Do you Clap When You Land? Book Review

The Day

I am beginning to learn
that life-altering news 
is often like a premature birth:
ill-timed, catching someone unaware,
emotionally unprepared
& often where they shouldn’t be:

© Elizabeth Acevedo, Clap When You Land

The title Clap When You Land resonated with me, as it is something anyone who has flown to the Caribbean or Africa has experienced. It is the display of gratitude at landing safely at your destination, and it was quite a surprise to learn that other cultures do not express their thanks in this way.

It’s against this backdrop that I decided to read Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. I had no other expectations about the book as I was not only drawn to the title, but also the cover featuring two young beautiful women who looked alike with slightly differing skin tones.

Clap When You Land is a contemporary YA fiction novel set in the United States if America (New York) and the Dominican Republican, and tells the story of two girls Camino and Yahaira, who had never met or knew of each others existence, until the passing of their father in a plane crash, on his way to visit Camino in the Dominican Republic.

The book covered a variety of themes including family, grief, anger, betrayal and bereavement. It was was poignant and heartfelt, and could be a gateway to discussion for those in the target audience who are experiencing these emotions. I really liked the way the book reflected the marking of time following their father’s death.

Young-adult fiction (often abbreviated as YA) is fiction written for, published for, or marketed to adolescents and young adults, roughly ages 13 to 18.
Young-adult fiction, whether in the form of novels or short stories, has distinct attributes that distinguish it from the other age categories of fiction. The vast majority of YA stories portray an adolescent as the protagonist, rather than an adult or a child. The subject matter and story lines are typically consistent with the age and experience of the main character, but beyond that YA stories span the entire spectrum of fiction genres. The settings of YA stories are limited only by the imagination and skill of the author.
Themes in YA stories often focus on the challenges of youth, so much so that the entire age category is sometimes referred to as problem novels or coming of age novel. Writing styles of YA stories range widely, from the richness of literary style to the clarity and speed of the unobtrusive. Despite its unique characteristics, YA shares the fundamental elements of fiction with other stories: character, plot, setting, theme, and style.
Defined by Goodreads

I read the audio book version of the book, and the two person narrative style was extremely engaging, and I believe it truly captured the spirit of the two characters, spoken word element of the book and brought Acedevo’s story to life.

The book is narrated by Elizabeth Acedevo and Melania-Luisa Marte.

I really enjoyed the book and as an audiobook was a relatively quick read, as it was just over 5 hours in reading time.

For the Popsugar challenge the book falls in the category of a book in a different format than what you normally read (audio, e-books, graphic novels) due to the in verse style that it was written.

Clap When You Land is also available in paperback from your usual retailers including Amazon, Foyles and Waterstones, and I would definitely recommend.

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