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The Art of Crash Landing

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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  3,630 Ratings  ·  513 Reviews
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, Matti
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Paperback, 416 pages
Published September 8th 2015 by Harper Paperbacks
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John The protagonist admits throughout the book that she thinks of herself as a bad person. One of the main themes, if not the main theme, is her trying to…moreThe protagonist admits throughout the book that she thinks of herself as a bad person. One of the main themes, if not the main theme, is her trying to find out what made her mother become a bad person, and her attempts to redeem herself and not end up the bad person that her mother became.(less)

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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

3.5 Stars

“We’re all more than the worst thing we’ve done.”

Dear Mattie Wallace,

Chicago commercial photographers

I mean to tell you, this girl has zero of her s*&^ together. She’s broke, jobless, homeless, and she just discovered that if you forget to refill your birth control prescription and fail to take the first six pills of the month, something kinda turrrrrrible might be the outcome . . .

Chicago commercial photographers

When Mattie gets word that a grandmother she’s never known crossed o
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Theresa
Mattie Wallace is perfectly imperfect. She's a pregnant, homeless, and emotionally immature 30-year old living in Florida. "The Art of Crash Landing" by Melissa DeCarlo (her debut novel) has some really funny and heartwarming moments, as well as awkward and icky moments. I thought the writing was solid, and I liked Mattie's ex-step-dad, Herman, whom she affectionately refers to as, "Queeg". (such a sweet and gentle soul). As for Mattie, I really liked her in the beginning, but halfway through, y ...more
Jennifer
The Art of Crash Landing is a standalone, women's fiction novel written by Melissa DeCarlo. Let me tell you point blank: I hated the main character Mattie Wallace. She has a family history of crash landing big time and she succeeds in continuing the cycle. Mattie is your stereotypical moocher - a selfish, white-trash loser. Is that harsh? Yes. You know why? Because the characteristics we tend to hate in others are usually some of the same one's we are in denial about within ourselves. Is this al ...more
Larry H
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
Full disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. Many thanks to HarperCollins Publishers for making it available!

"Most people would probably have a hard time totally f--king up their life in under an hour. But then again, I'm not most people. I'm amazing. I'm like some kind of f--kup savant."

This may be it. This may be the point at which Mattie Wallace hits rock bottom. Fleeing her boyfriend (whom she affectionately refers to as Nick
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♛Tash
October 6, 2015




“I have ninja skills when it comes to screwing things up. It’s like a superpower only lamer.”


That’s according to Mattie Wallace, our narrator and main character in Melissa DeCarlo’s debut novel The Art of Crash Landing. Mattie is pregnant and penniless, with her whole life crammed into six giant trash bags, so when she unexpectedly receives a call informing her of her inheritance from a grandmother she’s never met, Mattie risks driving her beat-up 1978 Chevy Malibu from Flori
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Brian
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In this gem of a novel, we meet Mattie, short for Matilda, a young woman who is running away from her boyfriend who just got her pregnant. She travels to the town where her deceased mother was born and decides to look into the woman who she thought she knew. The book is filled with wonderful written and memorable characters, such as Tawny, Fritter and the many others. One major thing I enjoyed about this book was the fact that there weren't too many characters. In this type of novel, especially ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

"When you're ass deep in lemons, you start looking for a shovel, not a pitcher and a cup of sugar."

Thirty year old Mattie Wallace is homeless, jobless and pregnant, so an inheritance from the grandmother she never met is an unexpected life line. With her worldly belongings crammed into six plastic trash bags, Mattie drives from the Florida panhandle where she grew up with her alcoholic single mother, to small town Gandy, Oklahoma. Stranded in town when her 1978 Chevy Malibu gives out, Mattie set
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Abby
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book from Goodread's First Reads. All I have to say is....A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! IT WAS SO GOOD! I loved the humor and I was endlessly turning the pages trying to figure out the big secret. (which only took me 2 days because I refused to put the book down) I WAS HONESTLY SO SHOCKED! I literally screamed and started freaking out. (I will not share the secret, you must read it to find out) I really felt connected with Mattie, not in the pregnant, homeless way, but her sense of humor and r ...more
Alena
Jan 30, 2016 rated it liked it
An easy and likable read. I love an unstable protagonist bringing on her own trouble especially when she's smart and smart mouthed. My disappointment came in the story itself which was unnecessarily convoluted. The early promise of this debut novel wasn't quite fulfilled, but I'd watch for more from this author.
Ann
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, first-reads
(I received an ARC of The Art of Crash Landing via a goodreads giveaway. The book is scheduled for release in September 2015.)

The Art of Crashing is a mixture of drama, comedy, romance, personal struggle, hope and understanding. My favorite line from the book sums it up best:

"...I'm thinking about how fluid the border is between crazy and interesting, and how hard it is to decide who belongs where." (p. 136)

Definitely worth the read. :)

Heidi
Jul 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars: A funny and sage tale about a woman, whose life is a mess, who seeks the truth about her mother's past.

Matty jumps the fence and lands on her feet. That is cool, right? One positive thing for her since she threw everything she owns into six garbage bags after another fight with her boyfriend. Now she is seeking refuge with her stepfather. Queeg graciously takes her in, again, but Matty soon realizes that she has worn out her welcome. At thirty, Matty's life is a train wr
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Raven Haired Girl
Oct 05, 2015 added it
Shelves: 2015
I gotta say I struggled with this book, I couldn't stand Mattie at all, could not relate to her in any way, I found myself shaking my head in utter frustration. DeCarlo spins a yarn most will find appealing but Mattie's self loathing attitude and reckless choices left a bad taste in my mouth. She's got to be the most immature thirty year old woman I have encountered in a long time.

I understand Mattie's behavior stems from her childhood and her lukewarm relationship with her deceased mother. I'm
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Trish Terrell
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Mattie is a mess. Pregnant, broke, only-sort-of employed, and pretty much alone in the world except for her ex-stepdad, she's also her own worst enemy, the kind of woman who makes poor decisions impulsively and then seems somewhat surprised when nothing works out. So when she finds out there's an inheritance waiting for her in Oklahoma from the grandmother she never met, in the town her mother escaped years ago, well, of course she decides to drive there immediately from Florida in her broke-dow ...more
DJ Sakata
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: womens-fiction
Favorite Quotes:

“Queeg has a simple classification system when it comes to the men I date. They’re all idiots. I like to think it has something to do with them not being good enough for me, but I suspect it has more to do with them being stupid enough to date me.”

“One is a little larger than the other, but overall the Winstons look alike – tan fur, short legs, stubby bodies, bat like ears. They snort and trot around like little pigs, and already there has been significant fartage… JJ informed me
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Claire
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Claire by: Robyn Squyres
Shelves: 2015-top-10
Debuts like this make me wonder...what has Melissa DeCarlo been doing her whole life? Well apparently she was a computer science major who has worked in tech, grant writing and graphic design - but she was obviously made for this. The Art of Crash Landing is probably my favorite book so far this year.

The protagonist is a hot mess, the dialogue is impeccable (and hilarious), and the pacing is perfect. It was one of those stories you can hardly put down, but you really don't want to finish...beca
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Diane
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
With so much out there competing for our ever-dwindling attention span, a great first sentence is the key to grabbing the reader's eye. Melissa DeCarlo's debut novel The Art of Crash Landing has a doozy:
"Twenty-seven minutes is, if anyone ever asks, exactly how long it takes to cram everything I own into six giant trash bags."
I ask you, how can you not want to read the rest of this book?

Mattie Wallace is thirty years old, pregnant, underemployed, drinks too much and now she is moving out of her
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Luanne Ollivier
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh, do you ever get that delicious little frisson of excitement when you read the first few chapters of a book and realize you've stumbled across what is going to be a really, really good read? Melissa DeCarlo's debut novel, The Art of Crash Landing is one of those books - I absolutely loved it!

Mattie Wallace is 30 years old. And pregnant. And homeless. And broke. Screwing up her life is nothing new for Mattie. She's a bit (well maybe a bit more than a bit) of a train wreck. When she finds out t
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Ayla
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Surprising twist in the story.
Wendy Bunnell
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Art of Crash Landing is a strong debut novel from Melissa DeCarlo, with interesting characters, and a compelling plot. We follow our protagonist, Mattie (short for Mathilda) Wallace, as she ditches her loser musician boyfriend, broke and pregnant, as she seeks the path of least resistance - avoiding at all costs gainful employment or acts of responsibility on this journey. She isn’t the most likeable protagonist, as I found it hard to relate to her rampant immaturity as a 30 year old woman ...more
dluvsbooks
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is great!!!

"As far as I'm concerned, there are two types of people in this world: people like Queeg who, when life gives them lemons make lemonade, and everybody else. And although those smug, cheerful lemonade-makers think the rest of us just sit around all day bitching about not getting oranges, they're wrong. It's all about volume. When you're ass-deep in lemons, you start looking for a shovel, not a pitcher and a cup of sugar."
Pamela
Aug 20, 2015 added it
The mystery was actually a mystery! One that had me flipping furiously through the last 100 pages, and one that was satisfyingly solved.

(I read a lot of mysteries. This doesn't always happen. I congratulate Melissa DeCarlo and her brilliant, savvy editor.)
 Megan • Reading Books Like a Boss (book blog)
Twenty-seven minutes is, if anyone ever asks, exactly how long it takes to cram everything I own into six giant trash bags...Most people would probably have a hard time totally fucking up their life in under an hour. But then again, I'm not most people. I'm amazing. I'm like some kind of fuckup savant.

The opening lines of Melissa DeCarlo's THE ART OF CRASH LANDING tells you a lot about the quirky screwup protagonist, Mattie Wallace. At thirty, she's learned to fail and keep on going, but this
...more
Beth (fuelled by fiction)
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was immediately intrigued by this book because the synopsis included some things that get me going right away: family, small towns, mysteries, and family secrets. So basically, I was in from the get-go.

The story starts off with a bang:
Twenty-seven minutes is, if anyone ever asks, exactly how long it takes to cram everything I own into six giant trash bags.

Maddie Wallace is quite the character. She’s incredibly sassy, and has gotten herself into a pile of trouble. She’s pregnant, broke, and ru
...more
Vicki
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book has an interesting premise, but it was almost too hard to care enough about the protagonist to want to finish. Mattie is a grown woman. Her gift seems to be making poor choices and she does it over and over. She is pregnant and penniless. She knows that her live-in boy friend Nick does not want children, but she has not been responsible enough to keep up with the birth control. She goes to her stepfather Queeg in desperation when her car is breaking down and she has no money to pay her ...more
Amy


Fantastic cover and title. Promising premise: 30-year-old Mattie Wallace fears that since she’s broke and pregnant she may become just like her alcoholic mother. Her only possessions she keeps in several garbage bags. When her grandmother dies, Mattie travels from Florida to a small town in Oklahoma to retrieve her inheritance. The introduction to Mattie: “I fire up the Malibu, put in a Black Keys CD, and light a cigarette with shaking hands. Three drags later I remember why I quit smoking. Slam
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Rochelle
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: librarians-books
I loved this book. The recipe for this book:

1) White trash, alcoholic, emotionally unavailable woman inherits from her unknown grandmother after her alcoholic, fiscally and sexually irresponsible mother dies of cancer,

2) said woman abandons the one man (ex-alcoholic) who ever made a contribution to her life,

3) sets off in a unreliable heap on a cross country trek to solve the mystery of her mother's life,

4) meets a) an attractive (alcoholic) Episcopalian priest whom she decides to "seduce;"

cras
...more
Laura
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
www.snazzybooks.com

This is Melissa DeCarlo’s debut novel and I felt her writing was really humorous, packed with subtle jokes and dry humour which I loved.

Narrator Mattie was the main source of amusement, and some of her thoughts and quick-witted comments were very entertaining- though a lot of her decisions were rather questionable! To start with I wasn’t sure whether Mattie was a man or woman (I had purposely not read a lot about the book so as to leave my opinions unformed before I began read
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Sara Strand
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's not often that I agree with a synopsis when it says a book is hilarious. Well, it's maybe not "hilarious" but it is pretty funny and a very enjoyable read this past weekend! This book reminded me a lot of Liza Palmer's Nowhere But Home and that was such a good book. I'll be homing these two books next to each other on my shelf for sure.

But we have the story of Mattie, who had an interesting childhood with a mother who didn't give her the best example in the world. Mattie finds herself comp
...more
Sojourner
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo is a contemporary adult family fiction which is full of humor and wit, pain and struggle, and hope and redemption. The book is perceptive, and beautifully captures the angst of a woman who is broken, homeless and alone. Melissa painted such a convincing portrait of the main character that you can only empathize with her, feel her loneliness and desperately wants her situation to turn around. This is one amazing and wonderful book, with the characters a ...more
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
3.5 stars. It was okay. I couldn't get a read on the main characters personality. She was in an emotional hole with all kinds of things going wrong such as being pregnant when she's not sure she wants a kid and having a dirt bag as the father who also doesn't know or want kids. And she's broke. And her mother died and she's pretty much alone except for her step father who she believes is dying of cancer.
This is a good storyline, one that i'm interested in. But I kept lagging. The reading was kin
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52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2015.45: The Art of Crash Landing 3 26 Nov 20, 2015 02:00PM  
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“There is no such thing as magic," she told me. "You can b e l i e v e all you want, but it's never going to do you any good. Nobody flies. We only fall” 8 likes
“As far as I'm concerned, there are two types of people in this world: people like Queeg who, when life gives them lemons make lemonade, and everyone else. And although those smug lemonade-makers think the rest of us just sit around all day day bitching about not getting oranges, they're wrong. It's all about volume. When you're ass-deep in lemons, you start looking for a shovel, not a pitcher and a cup of sugar” 4 likes
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