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The Rules for Disappearing (Rules, The) Hardcover – May 14, 2013
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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
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Top customer reviews
All in all it was a very good suspenseful book. If you're looking for some mystery and romance mixed in between, then I suggest reading this. If you're looking for some action, then you might want to look else where. Yes the ending was a bit rushed and cleaned up a little too neatly, but it also left it open for the sequel to this novel. Also, boy did that ending throw me for a loop! I did not expect for it to end the way it did. I want to know who this mysterious man is and why he let Anna live?! I can't wait to read the sequel and see if Anna lives or dies. I really hope she gets a happy ending. She totally deserves it after what she went through.
The only place it fell a little short with me was the speed at which things were wrapped up. After all the lead up, it all ended way too quickly for my liking. It was also wrapped up a little too neatly. I did, however, like the surprise of the letter at the end and the way Anna reacted to it. That felt real. As though even though everyone thinks it's over, it just might not be. That moment gave me chills.
I look forward to more from this author. I really enjoyed her writing style.
Author: Ashley Elston
Series: The Rules for Disappearing
Genre: teen chick lit
Rating: 4 ½ stars
In The Rules for Disappearing Meg Jones not her real name is in the Witness Protection program because of something her father did or saw. At least that is what she thinks. This new placement has them in a small town in Louisana Meg’s plan is to not get attached. But that plan falls to the wayside when she meets Ethan Landry. Ethan is your typical southern country farm boy complete with accent.
Meg works up a plan to get her family out of the mess that they are in. Ethan also comes up with a plan who’s plan will actually work?
The Rules for Disappearing is good book, I really enjoyed reading it. The ending was good, a good ending but also left it open for a possible sequel. For a mainstream teen novel it was really pretty clean. A few issues with swearing and other inapproiate teenage behavior. But still a good read.
I was given an e-copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I guess I should tell you a little about the book itself. I want to call The Rules for Disappearing a light read because I breezed through it, though it's not necessarily light subject matter. Bad guys being out to get you and ending up in the Witness Protection Program isn't exactly a walk in the park. Poor Meg has to deal with constant upheaval, a loss of her former life, being deterred from making any new connections, a closed off day, a breaking down sister, and an alcoholic mom. However, it was easy for me to connect with her because she still goes through many things that teenagers deal with, Witness Protection or not. Meg feels like she's an outcast with ugly clothes, betrayed by her friends, and responsible for sticking her nose precisely where it doesn't belong. I think we've all been there. I felt like a lot of what Meg went through was metaphors for those (and other) teen struggles.
I really liked most of the characters, which helped move the story along. Meg was tired of her situation, and I love that she decided to do something about it. The mom in me was screaming at her because it was a terrible idea, but still. You have to love a YA heroine that doesn't just lie down and accept what's happened to her or wait on Prince Charming to rescue her. She also loves her family despite their flaws, real or imagined, and is very protective of her little sister, Teeny. Ethan, the love interest, stole my heart. He didn't give up on Meg no matter how many times she pushed him away, and he was always there for her, no questions asked. I even liked Meg's parents - Dad really did have their best interests at heart and Mom was trying, dammit.
I don't want to give too much of the story away because it really is a fun read. I was never exactly surprised by the events in the book, but I didn't grow bored with them. There was just enough suspense to keep me interested, but not so much tension that it made me skip ahead in the book. (Yes, I am guilty of that.) There is some romance involved in the book, but if that isn't your thing, rest assured that it does not overwhelm the story's plot.
All in all, I think The Rules for Disappearing will be enjoyed by most YA readers, especially teens. It's a great mystery with realistic characters and is a fun and easy read.
*To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received the book for reviewing purposes as a part of Itching for Books Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. The advance digital copy was provided to the tour by the publisher, which has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.
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