Clap When You Land – A Tale of Two Sisters

Clap When You Land

Book Summary

“Clap When You Land is 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.”

– Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (Amazon Preview)

Clap When You Land Review

Initial Thoughts

I read this book for a class I took called Children’s Literature in Diversity. It seems like some of the best books I’ve found have been through my college courses! I read the synopsis, and wasn’t sure how I would feel about it initially, but I ended up really enjoying this book. It pulled on so many emotions, and at times it was hard to read because of that. But overall, this book was definitely worth the read. I highly recommend it.

This book is so emotional, so messy at times, and also leaves you feeling raw at points. But, all of those things are done in the best way possible. The author has a gift for pulling on emotions and writing relatable scenarios even if your life is drastically different than the characters’. If there was one phrase I had to use to describe this book, it would definitely be “emotional and beautiful”.

Clap When You Land Itself

This book is told from the dual POV of two sisters. The author makes it really easy to tell which one is currently telling the story. Each chapter’s title is the name of the sister who is speaking. This makes it really easy to know where you are in the story. I really like that she chose to do it this way, otherwise I feel like I would’ve been lost.

Since each sisters’ story is so different from the other, there is a lot to keep track of in this book. However, the author does a fantastic job of setting the scene so you always know where the sister is at. Also, the story is told in prose. The words the author uses to tell the story this way are so beautifully put together. At times, it really does feel like you are reading a poetry book. This really added a new layer of depth to the story, and it made the pacing of this book really enjoyable.

Camino and Yahaira had so many different layers to them as characters. You could really see their dynamic both when they are separate and when they are together. The author describes their traits with not only their words, but you can really see it in their actions too. Both were enjoyable to read as characters. Their development over the course of the story was also really well done. Seeing them eventually meet, and how they grow together was one of my favorite parts of the story.

Overall, I really loved this book. I tried not to spoil anything with this review, and I know some of it might sound a bit vague, but this is truly a book you have to just read yourself.


There really aren’t any generic tropes in this book that I can think of. Check out Natalia Santana’s review of this book to see what I mean (“What does this book do well?” section). She does an awesome job of describing how Acevedo’s characters really defy tropes of age and culture.

If You Like That, You’ll Like This

This book reminded me a lot of the Crank series by Ellen Hopkins. The way that the story is written in verse as well as the rawness of it was really similar in some ways! You will probably love this book if you like realistic contemporary fiction. Because even though this book is fiction, it seems like it’s based on true events.

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