Series: The Rules for Disappearing #1
Published by: Disney Hyperion on May 14, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Source: Blog Tour
Buy on Amazon • Goodreads
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.
I had hopes and expectations for this book, and I think they were met 100%. I loved the idea of The Rules for Disappearing because witness protection fascinates me. I love movies and TV shows about it, but I had never read a book about it! By the time I got into The Rules for Disappearing, my excitement got toned down a little and it was replaced with sympathy. Sympathy, because I realized how hard and complicated Meg’s life was! I really saw what she was going through and how it was negatively affecting her life and her family.
In The Rules for Disappearing Meg has a dilemma: she doesn’t want to be the loner at school, but she doesn’t want to make friends and join clubs because she’s sick of getting invested just to have it all ripped away from her when she relocates again. I totally got that! The struggle made perfect sense to me and I understood it.
This book had a couple of twists and turns in it, and that’s one of the things that made this story so exciting! I didn’t see the first twist coming at all, although I did guess the second one fairly early on. But I loved how the plot—and the characters—kept surprising me!
I have two reasons for giving this book less than five stars.
First, because I feel like I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I could have. I felt like, for me, this was a very plot-driven book. I loved the plot and the plot is what kept me going. I didn’t feel like I was 100% invested in Meg or Ethan. I almost can’t pinpoint why exactly.. it’s just a feeling I have that I could have been more invested, but I wasn’t. I think it’s mostly their relationship that I wasn’t sold on. It wasn’t insta-love, and Ethan was definitely an amazing guy.. I just think their relationship was missing that inexplicable spark. Because the story is so plot-driven, I don’t think it particularly hurt the book, but maybe it could have been better?
Second, because I’m really unsure about that ending. Going into The Rules for Disappearing I didn’t know it was a series. When I got to the end, I knew that it was either an annoying ending or the start of a series. Sure enough, I found a Goodreads entry for book #2. But even so, I feel like I’m not convinced that this book should be a series. It was a good book, but I think that things could have easily been wrapped up 100% in book #1. I’m trying not to judge this too much, because I want to wait and read book #2 first before deciding for sure whether this is good or bad.. but the feeling is still there. But I will definitely read book #2 so we’ll see how I feel then!
Overall though, I really loved this book! I think it was a strong, solid read, and from what I can imagine, it seems like a pretty accurate representation of the witness protection program. It’s a really enjoyable and heartbreaking story. It’s truly saddening to see the way the program pulls apart Meg’s family. I would definitely recommend The Rules for Disappearing!
About Ashley Elston
Ashley Elston lives is North Louisiana with her husband, three sons and two cats. She worked as a wedding and portrait photographer for ten years until she decided to pursue writing full time. Ashley is also a licensed Landscape Horticulturist and helps her husband run a commercial lawn and landscaping business. They also custom harvest pecans and have cows. Yes, cows.
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