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Book Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Rating 5/5

Two sisters, one living in NYC and the other living in the Dominican Republic find out about each other after their father's sudden death in a plane crash. First, Elizabeth Acevedo's poetic prose is so beautiful. Even if this was a mediocre story, her writing style alone gets 5 stars. (If it weren't for that, I probably would've just stuck with 4, but as a poet, I had to give sis her props.)

This was a sweet YA story of sisterhood and touched on some serious subjects such as grief and family secrets without being too emotionally overwhelming. I've noticed that other reviewers felt that the story lacked depth and didn't quite hit them in the feels, and let me remind you that not everything written by authors of color has to be struggle/trauma porn. Especially books that deal with teenagers. Give us a break and go read The Color Purple if you want to cry so bad. I believe this is one of those books where being Black/brown/an immigrant might make it easier to connect with. Also, remembering that this IS a book marketed to teens is important. People often forget that YA will not always be written in a raw, hard way that takes your breath away. And that's okay.

I think I liked Camino's POV more than Yaya's simply because there was more at stake for her, and she got the crappy end of the 'father' stick being left behind in the DR. The beginning did move a bit slow, but I didn't mind. Also, if the author is up for it, I'd love a novella spin-off/prequel about Yaya & her girlfriend Drea. Their relationship was cute and I think it would make for a good queer YA romance with good dark-skinned representation. Yaya's mother and father both pissed me off, but I'm glad her mother came around and did what she should've done years ago. Recommended if you love poetry and want to read something heartwarming but not gut-wrenching.

You can find it on Amazon or Scrib'd.

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