May 15, 2013

Book Review & Giveaway: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

Today as part of the Itching for Books' blog tour for The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston, you have an opportunity to read my thoughts about this thrilling contemporary novel for young adults and enter a giveaway for your chance to win a finished copy of The Rules for Disappearing

Book Cover The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

The Rules for Disappearing

#1 in The Rules for Disappearing series

by Ashley Elston

Age: Young Adult
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance

Format: Ebook, 320 pages
Published On: May 14, 2013 by Disney-Hyperion
Source: NetGalley

AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

First Sentence: What do you want your name to be this time?

Summary for The Rules for Disappearing:

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.

Author Photo Ashley Elston

A Little Bit More About Ashley Elston:

Ashley Elston lives is 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.


My Thoughts:

As soon as I found out The Rules for Disappearing is about a Witness Protection program, I wanted to read it. I can not recall if I ever read a book that covers that subject and I thought that it was an opportunity for some great character development. When I started reading The Rules for Disappearing, very soon it was clear to me that I was right.

The story is narrated by 17-year-old Meg who talks to us about problems and experiences that her family encounters while being 'protected witnesses'. The strain and tension of constant moves, names changes, crappy living condition and tension of expecting an unknown trial date has taken it's toll on everyone. Her father, mother and young sister are all just shadows of their lovable perky past personalities. So what to do when you are moved to yet another strange town? The best is to keep everyone away and do not get involved. Meg learned that the hard way. But keeping people away is not so easy as it looks. I loved Meg's inner struggle, her monologues and thoughts, she sounded like real teenage girl.

Additional charm to the story is added with cute rules for disappearing that are written at the beginning of each chapter. They contain some lessons Meg had to learn the hard way and sometimes hints what is going to happen. If I am ever enlisted into the Witness Protection, those are going to come in handy.

Only use public transportation. It's the one true way to look completely uninteresting. That is, unless, you have a hideous wood-paneled station wagon. That'll work, too.

Compared to strong family and personal drama both mystery and romance in The Rules for Disappearing seem secondary and somehow lacking. The final twist and bad guy are too predictable. The love story happens too fast and jumps from instant attraction into dreaded territory of insta-love. In fact, the whole second part of this book when romance starts to really grow and develop and mystery to unravel seems a little bit too easy and unbelievable. More like a Hollywood movie than a realistic life story. Because, where else will you see a teenage girl without any weapons and combat training go on a quest against bad guys? Only in movies. And even there it's usually some tough guy like Jason Statham or Liam Neeson.

Despite these flaws, I think that The Rules for Disappearing is going to find a wide range of fans in both lovers of realistic contemporary young adult fiction or fans of fluffy romantic suspense novels, if they do not set their expectations too high.

My Rating: 3 out of 5


As part of The Rules for Disappearing blog tour, Ashley Elston and Itching for Books are hosting a giveaway:

  • ONE finished copy of The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston
  • Open to US Residents ONLY!!!
  • Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!!


  1. Good review. Thanks for participating!

    1. Thanks Shane & thanks for having me on your blog tour. :)

  2. Looks like most people have been enjoying this one. I've been a bit hesitant, since mysteries aren't generally my favorites anyway. I'm skeptical of the instalove, but do like the sound of the interpersonal dynamics otherwise. Maybe someday.

    1. Mystery is not the focus of this book, first part is how Witness protection program influences Meg and her family and second part is more romance and action.

  3. I'm currently reading this, only just started at the moment, but I'm already not sure on it. I do love how Meg is so protective of her sister though, it's really sweet to read. Great review!

    (New follower via Bloglovin')

    1. Thanks Hannah, I hope you got into the book later and enjoyed it more.


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