ARC Review: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston


April 18, 2013 by Alice in Readerland

The Rules for DisappearingShe’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.

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

Published by Disney Hyperion (May 14th, 2013)/ISBN: 1423168976

Special thanks to Disney Hyperion and NetGalley for letting me read an ARC of this title! The Rules for Disappearing will be in stores May 14th, 2013.

When we first meet Meg—well, she’s not Meg yet. It’s about three in the morning, and our lead is at a safe house choosing a new name. Again. She has to have her long hair cut short and dyed, as well as start wearing contacts. Next, “Meg” (chosen from Meg Ryan) and her family are drilled on their new names and background (Megan Rose Jones, born November fourth) and told where they will be placed next (Natchitoches, Louisiana). But all the while, Meg is really thinking about one question: What did her dad do to land them in the Witness Protection Program? Why have they had to move around so many times, and why is her dad refusing to tell her?

Well, this new Meg is tired of always having a new identity and she’s determined to put a stop to this. But as secrets are revealed, Meg finds out that she’s in for more than she thought…

Cat in Wig

This cat seems happier with her makeover than Meg does…

Different identities, the Witness Protection Program, and a mystery (oh, my)! This book felt like it was calling my name. I was definitely hooked from the first chapter and the author’s writing style was very good. My two favorite parts of the book that I really want to talk about, I actually can’t talk that much about. Because, well:


You tell ‘em, Sophie!


 But let’s just say that there are two major twists in this novel. One comes about halfway through the book, and the other comes near the tail end of the book. The twists are absolutely fantastic and really made the story for me. While I could figure out both of the twists before they happened, it didn’t stop me from loving them any less. I loved all of the suspense and seeing Meg unravel the mystery; the conclusion definitely felt perfect for the story. Something else I enjoyed about this book was that each chapter is prefaced by a ‘Rule for Disappearing’ and they ranged from heartfelt to humorous.

Cynical Cindy Says

I really wanted to love this book, but I have some complaints about it. Meg is determined not to make friends she can’t keep (which I do understand and thought was a great aspect of the story), so she’s rude and blows people off…Except everyone (with the exception of the stereotypical mean girl) is still super, super nice to her, which I found hard to understand. I also thought that Meg’s love interest, Ethan, was way too pushy. Meg’s in the Witness Protection Program, so she’s obviously in a life or death situation, and yet she pursues a relationship with this guy who says that he thinks she’s lying about things, does research on her, and discovers one of her past identities. Another thing that irritated me was Meg’s drunk mother. Yes, I understand how she helped reveal the plot twist, but it felt like way too much drama considering they were already dealing with the Witness Protection Program.

All in all, if you’re a fan of books with the Witness Protection Program, mysteries, and plot twists, then I’d definitely recommend picking up your own copy of The Rules for Disappearing!

3 Teacups

3 out of 5 teacups

I love comments

10 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

  1. Michelle says:

    Sounds good!! I love twists… if they are surprising. Disney Hyperion apparently hates me and never approves me for books on NetGalley, so I have to wait for this one :(

  2. Sunny says:

    I laughed when I read your line of how everyone seems to still like her even though she’s really rude except for the stereotypical mean girl…since that’s what my post is about :) I so agree with you though! Ethan was too pushy, the people were too nice considering that “Meg” wasn’t. And the drunk mother! I didn’t get it…great review!

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

    • So glad you agree with me! I thought it was too unrealistic how everyone was being really sweet to Meg when she was so rude, and you’re exactly right, Ethan felt too pushy for me. The drunk mother just seemed like way too much drama! Off to go look at your post! :)

  3. This sounds really good and I’ve read quite a few witness protection books lately and I’ve loved them all. I’m hoping to read this soon. Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. KateB says:

    Your gifs and pictures made me laugh.

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a book featuring the Witness Protection Program – but I can see why there would be many challenges and obstacles for a character to overcome in such a position. This book is going on the to-read list.

    As always, great review Alice :)

    • Thanks, I had fun with the pics/gifs! :) This is the first book with the Witness Protection Program in it that I’ve read, but I thought that it was really interesting. I hope you enjoy the book when you read it! :)

  5. Lisa says:

    I am so stoked to read this book. I’m contemplating buying it, actually. I love the whole Witness Protection Program idea. I’ve never read anything like it before.

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