May 16, 2013

Review: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

Hello, people of the internet! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Ashley Elston's debut The Rules for Disappearing, a novel about a girl in the Witness Protection Program, hosted by Itching for Books! I'll be sharing my review (hint: I really liked it!), as well as all the info on the book and author, plus a giveaway (which you should really enter)! I hope you've got your hair dye and new name ready--in The Rules for Disappearing, you never know when you'll have to move...

Title: The Rules for Disappearing
Author: Ashley Elston
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publishing Date: May 14, 2013
Pages/Format: 320, ARC
Barnes & Noble

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.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: EEP!

I really, really liked this book! More so than I thought I would, actually. It wasn't perfect, but it was still good. The concept's great--a teenage girl lives her life as a "prisoner" in the Witness Protection Program, going from place to place, and not knowing why. Plus, the way some things happened, I got feels. Smiles, butterflies, and more! In other words, this review could turn rambly, so apologies! (It was just so good!)

I'll get the negatives out of the way, for I did have a few issues with this book. (I did read an ARC, so I don't know how much/if anything will change.) One was the writing. It wasn't bad and it was readable, but it just had some grammatical and punctuation things that I would have done differently. Secondly, some things were just a little too unrealistic. Like, why would you do that if you're supposed to lay low? Things like that. Not a big deal, but still. And I think that's all I disliked.

The Rules for Disappearing follows Meg Jones, her younger sister Mary, to-blame father, and alcoholic mother as they move from house to house since they're in the Witness Protection Program. It's told from the POV of Meg, who is frustrated with everyone, especially her dad, because he won't say why they're in the program, what he did that put them there. But when they end up in Louisiana, things change. Their appearances have more drastic changes, and it seems like everyone is super close to cracking. Add in some other aspects, and Louisiana is different from their previous stops on the Witness Protection Program tour. It added twists and turns, and I really liked it.

The characters were great. Meg is kind of starky and hard-edged, but it worked. And really, can you blame her? One night she's living the life, the next she's being dragged around from place to place without knowing why. If I were I'd go crazy. For the most part, Meg is stoic and keeping it together, especially for her little sister for Mary. Mary--or Teeny--isn't the same since the moves started; it's like she's created this little shell around herself and doesn't want to ever come out. Their father just works and doesn't want to talk about it, while their mother stays home every day getting wasted. Minor characters were fine, although Ben and Emma weren't my favorites. But one of my favorite parts of this book was a person: Ethan Landry. Sa-WOON. He's totally on my book boyfriend list. I LOVE him. He's just so sweet and awesome and just ahhh! And he's a great part of Meg's story, too. He really helps her to figure everything out. (And if you have no interest in reading this book--although you should have interest--at least read it for him. Because ETHAN.) Most of the characters weren't there just because; they almost had a purpose, and I liked that.

While I disliked bits and pieces of The Rules for Disappearing, there was a lot that I really did like: the voice; the characters; Ethan; the story line and concept (can we have more books like this, please?); the Rules for Disappearing at the beginning of each chapter; the adventure and thrills; and more that I can think of. And do you want to know what one of the best things was about this book? It's not a standalone! There will be another book, and it will feature the same characters! I need more and I need it NOW! I can't wait for Book Two (cough cough, Disney-Hyperion), and I will totally be reading more from Ashley Elston. I kind of want to jump up and down because of how much I liked this book; serious, but fun. So fun! Okay, I'll stop now. But be sure to check out The Rules for Disappearing soon--you never know when it may just disappear.

Did I like it? Yes!
Did I love it? Not quite.
Would I reread it? I just might.
Would I purchase it? Yes!
Would I recommend it? Yes!

The Author
Ashley Elston lives in 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.

The Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I loved this one too! My review goes up tomorrow and yeah it was just a lot of fun! Great review!

  2. Sometimes unrealistic things bother me, especially in these type of books but I'm still really excited to read this and see how I feel! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  3. Hooray! I just wrote my own review, so I'm only just now catching up on other reviews. Everyone else has been so "meh," so I was relieved to find someone else who enjoyed it! Again, hooray!

  4. I thought the concept of Witness Protection Program was awesome at first, until the high school drama took over and watered down the thrilling mystery I was all ready for!! I didn't LOVE this per se but it was an enjoyable read, and Ethan is such a loveable character <3

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

  5. Ethan was pretty swoony-he was so determined to unravel Meg's secrets and crack her hard shell.


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