// Genre and Themes: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, found family, f\f relationship
// Editor and Publisher: Rosemary Brosnan, HarperTeen
// Trigger Warnings: death of a parent [graphic], sexual assault [graphic], details of a plane crash [graphic]
// Rep: Lesbian MC (I think)
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.
There’s some actual magic in Elizabeth Acevedo’s writing. Her books always seem to find me right when I need them. I read With the Fire on High when I was struggling with many of the same things Emoni was, and when I read Clap When You Land I had a very similar experience. I don’t want to get into it too much, but this book was exactly what I needed.
I thought I would struggle with a novel told in verse, but honestly I should have trusted Elizabeth Acevedo more. It was immersive and deep and conveyed so much more than what was written on the surface. You could truly feel the pain and loss these characters were going through – and not just the main characters.
I’m inclined to say the book is fast-paced, but it’s truly not. It takes its time getting to know and feel for the all the characters. If you’re deterred by slow-paced books, don’t worry about this one. Even though the story itself was slow-paced, there was never a lull or break in the immersion. I credit this to the writing style mostly, since the verses didn’t weigh the pages down with unnecessary descriptions or thoughts.
The only Acevedo book I haven’t read is The Poet X, her first novel, so I think I’ll add that to my tbr and try to get to it sooner than later.
This was a short review, but I truly just loved this book. I highly recommend any of Acevedo’s work.
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