Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Review: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

The Rules for Disappearing
Author:  Ashley Elston
Publisher:  Disney-Hyperion, 320 pages
Publication Date:  May 14, 2013

From 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 loved this book.  It's got both mystery and romance and I couldn't put it down.  It starts off with Megan (you don't know her real name for a long time) picking her new first name  and then moving to a small town in Louisiana.  Over the last eight months, her family has moved every couple of months and Megan doesn't know why.  She doesn't know if her dad has done something wrong or if he witnessed something, and he refuses to tell her.  Her family is basically falling apart.  Her sister Mary has almost completely shut down, her dad won't talk, and her mom is drinking all of the time.  In the last place she lived, she had a boyfriend, and before she could meet him for a date, the Suits showed up and took her away.  She will never see him again and all he'll know is that she disappeared.  So Megan decides she won't be friends with anyone and she definitely won't have a boyfriend since they'll probably move soon anyway.  She has also decided she is going to find out why her family is in the Witness Protection Program.  But of course, on the first day, she meets Ethan, and it's impossible to stay away from him.

Ethan--what an awesome guy!  He and Megan are instantly attracted to each other, but there are obviously problems, since Megan is really trying hard to keep her distance from everyone.  It's even worse with this move, because not only is she lying about her name and where she's from, she also had to dye her hair from blond to brown, and even has to wear colored contacts.  And she never knows when the Suits will show up, throw her in a van, and take her away.  Megan is definitely a sympathetic character and you feel her frustration  with the situation.  I loved how Ethan wouldn't give up on her, and he really stepped up at a certain point in the book, proving what a good guy he was.  So you don't have some moody bad boy and theres no love triangle.  What a refreshing change!  (Although sometimes you have to love a bad boy, just saying).  

The story is mostly resolved, although there are definitely some unanswered questions.  I'll be curious to see where the sequel goes.  

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