Review: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

Posted May 30, 2015 by Sophia

Review: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley ElstonThe Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston
The Rules for Disappearing #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 14, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Format: Physical
Source: Library

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.

Considering the fact all of the nominees for the 2015-2016 Gateway Award aren’t exactly very appealing and I’ve had quite the bad luck with them… I pretty much decided to take a stab with Ashley Elston’s The Rules for Disappearing as my next victim.

In elaboration of that bad luck, my first one was insanity. I’m scared of reading another book by Cat Winters. My second one had a highly annoying character named after a constellation.

And now, my third book has a very materialistic character (completely opposite spectrum from me) whose family is in Witness Protection for the last year and has quite literally changed their names far more times than Zach/Jack in Zach’s Lie and Jack’s Run. With their eighth move, “Meg,” is extremely tired of constantly having to move places, leaving her life behind, and changing her identities – the moves were beginning to tear apart their family. Meg vows to find what landed her and her family in Witness Protection in the first place throughout the book.

I personally liked how the book was formatted. The beginning of each chapter has a “rule for disappearing,” possibly concocted by Meg over the year her family has been in Witness Protection, and what happens in the chapter is sort of a reason “why” Meg established the rule in the first place.

For almost half the book there isn’t really too much that happens – Meg makes a plan to not settle down with her new life like she did in her past placements, her “diary” gets stolen, and she tries to avoid a boy named Ethan Landry who’s a lot smarter than he seems. After accidentally hearing a few conversations her dad has over the phone in the middle of the night, things start to pick up – Meg starts to remember more of what happened in her original life and becomes more determined to get her family out of Witness protection.

Meg is like a clamshell at the very beginning – she’s very closed off and she wants to isolate herself from her peers because who cares about making friends when you might be plucked from your current life any moment? It’s not until she meets Ethan that she “gives up” on trying to isolate herself and becomes more open with other people. In all honesty, if Ethan didn’t make a constant attempt to open up her shell, Meg probably wouldn’t have told her story – how her old life was like, why she’s really in Witness Protection, and what each of her moves were like compared to her original life.

Elston does drop a hint or two of a sequel near the end of the book, which I’m not exactly too excited for. The Rules for Disappearing felt like a stand-alone rather than a duology, but maybe the sequel will be equally or more interesting.

We force you to sit through the chick flicks so maybe you’ll get some idea of how you’re supposed to act.

Sophia is a socially awkward Communications major who has a GIF for nearly everything and is frequently in a Hogwarts House Crisis. More of her bookish reviews can be found at The Arts STL.

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