Popsugar Summer Reading Challenge 2020 – Book 1

Prompt: A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist

I’ve decided to give the Popsigar Summer Reading Challenge a go! There are 20 prompts all with a summer theme and it’s a great way to clear some of my TBR pile. I’m on a buying ban for Juky so my aim is to see how many of my existing stack dot into the prompts – spoiler alert – I can do nearly all of them!

I’m starting with Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo to tick of the LGBTQ+ prompt.

What it’s about?

From Goodreads:

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.

In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

What I think:

I loved Elizabeth Acevedo’s previous books and I loved this too.

I really enjoy the verse novel form as it gets to the emotional heart of a story and it was perfect for the story of Camino and Yahaira.

The two half sisters are unaware of each others existence until the tragic death death of their father in a plane crash.

Their lives and personalities are very different.

In the Dominican Republic, Camino sees poverty and fear. People Re struggling to make ends meet and there is a lack of education and health care. Unlike most girls she knows, Camino dreams of completing her education and becoming a doctor. Her father pays for her school fees and has promised a visa to the US for her college education. All of this is destroyed with his death.

Yahaira lives in New York where she is in love with her best friend Dre. She has distanced herself from her father after finding his hidden marriage certificate and realising that there was more to his trips to the Dominican Republic than just business.

Casino and Yahaira have to come to terms with the sudden loss of their father and the impact it has on both of their families as past secrets are revealed. In their grief they find each other and discover the bond of sisters.

This is a big novel with some big themes and it’s beautifully done. Family, love, grief, sisterhood and betrayal are all explore against the backdrop of immigration and identity.

Its brilliant and poignant. I loved it and I fully recommend it. It’s always great to read books with LGBTQ+ characters that are not primarily about their security and Dre and Yahaira’s relationship is beautifully done.

You can order Clap When You Land from:

Waterstones: click here

Amazon.co.uk: click here

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