and secrets and finding yourself and what all of this means together. I loved each of the girls. The perspective change was always well done when you wanted to see what one was doing vs. the other or for a change in pace. And a great contrast from being born in the DR and living there vs. being a Dominican American living in the US. Both characters and their worlds and the people in their life were vibrant and felt like a breath of life. Highly recommend for teens and adults alike.

JCLChrisK Nov 03, 2020

An emotional novel-in-verse about two teen girls thrown into tragic circumstances. Heartfelt and real.

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 27, 2020

Acevedo packs a punch with her poetical hand. This is a novel-in-verse, and it is written beautifully. This story addresses an actual event that many people aren't aware of. It focuses on family secrets, grief, and cultural differences.

VaughanPLShelly Sep 29, 2020

I love everything Elizabeth Acevedo has published so far & this latest novel totally lived up to those expectations! I loved the way in which Acevedo was able to create two distinct characters, despite having this novel entirely written in poems. If you've enjoyed her past books or you're looking for a fascinating, quick & engaging read, I highly recommend this one.

Sep 12, 2020

I LOVE ALL OF ELIZABETH ACEVEDO'S BOOKS!!!! This book is different then her other books it has 2 main characters telling you the story from their point of view! I felt every emotion as I was reading it! Its sad, but it is based on a real plane crash that happened before September 11. Love how Elizabeth created this fiction story to show the pain many who lost their loved ones went through and their hidden secrets many found out.

PimaLib_LoisM Sep 09, 2020

This lyrical book written in verse alternates between the perspectives of sisters Camino and Yahaira Rios. Early on in the book, their father is killed in a plane crash when he is flying to the Dominican Republic for his annual trip home from New York City. The sisters do not even know of each other's existence until the funeral. Recently placed as a young adult finalist for the Kirkus Prize in the Young Readers’s category, Clap When You Land explores the themes of love, loss and what makes a family.

RandomLibrarian Jul 18, 2020

Review excerpt: "I adored this book. But it wasn’t always an easy read. It’s a book drowning in grief and desperation, finely wrought and deeply felt, and it’s an understatement to say that at parts it was so good and so sad and so precise in its pain that I was simply made of tears. So fair warning, if your heart can’t handle a story of surviving the unexpected loss of a parent, there’s nothing wrong with finding other, less tear-stained reading experiences."


Gina_Vee Jul 16, 2020

Everything Acevedo touches is gold.

Tigard_HollyCP Jul 02, 2020

In the Dominican Republic, Camino Rios arrives at the airport to pick up her Papi for his annual summer visit only to learn that his plane went down. In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her Mami delivers the same tragic news.

Camino dreams of moving to the US and attending Columbia University to become a doctor, but with the death of her father who pays for her to attend private school in DR, comes the death of that dream. Now all that seems to await her is El Cero, the local crime lord who just bides his time until he can force her into her worst nightmares.

Yahaira never really said goodbye to Papi, because she had hardly spoken to him in the year since she learned of a secret for which she may never be able to forgive him. The only person she really feels she can trust and love is her girlfriend, Dre.

Neither girl knows the other exists, yet their lives will soon be irreversibly intertwined.

OPL_KrisC Jun 13, 2020

A powerful novel in verse for teens about sisterhood and death of a parent.

Jun 01, 2020

Clap When You Land is a story of sisterhood unlike any I've experienced before, with characters as multi-faceted as the places they come from. The free verse is rhythmic and pounding in all the right places, soft and lyrical in all the others. And for a story so rife with grief and struggle and anxiety and (the list goes on)... it's hopeful, but not without being real. Acevedo proves that tragedy can bring strangers together and make them family in ways both literal and metaphorical, and gives voice to the survivors whose pain outlasts the media coverage every time. This is one to be savored, and enjoyed by readers of all ages.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin May 21, 2020

Acevedo has again written a unique story with compelling characters and settings. This time, two sisters, each unaware of the other, learn of their unique family tie in the Dominican Republic when their father dies unexpectedly.

JCLDawnaO Mar 27, 2020

This is the story of two girls, Camino and Yahaira, who live in different countries and are unaware of each other, but bound together by the same Papi. This book is written in verse and with dual narrators.

Camino lives in the Dominican Republic while Yahaira lives in New York and the story alternates between the two, who have much different lives. Camino goes to the airport to meet her Papi, he comes to visit every summer but lives the rest of the year in New York City, and she finds out that the plane her Papi was in had crashed. Yahaira learns of the plane crash from her mother who comes to take her out of school.

This is the story of two girls dealing with the death of their Papi and then learning of each other. This is a beautiful story full of hurt and love. As each has to learn their new normal without their beloved Papi, they also need to come to terms with having a sister they never knew. Both girls are much different from each other and yet they have similarities too.

Another fantastic book by Elizabeth Acevedo!

SJPL_JessL Mar 18, 2020

Clap When You Land, Elizabeth Acevedo’s third book, is the story, told in verse, of Camino and Yahaira. Two young women and their families, though, miles apart at first, one the Dominican Republic and the other in New York City, are tied together after a plane crash that claims their father. The story interweaves their grief, family history, family drama, and the realization that nothing will be the same without their dad.

Acevedo returns to verse for this story, but it do not feel quite as poetic as her previous tales. There is beat and momentum to her choice of words and use of structure on the printed page, but it isn’t quite as magical as her previous works. Overall the story is still moving and the emotions of Camino and Yahaira are real and their grief cuts deep. Locations and people are diverse, including cultural diversity and an LGBTQ+ couple. Overall, it was a great read and recommend for older teens.

Content warnings (small spoiler): language, attempted sexual assault, references to prostitution, and teen pregnancy.

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