Review: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

RulesforShe’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.


I received this as a digital ARC from NetGalley. I admit, I had ulterior motives for choosing this title, or requesting it. I am a hopeless YA addict, but I also write YA and guess what? I have a release coming this fall from Merit Press titled Deceived. I wrote Deceived four years ago and revised it numerous times before meeting the brilliant and beautiful, Jackie Mitchard, who against the odds connected with my revised-revision-reworked-work. I say all this to tell you,my story Deceived is about a young woman in *similar*. So, being fully aware of the whole writer-mind phenomenon, I panicked! Oh no! Her book comes 5 months before mine! I’m going to look like a hack! *insert total freak out here*.  Turns out the similarity I picked up on in the blurb is the only thing they have in common. Mental crisis averted. New crisis ensued: Her book is amazing! OMG I totally suck!

But I’m so glad I read this book!

I fell in love with Elston’s writing style in the opening paragraph. I loved her portayal of a teen in the worst situation ever. Like EVER. She explored raw emotion and touchy subjects with grace, humor and beautiful words. I drifted into her well developed world and floated there for hours on end. I’ve never been to the locations in this book, but I felt immersed. Like I could see everything she described, smell the seafood and salty night air — until my RL called me back and I realized the sun went down while I was at Pearl’s enjoying pizza. Elston’s story is intense every page of the way. She kept me guessing until the end. And since I mentioned the end…I have major questions about that too! I won’t give her away, but I seriously hope there’s a sequel or some other materials coming that will explain a thing that now keeps me up at night wondering. Do you hear me Ashely? I neeeeed to know! *whispers* Call me. *stage wink*

The family dynamic was brutally complicated and heart-wrenchingly real. The high school was argh as high school’s always are. Friendships were tested.  And the romance was completely wonderful. I think I fell in love with this boy a little myself. I won’t rehash the story because the blurb does a wonderful job and I fear I’d give something away. All you need to know, YA lovers, is this needs to be on your TBR list ASAP. It’s fabulous. Wrapped in fun. Iced with WTH!? I may never stop checking my rear view mirror. I’m just saying. Thank you Ashley Elston for an amazing escape, Netgalley and Hyperion for this amazing sneak peek!

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