May 23, 2014

Review: The Rules for Breaking by Ashley Elston

Title: The Rules for Breaking
Author: Ashley Elston
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publishing Date: May 20, 2014
Pages/Format: 320, ARC
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Who do you trust when no one is what they seem? The gripping sequel to contemporary, romantic YA thriller, The Rules for Disappearing.

Anna Boyd almost lost her life to get what she wanted most in the world: freedom.

But just when it seems that her family has finally escaped Witness Protection, the illusion that Anna could resume a normal life comes crashing down.

The deadly man Anna knows as Thomas is still on the loose, and now he's using her as a pawn in a dangerous game with the drug cartel determined to silence her forever. When Thomas and a mysterious masked man capture not only Anna but also her fragile younger sister and her boyfriend, Anna decides it's time to break all the rules-even if it means teaming up with the lesser of two evils.

Anna will do whatever it takes to protect the people she loves and win her life back once and for all. But her true enemies are hidden in plain sight. Before long, Anna will learn that putting her trust in anyone may be the last mistake she ever makes.

Book in One Word: Hmmm.

I was a big fan of Ashley Elston's debut novel and the predecessor to The Rules for Breaking, The Rules for Disappearing. And since I read that book, oh, a year or so ago, I was extremely eager to learn more about and read its sequel. So when I got an ARC of the book late last fall, I decided to ring in the New Year with it (and write my review several months later). But what did I think of this highly anticipated sequel? WELL...

To be quite honest, I'm slightly disappointed with this one. Now, I DID like it. But not as much as The Rules for Disappearing, and it just wasn't everything I thought it would be. I was hoping for something darker, and kind of like a romantic thriller or something? That could've been a possibility, but Anna's little sister was kidnapped with her and Ethan, too. Also, there was too much unrealisticness. Books can totally be unrealistic. BUT, that unrealisticness has to be realistic, if that makes any sense. And sometimes Anna's voice/internal dialogue bugged me a wee bit, but I think that's it.

All that said, The Rules for Breaking was NOT a bad book. I just had a few issues with it. (And I've seen other people love this, so yay!) While there are some horrors going on--come on, these kids got kidnapped--this book was still pretty fun. Minus a few minor issues, Anna is a totally likeable MC. And like the first book, this one has fun headers from Anna, too. Anna has a lot happening here: she's finally settled down somewhere, the threat seems to be over, her family is doing much better, and she has a GREAT boyfriend. But of course, threats arise when Thomas (aka the bad guy) is back, and her finally-good life is turned upside down once again. Fortunately, she has Ethan Landry there by her side the entire way, so she is in GOOD HANDS. Because, you know, Ethan is the best, and I absolutely adore him.

I know this review is short--at least for me--but I don't know what else to say and I don't want to spoil it. But know that this book pretty much has it all: romance, humor, snarkiness, some darkness, swooning, blood, and maybe even murder. And despite all my issues with The Rules for Breaking, I am most definitely still a fan of Ashley Elston and her books (which I want more of, by the way!). In the meantime, please let there be another Rules book, because I love these characters and their stories!

Did I like it? Yes!
Did I love it? No.
Would I reread it? I wouldn't say no!
Would I purchase it? Yes!
Who would I recommend it to? Definitely for fans of the first book, but also for people who like thrillers, kidnappings, and maybe even The Originals (some of the setting reminded me of the show).

I received a copy of this book from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review, and that in no way sways my opinion of the book.

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