Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Review- The Rules For Disappearing (Ashley Elston)

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.com

My Review 

The Rules for Disappearing is definitely a unique story, which moves outside the realms of your typical YA book. The book opens with ‘Meg’ and her family in a witness protection facility being issued with new ID’s. The fact is that ‘Meg’ and her family have moved 6 times in the last year. With each move her family seems to be falling apart more and more. Her mother’s drinking has increased and she can’t hold down a job, her younger sister ‘Teeny’ is becoming more withdrawn and her dad doesn’t know how to deal .

With this latest move to Louisianna, Meg is determined not to put down any roots, for fear that she will move again and leave behind people she cares about. Something that she has had to do multiple times. So she formulates a plan.

1. I will not join any clubs
2. I will not try out for cheerleading or any other sports/teams
3. I will not make any friends
4. I will discover the truth no matter what
Despite this she ends up catching the attention of Ethan, a sweet Louisianna farm boy. Who knows that ‘Meg’ isn’t who she says she is.
But ‘Meg’s’ main goal is to find out why her family has been placed in witness protection in the first place, and believes her dad got involved in some shady business back in their old life. Slowly everything comes together and is revealed and not everything or everyone is who they seem.

Ok, so now onto the actual review. For me the characters felt like they were missing some pizzaz, they were put together well but I was just lacking a connection to them. ‘Meg’ is actually bearable as far as YA female leads go, although she does do a few things that make me want to rattle some sense into her. Ethan is the adorable southern farm boy, who is all sweetness and charm, but besides that I didn’t feel any tingley’s for him.

Some parts of the book were drawn out (much like this review) and I felt like a lot of time was taken up by ‘Meg’s’ internal struggle around her relationship with Ethan, regarding needing to push him away for his own protection, and to protect her heart blah blah.

The ending did feel a little rushed, and everything seems to come to a climax all at once. But then you realise the end isn’t really the end and merely the beginning of something bigger....and that last page!!! Whew that gave me goosebumps.

Ultimately I did enjoy the book, the storyline was unique. But the characters felt like they were missing something for me and I couldn’t connect with them. The ending really picked up, and left me wanting more, but some parts in the middle felt a little dull.

Things I loved about the book:

  • Unique plot. I’ve never read anything about witness protection before, and as a child I always thought it would be cool, to move around and have a new identity (So naive).
  • The ending. I loved how the ending left me wanting more and wondering what was going to happen next.

Things I didn't enjoy so much about the book:

  • The internal monologues from the main characters became tedious and started to feel a little repetitive.
  • I didn't develop a connection with the characters. They just lacked something that I can't put my finger on. 
My rating: 3/5


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