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  • Mandy McHugh

Clap for this Book: Clap When You Land, Elizabeth Acevedo: A Review

With the Fire on High was one of my favorite reads last year, and Clap When You Land just confirms that Elizabeth Acevedo could publish her grocery list, and I'd read it.



Clap When You Land is a dual narrative novel in verse following two girls mourning the tragic loss of their father and learning he wasn't (always) the man they thought he was.


I haven't read a novel in verse in a long time, and let me tell you: this book is an effortlessly beautiful read. I literally had tears in my eyes when I finished, and as someone who primarily reads thrillers and horror, this is a difficult feat. With powerful imagery, carefully chosen words, and masterfully developed characters, Acevedo's narrative style will sweep you away. As MCs, Yahaira and Camino are similar, each one dealing with grief and loss and personal obstacles while navigating the uncharted waters of changing family dynamics. But they are also inherently different, being raised in two polarized environments with two different versions of their father.


I especially loved the importance of home. Parts of this novel read as a love letter to the DR, from the community and the gentle nods from strangers to the serenity of the beaches and the reflection on life transitions. Needing to move on doesn't mean that home won't be there for you or that you love your home any less, and Acevedo nailed this juxtaposition.


Overall, Clap When You Land is a story about love and grief and the restrictions we place on ourselves. It's about dreams and identity and family and their ever-changing forms. I can't say enough good things about this book (and Acevedo's writing in general). Read this now and then talk to me about how much you loved it, too.

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