Camino Rios, raised by her tía in the Dominican Republic, dreams of training as a doctor in the United States. She loves assisting Tía, who is a healer, and while her dreams might seem like a long shot, they're not completely out of reach. Camino is a strong student and talented healer--and if she went to Columbia, she would be near her beloved papi, who spends most of his time working in the US to support her and Tía. By the summer before her senior year of high school, Camino's plans seem to finally be falling into place--at least, until she arrives at the airport to pick up Papi for his annual summer visit, and his plane never arrives.
Yahaira Rios is a fashion-loving former chess champion who quit the sport last year as a rising star. She and her mother live in the Bronx--with her papi, when he's not on one of his frequent business trips. But after stumbling across a carefully hidden family secret, she hasn't talked to him in almost a year.
And now she never will again.
When news of the plane crash arrives, Camino and Yahaira are pulled into a web of grief, secrets, and betrayal which threatens to pull their families apart. But just when it feels that they've lost everything, one more secret is revealed--one which helps both girls face the future and understand the complexity of the stories the crash has revealed.
Written in gorgeous, rhythmic free verse, Clap When You Land is a stunning exploration of grief, forgiveness, and the many types of love that hold a family together. Acevedo deftly weaves Camino and Yahaira's lives and worlds, making each distinct and deeply relatable, and ultimately creating an immensely believable combination of friction and connection between them. Her writing is impeccable and absorbing, and it's a joy to watch the story unfold. I've wanted to read her books for a while now, and this was the first I've checked out--I'm now definitely planning on reading her others! I would highly recommend Clap When You Land to readers ages 14 and up.