I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston
Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 14, 2013
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
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She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.
Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.
But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.
The Rules for disappearing was one of my top must haves this year. I can’t honestly specify why, since mystery/thrillers hadn’t been my cup of tea until recently. Although it wasn’t as great as I anticipated or hoped for, it did not disappoint.
“Meg” is on yet another move with her stint in the witness protection program. It’s pretty clear right off that this move is different– with drastic changes to her appearance. Defeated and worn down, she swears off making friends and instead, chooses to isolate herself. But after meeting Ethan, things start to change. As their relationship builds and the two grow closer together, Meg is determined to stay and find out exactly what happened to land their family in the program. As secrets start to unfold, and the full details of what happened comes to light, she sets off with Ethan to set things right.
I will admit upfront– I figured a few things out pretty early on. Not all of it, because there are so many things presenting itself. However, although I figured one twist, I was still shocked and thrown by the other small revelations. I often find myself trying to piece together some seriously far-fetched shit, so I tend to lose focus on what is really happening.
In any case- Ashley Elston does an amazing job with the suspense factor. I was on my toes the entire book with thoughts of “What the hell is going on!?” constantly on my mind. The plot was different something I haven’t seen much in YA. Honestly though, it was slightly less than realistic that this person would continue after such a long time to track them down. *shrug* The pacing of the book was perfect for me. Creating a more suspenseful vibe with room to constantly question what the heck was going on.
Meg’s character is what I like to see in these types of books. Strong, brave, bold and paranoid. Yes, paranoid. It kind of makes sense since they are in the Witness Protection Program. There is obviously a reason. She has reason to be and I like that she stayed on her toes and never let her guard down. She was pretty dense, yes, but still paranoid. Her protectiveness and love for her sister, Tiny, was admirable.
Ethan, with his cute accent and charm, is drawn to Meg and her mysterious behavior. I thought it was quite pushy at first and even one incident in particular sent up stalker flags. Set that aside though– he’s pretty smart and resourceful and I liked their slow building relationship. He was great with Meg’s sister too.
While I did really enjoy this- I wasn’t a fan of how things were “wrapped up”. This is one of those times where I want to know WHY and HOW. I walked away from this book with too many questions. Set up for the next book? YES, I think so.
Overall- This was an interesting, suspenseful read; albeit a little far-fetched. I am looking forward to the sequel. I recommend it to anyone who loves books in this genre.
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic, and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter & Instagram for random shenanigans.