Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo is a YA novel in verse following two teenage girls who unexpectedly lose their father in a plane crash. Camino lives in the Dominican Republic and Yahaira lives in New York City and until the plane crash, they don’t know about each other or the double life their father has been living since before they were born. The story is split between the points of view of the two girls as they discover the truth and deal with the death of their father.
Earlier this year, I read The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo and loved it, it’s one of my top reads of 2021 so far. While I really enjoyed this one, it definitely wasn’t as good and didn’t have the same power as The Poet X. The story was interesting and the writing was still beautiful but it was missing that urgency and power from The Poet X.
Camino and Yahaira were both interesting characters and different enough to have clear POVs but still with some similarities that worked with the story. The beginning of getting to know them and their initial grief and reveals of their father’s deception were done really well. Then it stalled a bit in the middle and the ending felt rushed. I would have preferred to explore the girls getting to know each other more and speed up the middle portion which seemed quite redundant.
I know very little about poetry but the way this one was written also didn’t have quite the same impact as The Poet X. There was much less variety in the style of verse and a lot of it was written in long lines that read, at least in my head, almost as prose. Reading a novel in verse as someone who doesn’t read a lot of poetry, I like the differing styles and format and felt in the others I’ve read that they were really used to help convey tone and here that piece was missing.
Overall, I really did enjoy this one. I gave it 4 stars.