As I started reading this book, I was rather dubious. Mattie makes terrible decisions, again and again. It becomes kind of frustrating to watch her mom's ex-boyfriend and other characters reach out to her, only to have their kindness shoved back in their face. But somewhere along the way, Ms. DeCarlo makes you care. Mattie is a seriously messed up person and she actually wants to change - she just doesn't know how to do that.
As readers start to care for Mattie in spite of her, they will also fall head over heels for the residents of Gandy, Oklahoma. Where else would you find a cranky librarian known to the locals as Aunt Fritter or a sulking teenage girl who seems like a stand-in for April from Parks and Rec? Mattie slowly starts to get to know the people of the town and discovers that the people who look like they should have their stuff together are often the ones hiding the biggest secrets. Perhaps there is room in this community for one more person who has made big mistakes.
This book is funny and written so smoothly that you won't even notice that you've been reading for an hour. While the premise of a girl going back to her hometown, discovering family secrets, and just maybe making good may sound like something you have read before, DeCarlo infuses it with new life and new humor. The Art of Crash Landing is a book I grew to love and I am looking forward to more stories from this debut author!
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The Art of Crash Landing
By Melissa DeCarlo
Harper Paperback September 2015
Received for review from TLC Book Tours and the publisher