Clap When You Land
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Published: May 5, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 2-4, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
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.
Clap When You Land is inspired from what can be called the ‘Forgotten Flight’: American Airlines Flight 587 from JFK to Santo Domingo just a couple of months after 9/11. Flight AA587 crashed shortly after takeoff from JFK on 11/12/01 with 260 persons on board. Once terrorism was ruled out, it did in fact become the forgotten flight. The title comes from the tradition of applauding once a plane safely touches down upon landing. This novel written in verse focuses on grief, forgiveness, and sisterhood.
Camino and Yahaira both face the untimely death of their father via a plane crash. Their lives are changed forever, and it is just the beginning as they did not know of each other as their father, Papi, had a great many secrets. They are now having to deal with the memory of a man who was not who they thought he was (including two wives) and more.
What will the two girls do? They are from very different backgrounds as Camino lives in the Dominican Republic and Yahaira lives in New York. Can two girls from very different lifestyles with only a father in common meet and get along? Do they even want to? Both girls are sixteen but seemed older due to their life circumstances aside from the loss of Papi. There are many heavy themes dealt with over the course of the novel. And the reader also gets to learn of the Dominican culture through Camino. Both girls are our narrators and are likeable.
I listened to the audiobook version of Clap When You Land and I think that did help me with this novel as I am not a poetry reader and it is written in verse. This is the second novel in verse I have ‘read’ and both were audiobooks. Acevedo is one of the audiobook narrators herself! Listening to Clap When You Land you are fully pulled into the story and root for the girls and hope they find peace in their forever changed lives.
I listened to Clap When You Land as a part of #Diverseathon2021. The prompt for August is main characters in an interracial relationship (romantic/ friends/family). August’s host is Mary @booksbymary1 and she will host at Instagram.
Clap When You Land is recommended!
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Published: May 17, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.
Best. Cover. Ever. Easily my favorite of the year so far. This is one that I bought exclusively for the cover, it’s that gorgeous!
This is my first book by Acevedo and after reading it, I might just get her other book. I liked this story a lot. She kept it real and without much embellishment or polish. Emoni is believable and completely likable. She’s a young person who doesn’t hide from her responsibilities or the consequences of her actions. I loved her passion for food. While I thought this book was going to fall into the same problem as Fangirl, a student refusing to take the wisdom of the teachers and quitting something because it’s just too hard, Emoni surprised me and matured throughout the story.
I also liked the look into the life of a pregnant teen. While I don’t believe in sex outside of marriage, it happens and of course, accidental pregnancies crop up as well. Emoni and her grandmother worked hard to adapt to the new baby and I appreciated how Acevedo commended the hard work and effort put into the new life and responsibilities. I also now want to go on a food tour of Spain!
Overall, this is a sweet read, that combines happy and sad perfectly. There was a little bit of that woke focus on race, but thankfully, it wasn’t much. I really liked this book and absolutely recommend it!