Elizabeth Acevedo is quickly becoming an auto read author for me. I loved reading The Poet X a few months ago so I knew I had to read Clap When you Land next!
Clap when you land is a novel in verse written by slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo and tells the story of two sisters separated by a big family secret.
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Camino Rios longs for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. However, on the day she is supposed to meet him at the airport, Camino learns that he has died in a plane crash.
Yahaira Rios is a chess champion and lives a comfortable life in New York. After her father leaves for the D.R, she’s called into the principal’s office only to learn her father has died in a plane crash.
Their worlds turned upside down, and just when they start to feel isolated in their grief, they learn of each other.
Just like her previous novel, Elizabeth Acevedo also injects her poetic sentences into this one. I enjoyed the listening experience of The Poet X so much I knew I also had to read Clap when you land as an audiobook too. Clap when you land is narrated by Acevedo and Melania-Luisa Marte as the voices of both sisters. So, the reading experience is unique, as the dual POV narrative.
Although two narrative voices for the audiobook can get confusing if you cannot tell the narrators apart, I think the best way to resolve that issue is to listen to The Poet X first. I was able to pick out Elizabeth Acevedo’s voice during the POV switches because of this.
Check out a snippet of the audiobook right here.
This story is a whirlwind, but it also heavy with grief longing, and love. I loved this novel and the way it brought together two sisters who had never met but shared blood. This novel broke my heart but also but it back together, and I did tear up in some parts.
Additionally, I think it was wise that Acevedo wrote this story from the perspective of both sisters. It gave the story more heart, and it kept me on the edge of my seat, waiting for both of them to finally meet. And when they did, it hurt to realize the way they searched for their father’s face in each other.
Clap When You Land contains many little moments like this, but the one that stood out the most in my mind is when Yahira sits on Camino’s porch for the first time and takes in all the color that D.R has to offer. It’s jarring for Yahira because she grew up in a city full of skyscrapers and neutral tones. At that moment, I think Yahira wonders what her life could have been like on the island. When juxtaposed with Camino’s need to leave her home for a future as a doctor in the states, it provided a bridge between the sisters only they could understand. It’s full of dreams and wishes and longing.
My favorite part in this novel was how Yahira’s mother and Camino’s aunt come together to allow the two sisters to get to know each other. Yahira hints at how uncomfortable her mother is that her husband had a separate family in the D.R. It’s understandable that Mrs. Rio would steer away from the D.R rather than come to terms with her husband’s infidelity. However, it truly warmed my heart that Mrs. Rio ends up fulfilling her husband’s last wish and files for a visa (residency?) so Camino can live in the U.S with her sister and stepmother.
This story is phenomenal in audiobook form, but if that isn’t available to you, the print version is available here through my bookshop link.
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Cw: Sexual assault, plane crash, family death, stalking, creepy men, and grief
Until my next post keep living in libros,
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