The Rules for Disappearing

RulesForDisappearingThe Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston
Published: 5-14-13 by Disney-Hyperion
Get the book: Amazon, The Book Depository

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.


Design – Marci Senders + Theresa Evangelista       Photo – P. Nameck      Rating – 4/5 

I really like this cover because it’s simple yet elegant, and it’s very well designed. The photograph chosen is perfect for the book and I love how the focus is on the ground while the girl running is slightly out of focus. The title is in a clear font with great details like how “the” touches “rules,” and how “disappearing” touches both sides of the cover.

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The Rules for Disappearing is fast-paced and suspenseful, with a sweet love story and a focus on a family under stress. Anna, now known as Meg thanks to her latest Witness Protection Program placement, is struggling to keep it together after she must begin yet another new life. So, she decides to make a stand – figure out why her family’s in the program and end their involvement in it. But she can’t help putting down roots in this new place, and falling in love.

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  • pizza job – Meg/Anna’s job at a pizza place is great. Her boss Pearl is awesome, and I love how the pizza place becomes a sort of hub of her life. Teeny hangs out there so Meg can keep an eye on her, and Ethan is always around. Plus, it’s great that Meg has a place to go that isn’t home or school.
  • Ethan – Ethan is sweet and smart. He’s suspicious of Meg from the start, which is a problem for her, but I was impressed that he’s so perceptive. Ethan’s also ridiculously sweet – he’s always looking out for Meg and Teeny by giving them a ride to school every morning and driving Meg home from work so she won’t have to walk alone in the dark. I think it’s great that Ethan almost immediately picked up on the BS in Meg’s story, so there wasn’t some big angsty reveal later on that she’d been lying to him.
  • plot – Meg and her family being in Witness Protection is really interesting, especially since Meg doesn’t know why they’re in the program. There are realistic details, like how Teeny panics that she’ll be left behind, and how Meg carries a bag of important things at all times in case of another unexpected and sudden relocation. I like how determined and dedicated Meg is in her quest to free her family from the program by finding out what happened and fixing it. There’s just the right amount of danger, romance, and family drama. 

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  • anger at Laura + Elle – It’s left to be a big mystery as to why anna is upset with her friends back home. Once it’s revealed that this sense of betrayal is over a silly claim to a guy, I felt a bit let down. I know Meg is clinging to her true “home” and all the people there, especially since her memory is a bit rocky, but that’s a long time to hold a grudge over an imaginary relationship. I just wish the build up had more of a payoff.
  • overlooking suspicious stuff – Meg has a deep hatred and mistrust of the agents in the Witness Protection Program. However, she completely ignores some pretty strange behavior by certain agents throughout the book. Her family has been in the program for what seems like awhile, so Meg’s familiar with how things work. She’s been through more than a couple of moves. As someone with experience in the program, Meg should have realized sooner that there was something strange going on.
  • Emma + Ben – I found the whole drama with Emma and Ben to be annoying. Emma is Ethan’s twin sister who is kind of on again/off again with Ben, but she gets all petty and jealous when Meg and Ben are paired for a school project. Meg is not at all interested in Ben, but he flirts with her a bit when he’s fighting with Emma, or just to mess with Ethan since their friendship is weird. Why does there always have to be a mean girl warning someone else to stay away from her boyfriend, as if the boyfriend isn’t ever at fault?

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Ethan’s here, and the way he watches me is alarming. I’m afraid he’s either one step from calling bullshit on my whole existence, or asking me out on a date. Neither good. I can feel the curiosity and interest coming off of him in waves.    – pg. 66


The room. The blood. The gun. Pictures flash across my eyes, and I squeeze them shut. My palms get a little sweaty and my mouth goes dry.

“Dad did something. We’re in this because of Dad, not me.” Not me, not me, not me.     – pg. 176

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3 Robots

Acquired: bought (ebook)


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