Thank you to the publisher for gifting me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Camino lives for her father’s visits to the Dominican Republic. But this year, on the day his plane is supposed to land, Camino finds herself at the airport surrounded by crowds of crying people.
In New York City, Yahaira is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her hero, her father, has died in a plane crash.
Separated by distance and Papi’s secrets, the two sisters are forced to face a new reality where their lives have been forever altered.
Clap When You Land is a book told in dual narrative and in free verse, which I absolutely adored. I’m really enjoying verse novels at the minute and this has to be one of my favourites so far. Throughout the book you get a really clear picture of what life is truly like for both main characters. Both are struck by grief and revelations of things occurring in their lives. We see that Yahaira has always had everything that she has needed and wanted whereas Camino has to fight for everything that she needs in life.
This novel is so beautifully written right from to the start and to the very end. I kept finding myself throughout reading absolutely desperate for the girls to find one another and be together in their times of need.
This book excellently shows complicated families. Both girls feel betrayed by their father because he had two families and two different lived but kept the other life secret. Camino and Yahaira don’t know about each other before the events of this book and it is understandable to see why they feel betrayed by their own father. Whilst reading this book it is very easy as a reader to find a fault with their Papi. But as you read the sotry you find out exactly why he lived how he did and how his thoughts were always about raising both his daughters as well as he could.
This book shows sisterly relationships beautifully and their relationship even brought tears to my eyes. I love how this book wrote a sisterly relationship and I’d like to see more books like this in the future. Camino and Yahaira are so wonderful and such well-rounded characters that I adored.
This is the first Elizabeth Acevedo book that I’ve read but I will certainly be reading more in the future as her writing is absolutely incredible. Elizabeth Acevedo throughout Clap When You Land highlights the difficult subjects of poverty, sexuality, race and class and she does this beautifully.
This novel is actually loosely inspired by the real-life event of American Airlines Flight 587. In 2001 Flight AA 587 was travelling to the Domican Republic much like Camino and Yahaira’s fathers flight. Flight AA 587 crashed in Queens, New York, killing two hundred and sixty people; over ninety per cent of the passengers were of Domican decent and returning home.
Overall, I highly recommend Clap When You Land to all. Elizabeth Acevedo gives a voice to a community that doesn’t have the chance for its voice to be heard often. It is a voice that needs to be heard more and this book helps that. Clap When You Land is a heart-breaking, heart-warming and absolute wonder to read and I highly recommend it to all.