Monday, December 28, 2015

G644 Book Review of The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo

Name of Book: The Art of Crash Landing

Author: Melissa DeCarlo

ISBN: 978-0-06-239054-7

Publisher: William Morrow

Type of book: Oklahoma, trainwreck, getting things together, modern times, relationships, mothers/daughters, sarcastic, humorous, growing up, coming of age, past, secrets, mystery

Year it was published: 2015


From a bright new talent comes this debut novel about a young woman who travels for the first time to her mother’s hometown, and gets sucked into the mystery that changed her family forever.

Mattie Wallace has really screwed up this time. Broke and knocked up, she’s got all her worldly possessions crammed into six giant trash bags, and nowhere to go. Try as she might, Mattie can no longer deny that she really is turning into her mother, a broken alcoholic who never met a bad choice she didn’t make.

When Mattie gets news of a possible inheritance left by a grandmother she’s never met, she jumps at this one last chance to turn things around. Leaving the Florida Panhandle, she drives eight hundred miles to her mother’s birthplace—the tiny town of Gandy, Oklahoma. There, she soon learns that her mother remains a local mystery—a happy, talented teenager who inexplicably skipped town thirty-five years ago with nothing but the clothes on her back. But the girl they describe bears little resemblance to the damaged woman Mattie knew, and before long it becomes clear that something terrible happened to her mother, and it happened here. The harder Mattie digs for answers, the more obstacles she encounters. Giving up, however, isn’t an option. Uncovering what started her mother’s downward spiral might be the only way to stop her own.

Hilarious, gripping, and unexpectedly wise, The Art of Crash Landing is a poignant novel from an assured new voice.


The main characters include Mattie, a 30 year old young woman who is jobless, homeless, struggles with finances, and has recently found out she is pregnant. She doesn't have any diplomacy skills and often makes enemies out of people. She also has had a very turbulent relationship with her mother, and is pretty close to a stepfather? named Queeg. What I didn't like about her is some drug use knowing she is pregnant. Queeg is Mattie's stepfather/father figure and doesn't give up on her, always believing that she can do better. He helps her out in many numerous ways be it financially or giving her a place to crash while she figures out her life. Her mother, from what Mattie knows of her, has red hair and green eyes, drank very frequently, has had numerous lovers and made a living out of photography. There are quite a few other characters such as the surly car mechanic, and the lawyer that helps her out more than necessary.


When things go wrong, they really go wrong


The story is in first person narrative from Mattie's point of view, and Mattie is a type of character that either one loves or hates with no in-between. There is also focus a lot on relationships in the story, in particular that between the mothers/daughters which lasts quite a few generations and can create a lot of damage to the participants. The story itself has a relaxed atmosphere, although I was hooked and wanted to keep on reading to see how things would resolve themselves.

Author Information:
(From TLC Book Tours)

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About Melissa DeCarlom

Melissa DeCarlo was born and raised in Oklahoma City, and has worked as an artist, graphic designer, grant writer, and even (back when computers were the size of refrigerators) a computer programmer. The Art of Crash Landing is her first novel. Melissa now lives in East Texas with her husband and a motley crew of rescue animals.
Find out more about Melissa at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.


A funny, sparkling and a very realistic story of a woman that, well,has everything going wrong for her, or rather the worst case scenarios actually do happen to her. But asides from that, she doesn't lose her strength or her wit to help the audience laugh at her mistakes. In my opinion, the story is more about the mystery that had happened in her mother's past, and although it does have a little bit of coming of age element, it seems more realistic rather than fake. That consistency lasts throughout the whole story. I also really loved the zingers, the one being my favorite about comparing pregnancy to an ultimate STD. The story also takes place over an entire week of when Mattie travels to Oklahoma to settle down some business she has there. If the reader is looking for something funny and realistic at once as well as a story that has a mystery going in different directions, then its the right book to pick up and enjoy.

This is a late review for TLC Book Tours

Melissa’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, September 8th: Books and Bindings
Thursday, September 10th: The Book Bag
Friday, September 11th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Tuesday, September 15th: Literary Lindsey
Wednesday, September 16th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Thursday, September 17th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, September 18th: bookchickdi
Friday, September 18th: Fuelled by Fiction
Wednesday, September 23rd: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, September 24th: Kahakai Kitchen
Friday, September 25: 5 Minutes for Books
Monday, September 28th: BoundbyWords
Wednesday, September 30th: A Bookworm’s World
Thursday, October 1st: A Bookish Affair
Monday, October 5th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, October 6th: Raven Haired Girl
Thursday, October 8th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Friday, October 9th: My Book Retreat
Sunday, October 11th: Novel Escapes
Monday, October 12th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Tuesday, October 13th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, October 14th: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Thursday, October 15th: Joyfully Retired
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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