Clap When You Land
By: Elizabeth Acevedo
I love the idea of books in verse and they are fun fast reads but when I’m done with them (especially the Acevedo ones) I’m usually left with the feeling of wanting more. And Clap When You Land is no different.
Camino lives in the Dominican Republic where she helps her Aunt with the sick and excitedly waits for the arrival of her father for his annual summer visit. She knows nothing about his life in the states except she yearns to go to medical school there and live near him.
Yahaira has been having issues with her father and when he leaves for his annual summer in the Dominican Republic (a place she has never been and where she can never get in touch with him) she has nothing to say to him.
When his plane goes down with no survivors both girls are about to learn daddy’s not so little secret.
Clap When You Land was a good story. I liked both characters and I liked that while the girls had to deal with the complexity of their father’s life and the conspiring adults around them it really did meld more into a story about them and their relationship and future which is how it should be.
The Dominican Republic parts are best drawn and you can feel Camino’s fear as the father she didn’t know who was still paying off the local pimp to stay away from her is gone and she’s open season now. She makes some strong choices here and I though good for you girl. You get what you need.
I also really felt for Yahaira when she tells the story about how she was assaulted on a train and when she desperately needed her father he was in DR and wouldn’t even take her call. It was really a smart showing into how while he probably loved both girls very much he wasn’t really there for either of them.
But like I said a couple of times throughout the book and definitely at the end I couldn’t help but think- this should have just been a regularly written book. I know it’s a strange criticism to say oh, the book was good I just wanted more of it, or to be more precise more story but that’s how it goes.
Or maybe the books in verse concept is still so rare that I’m not really adjusted to it? Either way Clap When You Land is worth a read.