Favourite quotes: Clap When You Land

Welcome to another post! Today I wanted to start a small series sharing my favourite quotes from books I’ve read recently, and the first book is Clap When You Land.

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Warning: the quotes are from all parts of the books. I wouldn’t say there’s spoilers but you still might not want to read this if you are planning on reading it!

But Dre speaks to me slowly. Like I’ve seen her whisper to a drooping plant. Believing that her own breath can unfurl a dying leaf. Can sing it back to health. Can unwilt the stalk.

Wow. Her writing is so vivid. It reminded me a bit of the Aeneid Book 11 where Virgil compares Pallas to a drooping hyacinth (random I know, but I was revising the Aeneid for my exams!), which made it so much more poignant to me.

“Fight until you can’t breathe, & if you have to forfeit, you forfeit smiling, make them think you let them win.”

I love this. That’s all.

Playing chess taught me a queen is both: deadly & graceful, poised & ruthless. Quiet & cunning. A queen offers her hand to be kissed, & can form it into a fist while smiling the whole damn time.

This line took my breath away. If I was taking English Lit, I would love to rip this quote apart and analyse it properly.

Can you claim a home that does not know you, much less claim you as its own?

This shows Acevedo’s portrayal of Yahaira, who lives in New York but is struggling with her Dominican heritage and identity which is based on a place she has never visited.

Dreams are like the pieces of fluff that get caught in your hair; they stand out for a moment, but eventually you wash them away, or long fingers reach in & pluck them out & you appear as what everyone expects.

This quote has less depth than the others, but I think it shows Acevedo’s magical writing style.

Even the women, girls like me, our mothers & tías, our bodies are branded jungle gyms. Men with accents pick us as if from a brochure to climb & slide & swing.

Again, Acevedo conveyed this idea really well and it made me so sad how accurate this is.

Papi was a man split in two, playing a game against himself. But the problem with that is that in order to win, you also always lose.

As you can tell, I love the chess references throughout the book!

it ends not with us in the sky or the water, but together on solid earth safely grounded.

This was the perfect last line of the book for me.

Thank you for reading! Which was your favourite quote?

I’m going to leave with you with Acevedo’s own intention for the Clap When You Land:

Most families are messy; most parents will fail to live up to the hero worship of their children. In Clap When You Land, I wanted to write a story that considered who matters and deserves attention in the media, as well as a more intimate portrayal of what it means to discover secrets, to discover family, to discover the depths of your own character in the face of great loss—and gain.



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