Clap When You Land: A book review

Clap When You Land is a popular young adult book that was written in 2020.


Clap When You Land is a multi-voiced book written by Elizabeth Acevedo that focuses on identity, courage, and familial secrets. The book has won multiple awards. Clap When You Land has gained a lot of attention for its messages of feminism, unity, and anti-homophobia. I want to give my honest review of this book.


The book revolves around two half-sisters: Yahaira and Camino Rios. There are many other characters in this book as well. These characters all have an incredible amount of depth. Each character has its backstory. You eventually fall in tune with all of the characters. It feels like you know all of the characters after one point. While the book only focuses on the point of view of two characters, a myriad of characters are represented in this story.


The book switches between the point of view of two different characters (Yahaira and Camino). The book eventually combines the point of view at the end of the story. The book contains a lot of poetic language, which is a reflection of Acevedo’s skill at poetry. Clap When You Land is also written in free verse. The author effortlessly melds free verse and prose to create a symphony of words that flows ever so beautifully across the page. The way Clap When You Land is written is easily one of the best parts of this literary experience.


The story is based on the crash of American Airlines Flight 587. The flight was from New York City, United States of America to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The event was the second most deadly aviation accident in U.S history. A memorial for this crash was constructed in Rockaway Park. Many have likened the journey from New York to Santo Domingo to the journey Muslims take to Mecca. This event affected many in New York’s Dominican-American community. The crash is the tragedy that unites the two sisters.


Camino Rios was born in the Dominican Republic. Her half-sister Yahaira was born in New York. They know nothing of each other. They are separated by a bridge of lies and secrets. But tragedy tears the bridge down. They both struggle in their own ways after their father’s death. Yahaira struggles with coming to terms with her father’s lies, and Camino is forced to deal with a local criminal who preys on young girls. They fight for their families and try to seek closure when it comes to their father.


I would give this book a 9.4 out of 10. The book does contain some profanity, but not much. Any profanity used indicates passion in each character’s thoughts. I think that this book is for those who are 13 or older.