Title: The Rules for Disappearing

Author: Ashley Elston / @ashley_elston

Published: May 14, 2013

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 320

Source: Net Galley/author

Tour Host: Itching for Books

Goodreads Summary: 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.

Goodreads Average Rating: 3.83

Purchase here:Amazon ♥ Barnes & Noble

  • Christina really enjoyed this title. The plot was different and the hero was extra swoony. It goes on her top shelf!

**Special Note:** An eARC of this title was provided by the author/publisher via Net Galley for review purposes during the blog tour. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All quotes and opinions will be of this version and not from the published edition. 


The Lowdown: Meg (or it could be Madeline, Isabelle, Olivia depending on where her family has been relocated) is in the Witness Protection program. We meet up with her on her sixth transport where she’ll be identified as Meg- senior, newly-dyed brunette with brown eyes- while staying in a rural town in Louisiana. It’s been eight months since her family was packed up in a hurry and sneaked out of her upscale palatial estate in Arizona, and during all this time, she’s never known why they’re in hiding and who they’re hiding from. To make matters worse, the stress of all the moving and secrecy is tearing her family apart. Her dad is paranoid, always on edge, and one phone call away from losing his mind. Her mother’s occasional drinking has escalated to hardcore liquor-pounding and that leaves the care of Meg’s baby sister, Teeny, solely on Meg.

On this last move, Meg is pretty positive she has it down to a science. One should always have a to-go bag. You don’t want to end up in a new place with nothing but the clothes on your back because you’ll never see anything from that life again. That identity? Yeah, it’s gone. Next, she sets out detailed list to live by because starting over and over every time has grown exhausting. Her rules are simple. One, she will not join any clubs. Two, she will not try out for cheerleading or any other sport/teams. Three, she will not make any friends. Four, she will discover the truth no matter what.

In theory, setting and following her own guidelines is easy. In actuality, all it takes is one boy to unravel everything.

My Thoughts: I’m going to admit that I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be enlisted in the Witness Protection Program. I always figured it would be a blast; the thrill (though I’m not a complete idiot, I realize it’d be scary as hell, too.) of being watched, having the ability to reinvent yourself in a moment’s notice, and being able to travel the country under a different alias seemed liked the perfect escape to me. Well, let me tell you now, Ms. Elston definitely made me reevaluate my perspective on the “fun” of it. It felt like a real peek into the life of a family on the run and I enjoyed getting swept into the story.

As an aside, at times I found myself a little irritated with the protagonists and her approach to handling her family and the stressful environment they’d been placed in; more so on her father than anyone. But then, I reconsidered her circumstances and the conditions she’d been placed in, especially after a bit of a life of luxury before, and quickly adjusted my view of her somewhat bratty behavior.

Pacing: There was definitely a steady rhythm that sucked you in from the beginning, throwing you headfirst into the suspense and giving just enough creepy situations to keep you intrigued to the end. I thought the author found a good balance between satisfying my curiosity and keeping me guessing. Though, I’ll own up to staying up until almost 3AM because I had to have all the answers.

Swoons: Oh, Ethan was definitely a swoony guy. He was mostly a gentleman, but was slightly rough around the edges. He stole my heart during his interactions with Teeny and made me flail with how amazing he was at pushing “Meg’s” buttons and his determination to make her see him. But, it was his ability to make her feel normal and less frantic that edged him inside my swoony boy list forever. They were so cute together.

♥ Swoony teaser:

“Can you hang out or do you have to go home?” Ethan says, shoving a piece of pizza in his mouth. 

I lean back again the booth. “I can stay out awhile. What do you have in mind?”

He wiggles his eyebrows. “Wanna go back to my place?”

I giggle at his cheesy line and hit him with one of my own. “Why? Wanna make like a fabric softener and Snuggle?”

He falls back, laughing then says, “If I told you that you had a great body, would you hold it against me?”

My cheeks get warm and I rack my brain for another line. He’s smiling, dimples and all, and waiting for my comeback. Oh! Got it! I move in closer, trying hard for a serious expression and say, “If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together.”

He braces his hands on the table and is inches from my face, eyes twinkling, and asks, “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a dirty mind like mine?”

Verdict: Read this one! It had a few twists (that I figured out in advance, but other readers seemed to miss) spread throughout and I really loved the chemistry between Meg and Ethan. It was a relatively quick read with a nice little venture into the life of a family trying to survive. From the plot, to the writing, to the suspense, to the characters, I really enjoyed this novel in its entirety.


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Author Bio:

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.

For more on the author and her book, find her here: Tumblr blog ♥ Twitter ♥ Goodreads

♥ A very special thanks to the Disney-Hyperion and Net Galley for my initial galley and to Itching for Books and Ashley Elston for allowing The Book Hookup to be a part of this tour.

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥

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