Book Review

Book Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult contemporary fiction
Length: 432 pages
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Release Date: May 5th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

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.


This might be the first time I can remember reading a full book in verse. I didn’t know how I would enjoy it, but this ended up being the perfect dynamic for this story. I loved the way it flowed and moved.

Reading the complex and dynamic thoughts of Camino and Yahaira broke my heart. This was raw and real and I felt the emotions they were both struggling with as they coped with significant loss and finding out someone they both loved was not all he seemed. Yet, while they unraveled their father’s secrets, they also remembered to love the man that they did have. And I love how complicated this was. There was room here to feel what they needed to and how they could move forward.

I liked seeing both sides of the story and understanding more how this plane crash affected these communities across an ocean. It caused me to look up, research, and learn more about something that I hadn’t heard of. Clap When You Land was beautiful and a quick read. The musicality of the language brought so much to the surface.

The bond that starts to form between Camino and Yahaira gave the ending light. Finding hope in a tragic storm and looking towards a better future.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary fiction
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: plane crash, loss of a loved one, physical, sexual harassment

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