Review: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

The Rules for Disappearing (The Rules for Disappearing #1)The Rules for Disappearing (The Rules for Disappearing #1) by Ashley Elston

Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Page Count: 320
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Source: eARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis 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.

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I picked up The Rules for Disappearing completely expecting to be entertained, and I was not disappointed! This book totally worked for me. Especially the ending. I didn't see that coming, so I was pleasantly surprised.

I enjoyed reading about Meg, the protagonist, and I could definitely sympathize with her situation. I liked that she was protective of her family and would do anything for them. I loved her relationship with her younger sister, Teeny. Meg was definitely strong willed and had a lot of determination.

I thought Ethan was a lovable character. I really liked him, and I enjoyed the romantic element that he brought to the story. Meg really needed someone outside the family that she could feel safe with, and he turned out to be a great guy and very supportive. I loved his scenes with Teeny - he was so sweet with her! And he was so caring and understanding with Meg, even when she tried to shut him out.

It's hard to imagine how difficult it would be to live in the Witness Protection Program. Elston was able to show how it affected the entire family in a negative way. While I was reading, I was dying to know why Meg and her family were in the Witness Protection Program. I didn't guess the correct reason, even though I tried to piece the clues together. I definitely had theories, but I was still surprised when the truth came out.

One thing that I really enjoyed, was at the beginning of each chapter were Meg's Rules for Disappearing. In order to survive the constant moving and changing, Meg has developed a set of 'rules' that she follows regarding the program. She is getting tired of new identities and being secreted from location to location, and she is always hoping that this will be her family's final move. I found the chapter titles to be interesting - they were like getting a glimpse at what Meg would be dealing with in each chapter.

Overall, I thought this was a very entertaining story. The plot was laid out very well, and I loved the way pieces of the truth were revealed little by little. There was enough suspense and action to keep me reading right up to the end. There was wonderful dialogue, terrific character development, and the writing was stellar. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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2013 Debut Author Challenge
2013 YA Contemporary Challenge


  1. I LOVED this one too! I read it awhile ago, but I remember liking it so much. I felt like the end felt a little hurried, but I didn't mind too much! This was a great review that pointed out all the awesome of this book!

    1. Thank you! I didn't mind the ending too much, but I still had a few questions that were unanswered. I wish I knew if book #2 will be a continuation of this story, or if it will have all new characters.

  2. RIGHT, the ending?! I just finished this one last night, and it was such a surprising read. I cannot wait for the second book, and Ethan?! Such a great character!

    I'm happy to see that you enjoyed this one!

    1. Ethan was great. I hope book #2 has these same characters! It didn't feel like the story was over. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

  3. I have heard really good things about this one! May have to look towards it when I'm in a review slump and just need an entertaining, mindless read to fill the space and bring me out of the slump. It sounds like this one will fit all those requirements!


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