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.
The Rules for Disappearing is one of the most fast paced YA’s I’ve read to date — but in a good way. While the rhythm of the novel was timely upbeat, none of the character development felt rushed in any way at all so the plot flowed smoothly and was easy to engage in as a reader. I don’t know how Elston made it happen but she did it gloriously so.
Elston’s form of character voice was vivid and determined, but was at times rusty and could have been a little more lyrical given an extra tweak here and there. Personas were also sometimes over exaggerated, but not enough that that readers wouldn’t be able to easily overlook any small slips, and after all, this is sometimes expected in debuts.
Meg, our main lead, was a one of the more strong female mc’s I’ve come across in YA, and the personal development she goes through reminded me much of Katniss Everdeen’s ascent into bad-assery throughout The Hunger Games(as, sadly, clichéd the comparison might be). The controversial idea that the government might not be all that is seems added an interesting twist to the plot and was what mainly kept me hooked, besides Ethan Landry, of course. *swoons*
Throughout the novel I found myself questioning the possibility of a love triangle brewing between Meg, Ethan, and the ever-so mysterious Suit, Thomas. Now, there’s been dispute all over the book blogging world, I’ve noticed after a very recent personal research, whether the idea is something readers have conjured themselves or if author Ashley Elston has purposefully put the idea in all our easily swayed little minds. I personally think a love triangle would add more to the story in the near future and can’t wait to see what might get Ethan and Meg on rocky grounds. Sue me, for I am a lover of all things angsty and heart shattering, and we all know love triangles are just the thing to do the trick. It’s always fun to rock the boat now and then.
Something worth mentioning is that The Rules for Disappearing takes place in my favorite part of the deep South: Natchitoches, Louisiana. The setting was a perfect side dish to the platter TRfD served up and did a great job of setting the tone. I’ve seen Natchitoches used in multiple novels, but here it fit the best. Little traits and additions to the atmosphere gave the authentic feeling of the South.
The Rules for Disappearing had what I consider a picture perfect ending: major whirlpool plot twist, a door-off-hinges open ending, and just an extra dose of last-page mystery. I literally squealed upon reading the last page and am absolutely vying for the sequel, titleless as of now and set to release in summer of 2014, which is way too long for my Agent Thomas-aching heart.
What I would even go so far as to say is the best debut novel of 2013, The Rules for Disappearing is great for fans of the Bourne films as well as Ally Carter’s bestselling Heist Society series.