From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Meg Jones and her family have been under Witness Protection for eight months and have been relocated six times. Any day it might happen again: U.S. Marshals will arrive with no warning to shut down their lives and transfer them. The family will be given new personal histories to memorize, new names, and new appearances. They must never make a mistake. They must always stay in character. It's no wonder that Meg has nightmares, her little sister barely speaks, and her mom drinks. As for Mr. Jones, Meg blames him for all of it. Whatever he's done or seen to land them in this predicament has destroyed the family forever. The novel's first half is tense and captivating, as the Joneses adapt to a new home in rural Louisiana. The characters struggle under severe uncertainty and dysfunction. Their new home is dreary, they have very little money, and every bump in the night could mean trouble. Some rules of Meg's new life: Don't make friends, don't trust anybody, don't use the Internet. Again and again, she tries to discover who is after them and what happened last June, but her father won't discuss it. Elston then breaks the tension when Meg falls in love, confronts a repressed memory, and hits the road with her new boyfriend to free her family for good. From there, the plot loses emotional resonance and becomes implausible, but readers will likely enjoy the action. Everything works out in the end, of course, but a single unfinished story line suggests a forthcoming sequel.-Denise Ryan, Middlesex Middle School, Darien, CTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
After eight months and six different identities, Meg and her family are fractured to pieces by the time they wearily settle in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Meg has no idea why her family is in the Witness Protection Program. She does know, however, that in Natchitoches, she will not make any emotional attachments. It’s just too hard, being ripped away from friends without a good-bye. Right away, though, Meg’s resolve is tested. Ethan brings everything Meg needs in her life—companionship, loyalty, fun, and romance—if she would let him. But as Meg gradually learns the reasons for their confinement, she realizes that she needs to push Ethan away for his own safety. The sweet, sexy attraction between Meg and Ethan will captivate romance readers, while the suspense that runs tautly through the story will widen the novel’s readership. If this were a movie, viewers would be screaming at Meg, “Don’t go in there!” A contemporary suggestion for Lois Duncan fans. Grades 7-10. --Diane Colson