Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

clap when you land

Clap When You Land

by Elizabeth Acevedo

YA Contemporary

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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.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.

In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.


This was one of my most anticipated releases for 2020 and boy, was it absolutely stunning. Acevedo is a talent at knowing exactly how to write, from the words to use and their structure and form on the page. I loved With The Fire on High, but when Acevedo writes in verse, it’s certainly something special.

For Acevedo’s third YA novel, she welcomes us into the lives of two sisters living two countries apart and who don’t know about each other. They share a father, and when he dies tragically in a plane crash, suddenly his two different lives collide and secrets are revealed. Not only do Camino and Yahaira have to come to terms with the death of their father, but they have to come to terms with the existence of one another and what it means to love without limits.

Much like her other work, this was such a compelling read stuffed to the brim with emotion. It’s impossible not to completely connect with the characters and worlds that Acevedo creates, and Clap When You Land is no different. I also loved especially how immersive she made the characters and their cultures. She also weaved in a heartwarming F/F romance between Yahaira and her girlfriend Dre that suited the tone of the book so well. It didn’t quite blow me away like I had hoped, but it still such a lovely read that felt like a comfort. It explores so many different emotions – guilt, grief, joy and resentment – in such wonderful and moving ways.

For fans of Sarah Crossan, this is definitely a book I’d recommend!


4 star