Clap When You Land is Elizabeth Acevedo’s YA Novel about two teenage sisters who learn of each other’s existence when their biological father dies in a plane crash. The story is told in two POVs by both sisters. We experience both of their lives in two settings: the Dominican Republic and New York.
Yahaira Rios, who is growing up in New York, is more developed as a character. She talks about, in a matter of fact way, the gender norms of an American girl and how it lends to the rage that grows in young women. She has a best friend and girlfriend. The relationship between her and her mother is interesting. After the death of her father, her mother becomes a shell of herself and is barely holding up, leaving Camino to become the woman of the house.
Camina Rios, the one living in Dominican Republic, wants to get to know her sister. However, her mother is not so happy about the other branch in their family tree and the relationship, the man she loved had. She does talk about life growing up in DR, but I found that Acevedo gave more attention to the New York setting and Yahaira’s characters.
This book is engaging from the start. In this story we follow two sisters, Camino and Yahaira, who share a father. Neither one knows of the other until after he dies in a plane crash. This is a powerful story that makes you angry at times, hopeful other times. It’s about dysfunctional families, imperfect parents, and young girls coming of age and learning how to be themselves in a world where they may not be accepted. This story is also told in two different settings: New York and Dominican Republic.
The author, Elizabeth Acevedo narrates the audiobook. She did a great job of telling the story. She invokes anger at certain moments, compassion at other moments. She goes through all the stages of being a teenage girl in a real way.