Title: Clap When You Land
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
TW/CW: Sexual Assault, Death of a parent , Grieving, Harassment, and Stalking
Elizabeth Acevedo has done it again with her beautiful writing in verse form, but she also brings awareness to something that’s almost always swept under the rug. Tragedies not fueled by politics. Acevedo’s “Clap When You Land” is centered around a real life tragedy. On November 12, 2001 American Airlines flight 587 en route to the Dominican Republic crashed into a neighborhood in Queens, NY. At first terrorism was said to come into play, as this was around the time September 11th happened. 265 people died on board and 5 people died on ground. It was a national tragedy. However, when it was discovered it wasn’t a terrorist attack, the media coverage ended. The Dominican community was devastated and left without answers and broken hearts.
‘Clap When You Land’ follows the lives of Camino and Yahaira. One lives in Santo Domingo and the other lives in NYC. They’re both oblivious to each other’s existence until they lose their father in a airplane crash. The flight was en route to DR. Their father was living a double life, and through this whole tragedy they were able to connect with each other despite the differences in living conditions. Both girls are fighting their own issues, but Camino feels unprotected without her father the most. Especially against the town pimp”El Cero”. El Cero is a creep and consistently stalks her everywhere she goes. She’s tired of this life. She just wants to go to Columbia and study premed, but she’s torn between that and the love for her land. Once they finally connect they both realize their father wasn’t who they thought, even though he was perfect in their eyes he definitely had some major flaws.
I absolutely loved this beautifully written story. It shows how a tragedy can bring you close and help you grow. Both of these young ladies helped each other in ways they thought they couldn’t. Acevedo has done it once again with this heart wrenching novel. It will definitely have you in your feels.