Title: The Rules for Disappearing
Author: Ashley Elston
Expected Publication: May 14th, 2013 by Disney-Hyperion
Book rating: 4 stars
Cover rating: 4 stars
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.
Something I've noticed now that I read YA books a lot more is you don't often find just a normal mystery type book. I'm assuming it's because it's not the hype right now, but I'd really love to see more mystery books. No paranormal twist and no dytopian themes. Just a plain jane mystery. When I first saw The Rules for Disappearing on Goodreads I could not freaking wait to read this book. When I found it on Netgalley and actually got accepted to read the book? Freaking ecstatic.
The first chapter really sucked me in, I loved the opening. It started off as a mystery and had my mind forming questions after just the first few pages. Instantly I felt for Meg and her family, I can't imagine having to move around and lose everything you've come to know in a matter of weeks. Being able to go through a move with Meg and her family, feeling and experiencing what it's like to be uprooted from somewhere and just plopped into some place you don't know was really intense. We know about the witness protection program and what it's for but seeing it (sort of) first hand was really intriguing. I figured crazy stuff was going to happen a lot faster or sooner than it did but I enjoyed it being slow enough for me to get to know Meg and the other characters. Meg's parents were a bit of a mystery, they were involved but yet not involved at the same time. Meg's Mom was an alcoholic and I feel like this plot line could have gone somewhere more than it should have or shouldn't have been there at all? It just didn't feel right, like it didn't quite fit. Meg's Dad was just weird to me at first, but in the end when I found out how exactly he tied into the story and what was going on with him I could tell he really cared about Meg even though I didn't agree with a thing he was doing. Overall Meg's parent's just fell flat for me. Emma and Ben were really forced and it was obvious, I didn't care for them as characters at all. Ethan, Teeny, and Pearl were my favorite supporting characters. Ethan was too clever for his own good and definitely fun to read about. I find it weird how he was so willing to help Meg but it was very endearing. Teeny, Meg's little sister, was a great story line. I loved seeing Meg have someone she cared about, seeing her so protective over Teeny and having to take on the mother role was one of the better parts of this story. It made the book feel more realistic. Pearl was the light throughout this book, she was funny and provided a sort of escape for Meg and Teeny. I enjoyed her sass and willingness to help Meg and Ethan. I'd kill to have a boss like her for my first job.
The ending to this story was a bit frustrating. I absolutely hate when stories, books, movies, or TV series just end something answering some questions but not completely wrapping it all up and that's what Ashley did with this book. She left us knowing what happened but then she throws in this twist that leaves us uncertain. I had a much bigger issue with this until I found out we're getting a second book, which I'm really excited about! Although this story fell short for me in some places I still enjoyed it. It's different from anything coming out lately in the YA book world and definitely worth a look.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Disney Hyperion for providing me a copy to read and review.