Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The Rules for Disappearing Review

Title:  The Rules for Disappearing
Author:  Ashley Elston
Published May 14th 2013 by Disney-Hyperion

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.
Sissy.  That's what her nickname is, and that's the only name that has stuck during her family's moves in the Witness Protection Program.  Her younger sister's nickname is Teeny.  Of course, the Suits don't know anything about the family nicknames or they would take them away.  Just like they've taken away everything else.  Now that she's in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Sissy has become Megan "Meg" Rose Jones.  Meg just doesn't care what she's called anymore.  The first few moves she obsessed over choosing the right name, so did Teeny, now known as Mary, but neither sister cares anymore.  Meg just wants this nightmare to be over, and she wants her father to admit what he did, or saw, that got them into this mess.  He's not talking, though.

Meg has had enough.  She promises herself this will be her family's last move.  If her father doesn't want to tell her what happened, then she will get to the bottom of it herself.  Her family has moved to six different places in eight months, and every time she thinks things have calmed down the Suits yank her and her family out of their new lives and shove them into another one.  Meg's mom has started drinking heavily, her father is more distant, and Mary is barely talking.  Meg knows this has to stop.  She just has to figure out how to stop it.  So, Meg forms a plan for this location:
                      "1. I will not join any clubs
                       2. I will not try out for cheerleading or any other sport/team
                       3. I will not make any friends
                       4. I will discover the truth no matter what"

Sounds like a great plan right?  Well, it would have been except on Meg's first day of school she runs into Ethan Landry.  He's southern, he's cute, and he likes her.  What's worse is that Meg likes him, too.  She also likes his friends.  Ugh!  So much for her master plan.  What Meg doesn't realize is that Ethan may be able to help her find the truth that will set her family free from Witness Protection.  He's pretty smart, but will his suspicion that Meg is not who she says she is put him in the same kind of danger as Meg and her family?

The Rules for Disappearing is debut YA author Ashley Elston's first novel, and it is brilliant!  Plus, the fact that Ashley Elston is a local author who has burst onto the YA scene with an incredible work of fiction makes the book that much better. :)  This book has it all: twists and adventure, romance and danger, mystery and suspense.  The ending sent me reeling.  Will there be a sequel!?  A definite must read for fans of all genres.  This reader is looking forward to exploring future novels by this author. 

*reviewed by Casie, YA @ Cpl. J. R. Searcy Memorial Library

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