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Friday, June 4, 2021

Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land
by Elizabeth Acevedo

Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Publish Date: May 5, 2020
432 Pages
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Poetry, LGBT

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. 

My Review:

This is my second or third novel told in verse and while I'm still unsure if this format is really for me, there's no taking away from how much the ones I've read have made me feel.  It took me a bit to get into this one.  I'm not sure if I was confused on the POVs at times, or if my *shiny thing* of a mind kept wandering off.  But when it finally clicked, it CLICKED.  And then I read the Author's Note and I can't reiterate enough how important it is to read these if you don't.

Two girls, both with the same father and living worlds apart, find each other after his death in a plane crash.  Not only dealing with grief and betrayal, they now have to find a way to forgiveness and family.  Acevedo does a brilliant job in portraying the very different experiences both Camino and Yahaira go through.  And goodness though, Acevedo is spot on when she states that "Most families are messy; most parents will fail to live up to the hero worship of their children."  

I didn't realize this was based around the true story of Flight AA587 that crashed in 2001 from NYC to DR where 90% of the passengers were Dominican.  For something that is considered the second deadliest crash in US history, you'd think it's something I would remember hearing about but no, news coverage quickly dissipated and Acevedo gives us a very emotional inside look at a family trying to deal with the many consequences.  While I will always remember these sisters, I'm giving full props to Dre for being the most amazing and understanding girlfriend EVER.

Grab some tissues and prepare your heart.  A somber and compelling read. Highly recommend.


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