The Rules for Disappearing (The Rules for Disappearing, #1) by Ashley Elston
Series: The Rules for Disappearing #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: May 14th 2013
Genres: 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 blurb made the book sound really interesting which is why I chose to review it. I didn’t know what to expect but I ended up enjoying this book. I thought it was interesting to read about a character in the witness protection program. Her name is Meg Jones this time around and she has no idea why she’s in this place and she hates moving from place to place, with no warning. Every time they move, she tries to get the story out of her father and when he refuses, her anger toward what has become their life gets stronger and stronger. By about the seventh time that they move, she’s furious at her father and she blames him for the way that their lives turned out.
Meg doesn’t have a clear memory of what happened before they were whisked away, leaving behind everything they knew and loved but she’s determined to find out. Her family is put through the wringer in this book and my heart went out to each and every single person in her family. From her Dad, who is trying to make the best of their situation and trying to do what he can for his kids, to her Mom who is having the most trouble dealing with their life as it is now. Then there’s her little sister who is young enough that she doesn’t understand what’s going on and nobody will tell her so she’s scared. She’s scared that her family is going to disappear and leave her behind and she’s tired of making new friends.
They’re in a new town and Meg is determined to not make friends and not have any close relationships because it gets harder and harder to leave people behind. It’s easier to pack up and go, that way she doesn’t let anyone down. But it’s a lot harder to not get close to anyone in this new town because there’s this persistent young man named Ethan who is determined to get to know Meg. He keeps trying to get close to Meg and every time she tries to freeze him out, she’s unsuccessful. Before she knows what’s what, she’s starting to remember things and she’s starting to like Ethan…a lot.
Things get really crazy for Meg once she starts remembering more about what happened right before they were thrown into witness protection and trusting those around her is getting harder and harder.
Meg was an interesting character to get know throughout the story. She’s still a teenager so some of the teen angst that are common with YA characters is present in her but while there were times when I wanted to wring her neck, those times were very few in between. I loved the hell out of Ethan and really came to love Meg’s family, oh and Aunt Pearl! She was pretty great too. It was interesting to see the dynamic between Meg and her friends from back home. Before she left, she was really mad at them but when she came back, all of those feelings of resentment and what not were thrown out the window because she needed them and they helped Meg with whatever she needed, the way that friends are supposed to.
This was a really good story. One that had me all caught up in what was happening, what was going to happen and all of the characters. I thought Elston did a great job of wrapping the reader up in the world that she created for Meg and the rest of the cast of characters. It was really interesting to get an inside look of what we can only imagine goes on when you’re in witness protection and seeing the dangers and the confusion made for a really interesting story. I enjoyed this book a lot and I definitely recommend this book to fans of contemporary YA and authors like Sarah Dessen, Jennifer E. Smith and Jessi Kirby. This was a good one.
Grade: 4 out of 5