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[Review] Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

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My first thought about Clap When You Land has to be "WOW! What a book!"

This was my first time reading a piece of work by Elizabeth Acevedo and I must admit, I was blown away by everything. This book, you could say was like a work of art and I for one, was captivated by the beauty of it. I do love a novel written in verse and from all those I have read, I must say that this was probably my favourite yet. Acevedo has such a poetic talent for writing in verse and it’s simply stunning.

The story itself was really easy to follow and throughout the book you get taken on a journey of self-discovery through the eyes of both Camino and Yahaira, and this dynamic certainly helps you to get to know both characters equally and on a personal level, which can be hard to do in some fiction. Also, the voices of both girls were totally unique to one another and I found it really easy to differentiate them when I was reading.

Plot wise, I found myself utterly absorbed in the story and the way it flowed was astonishing. You didn’t feel the need to backtrack to remind yourself of what happened previously or find yourself confused. Every single thing within the book was needed and that made for an easy read. I also want to mention the locations within this book, especially that of the Dominican Republic. Having never been to that location, I found it to be a real eyeopener of the culture and what life is like there.

Many different topics are tackled throughout Clap When You Land, some being death, grief, sexual harassment and stalking. These topics need to be spoken about more and featured in YA, so I really do admire Acevedo for putting issues such as these into her work. None of the stated issues are glamorised and bring to light the seriousness of each of them. I also feel that they could really help some teens who are going through some of these issues, to know they are not alone.

Clap When You Land is such a heartfelt story about loss and ultimately the coming together of family. I was instantly pulled in by the poetic writing style and found myself captivated within minutes. Overall it’s a story about finding the light within darkness.

This review is by volunteer reviewer Amy Rush Da Silva.

This title is part of our collection of BAME authors and illustrators.