The Rules for Disappearing
by Ashley Elston
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
Format: ARC from Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for my honest review.
Expected Publication: 05.14.13
Midnight Minute: Hiding out in the Witness Protection Program and on her sixth identity in just 8 months, Meg decides she is done running.
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.
~ When we first meet the main character, she has no name. She picks Meg for her new identity, but within her family she is usually referred to as Sissy, and her little sister as Teeny. At one point it had been fun, picking out new names, but the family is so broken down at the time the book starts that they are all barely hanging on.
~ Meg and her family have been in Witness Protection for only 8 months, but this is already their sixth relocation. It made me wonder how often this happens in real life, and if people who are in Witness Protection are tracked down and killed, does the public ever find that out?
~ Because of all of the sudden moves, Meg has learned to keep all of her and Teeny’s valuable possessions in one bag, which is sad and reminds me of how foster children live.
~ Their latest town in in rural Louisiana, which I loved since my sister in law is from a similar town. I love that they celebrate Mardi Gras outside of New Orleans, which I didn’t realize until this book.
~ Tired of moving, Meg makes a few new rules for herself, including keeping to herself and finding out why her family is running.
~ The stress of their new lives is breaking this family. Meg’s mom is an alcoholic, and no longer functioning. Her little sister is withdrawn and nervous, and the trust between Meg and her dad is gone.
~ Meg gets an after school job at a pizza parlor, which I loved, and they serve something called Swamp Pizza, which sounds incredibly disgusting. But I would try it- if I were extremely drunk or if I were on Amazing Race or Fear Factor.
~ Going from popular girl to on-the-run girl both matures and changes Meg.
~ Raise your hand if you think there’s more to Meg’s nightmares than just late night snacking!
~ There’s a slight twist with the characters of Ethan and Emma that I did not see coming, but was pleasantly surprised by.
~ It’s the little details, like Pearl’s pizza store, or the fact that Meg once had to move to a safe house dressed in a Halloween costume that really made this book for me.
~ I have never heard of hog hunting, but no matter how cute the boy, it still sounds like the worst date ever. If the Hubs had taken me on a hog hunting date in the beginning, he wouldn’t be the Hubs, I would have broken up with him and written a song about it worthy of a Taylor Swift hit.
~ The major lesson to take away from this book: teens shouldn’t drink and eavesdrop. Major lesson to take away from the book cover: always wear shoes in case you need to run away, but bare feet are preferred over high heels.
~ I liked the beginning of each chapter being prefaced by one of Meg’s rules for disappearing.
~ The book is a little slow at first, but it’s never boring, there’s just some back story to get through. The action picks up considerably in the last quarter of the book.
~ I really liked the ending, even though it left some questions. I suspect that some people will really dislike the ending, but it worked for me.
~ Okay, I looked at the author’s tumblr account, and there is a sequel. I’m actually cool with that, because even though I would have been fine without one, there is one character that I’m dying to know more about!
Teeny/Mary– Meg’s little sister.
Meg’s mom– alcoholic and falling apart, it’s up to Meg to mother Teeny.
Meg’s dad– avoids any indication that his family is falling apart, refuses to answer Meg’s questions.
Ethan– cute Louisiana boy and seriously into Meg despite her best attempts to be a social outcast. Where was this boy when I was in high school? Oh, yeah, not born yet.
Pearl– runs the pizza place Meg works for, Ethan’s aunt and all around awesome character. I really loved her!
Ben– until I knew his name, I referred to him as jock boy.
Emma– hateful cheerleader intent on making Meg miserable, girlfriend to Ben.
Agent Thomas– young agent who covers for Meg when she skips school. If I were Meg, I’d have developed a huge crush on him, but I blame that on watching too much Twin Peaks and X-Files when I was younger.
Elle, Laura and Brandon– friends from Meg’s past, when she had a real name.
Also, I loved the scene where Meg and Ethan traded cheesy pick up lines with one another, it was cute and made me smile.
This was definitely my kind of book, because I love anything to do with the Witness Protection Program. I loved the setting, the characters and the mystery.
Ashley Elston— Website |Tumblr
The Rules for Disappearing gets a Midnight Book Rating of: