The acclaimed novel Clap When You Land, by Elizabeth Acevedo, is one that proficiently weaves a triumphant story of two girls who are oceans apart, and by an unfortunate circumstance are brought together. It is an in-verse novel that switches back and forth between perspectives from the two main characters, Camino and Yahaira.
Camino is a young girl who lives in the Dominican Republic, spending her days in the water or helping her healer guardian, her Tia. Yahaira lives in New York with her Mami and her dad. She loves spending time with her girlfriend and knows a secret she believes no one knows but her. This secret turns out to be life-altering, and both girls will change because of it.
This novel vibrates with energy, it gives you a feeling that you need to read it from start to finish in one sitting. Camino and Yahaira are such vibrant characters, they have wants, regrets, and complex backstories. You will cheer at their achievements and cringe at their pitfalls. The narrators honestly flesh out their lives in such immense detail, it is amazing. This is a stunning and well-written book.
I loved the beautifully poetic words that were displayed in this book.
“The body is a funny piece of meat. How it inflates and deflates in order to keep you alive. But how simple words can fill you up or pierce the air out of you.”
― Elizabeth Acevedo, Clap When You Land
I loved this quote because it is so true. Our bodies are so strong, yet so fragile. It is crazy how words have so much power and control over us.
I liked the book because of the compelling characters and storyline. But, I believe that the ending was a bit rushed, which, for me, ruined the flow of the novel. The ending was a little awkward.
I would recommend this book to readers 12 and older. Some of the content is relatively mature, with topics regarding child predators and death. If you like Acevedo’s book The Poet X, you will enjoy this one.
Three out of four roses!