Clap When You Land (Book Review)

Elizabeth Acevedo is one of my favorite authors for a reason. She has this gift of connecting the reader to her pieces in ways that I haven’t seen before. I actually read this over a month ago and I’m still thinking about Yahaira and Camino.

Have y’all seen this cover? Wait, did you check the inside too?

When I tell you this cover is one of the most gorgeous things I’ve seen, just know that I’m not exaggerating.

Trigger warnings: death of a parent, stalking, sexual assault

The Good

I love Acevedo’s use of imagery. There are just so many lines where I have to pause as the image hits me. There were a few pages I found myself re-reading because they were not only beautiful, but they also hit me in a way I wasn’t expecting.

Clap When You Land does a great job of addressing grief and the challenges that come with it. Yes, this is an extenuating circumstance, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t exposed to a lot of the general things that come along with grief. Grief is universal and this story does a great job of showing that.

The plot was so good and it stayed consistent throughout. There was no part of this story that felt unnecessary or like it was just thrown in to be thrown in.

There’s a ton of representation. Both main characters are Afro-Latinx. There is some mention of colorism. One of the main characters is queer. There’s also mention of Haitians being discriminated against in the Dominican Republic, which I really appreciated.

The Not So Good

Bearing in mind that this is a book about grief in many ways, it is sad. And I mean really sad. I didn’t enjoy this as much as I did her other two books, but that’s also because of where I was at the time reading this. The world was (and still is) on fire and I don’t think I read it at the right time to truly enjoy it.

There are some scenes that may be triggering for some readers, like sexual assault and one of the characters is being stalked by an older man.

All in All

I think this is a perfect story for anyone suffering through a loss. Elizabeth Acevedo has a way of putting those feelings into statements that you can understand and relate to.

I didn’t enjoy this as much as The Poet X and With the Fire on High but that probably also has to do with the time when I read it.

Elizabeth Acevedo is basically an insta-buy author for me so I can’t wait to read everything else she puts out in the future.

Have you read Clap When You Land?

Do you like poetry?

What was your latest read?

Let me know in the comments below, let’s chat!


Author: Rachelle Saint Louis

Rachelle Saint Louis is a Haitian-American writer, born and raised in South Florida. She received a 2018 Silver Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition for her poem “Red Blood Cell.” She is currently a Psychology and English double major at Florida Atlantic University. Her poetry has been published in Rigorous Magazine. Rachelle has been writing poetry since the 7th grade and you can often find her performing Spoken Word at local open mics.

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