Title: The Rules for Disappearing
Author: Ashley Elston
Series: The Rules for Disappearing #1
Genre: YA Contemporary/Mystery
Dates Read: re-read January 1 – 3, 2021 (originally read in 2014)
Edition Read: Kindle eBook
Blurb: 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 when I read it back in 2014 and I loved it even more this time around.
It’s unusual to read a book where you don’t even know the first person narrator’s real name until the very end. There is a sense of mystery and urgency and terror throughout this entire book that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I had never read a book about someone in witness protection so it was interesting to discuss what that does to a person, to a family. The constant threat of someone finding out where they are and having to pack up and leave again wears them down in different ways. Meg becomes hyper vigilant and never relaxes. Her little sister withdraws into herself. Their mother starts drinking. Their father becomes silent, never answering questions about why they are there in the first place.
And then there’s Ethan, the most patient and persistent boy ever. Meg keeps rebuffing him and refusing to answer his questions, but Ethan doesn’t give up. He knows something is going on with her and is determined to find out what it is. He really likes her and she really likes him, but to say it’s complicated is an understatement. Meg isn’t in a position to pursue a relationship, especially since she had a boyfriend in a previous assignment and was heartbroken when they were uprooted from there.
This story had perfect pacing – it keeps you turning the page until the whirlwind of a finale. You find out some of the answers, although there is a certain cliffhanger that sets up the second book perfectly. In short, it’s great. Read it now!
GoodReads rating: 5 stars
Categories: Books I've Read
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