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 of 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.


This book kept me on my toes the entire time I read it.


I'd had this book on hold for a while and as such had totally forgotten the premise. From the initial scene, I thought that this book was going to be a technical dystopia, but I was wrong! One of the strongest aspects of this book was the understanding I gained of the Witness Protection Program and how it operates. This was an intriguing and original premise.


I think in a way there's some universal theme in wanting to push everyone away. While Meg had legitimate reasons for doing so, I related to her retreating into a shell and thought that Elston made her seem very realistic in doing so.


She and Ethan became pretty intense in their relationship, too intense for their age, but it was incredibly sweet and butterfly inducing to see the efforts he went to in caring for her. Still, I felt like he persisted in chasing her more out of stubbornness at some points--the amount of time he would have spent shuttling her from work to her home in his truck was unrealistic.


I enjoyed how this story had a few minor plotlines that, while not irrelevant, were different to the major plotline. Meg's mother's drinking problem specifically wasn't in anyway necessary to the plot.


It was refreshing to see her and Emma conflict and Ethan and Ben conflict--it felt all so trivial, which made this story seem all so real because those things do matter even within the big picture.


Meg's protectiveness over Teeny was really sweet but I loved that Meg talked about their past and how their relationship had evolved as their situation changed.

I'm not particularly good at solving mysteries before characters do, but I felt like this one was very well done and I was very excited and overwhelmed when I realized two twists near the end.


I did enjoy this book, but I don't find myself particularly compelled to read the sequel, possibly because a lot of the fun of this came in the pressure Meg had to keep the secret. I do recommend this one for anyone who enjoys young adult fiction with a lot of action and mysteries.