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Clap When You Land Review

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acedevo

Camino lives in the Dominican Republic and looks forward to her father visiting her every year. Little does she know, her father has another daughter, Yahaira, in the United States. When a tragic plane crash kills their father, the two girls learn about each other and have to face the complex actions of their father.


Queer, young adult, contemporary


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 is a novel told in verse, like The Poet X, another novel by Acedevo. This one was just as good. The story is short but emotionally complex, as the sisters grieve their father but realize the ways in which he tricked his family. At first wanting to villanize each other, they realize they were both harmed by their dad, and are forced to come to terms with it.

It’s a sad story, as the grief over the death of a parent was written in a very real, visceral way. The dual points of view were good, although sometimes I had a hard time distinguishing them, which tends to happen with multiple first person points of view. Luckily the chapters were marked with who is narrating, so I could check if I got confused.

And while not the focus, the book had queer rep! Yahaira has a girlfriend who supports her. There’s no struggles with queer identity, which I actually appreciate sometimes because it’s nice to read a story where the character happens to be queer and is comfortable with that, and their problems are unrelated.

I loved this book and I’m definitely going to be reading With the Fire on High, a third Acedevo novel.

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