Thursday, 19 December 2013

Review: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

Book: The Rules for Disappearing

Author: Ashley Elston

Pages: 312 pages

How long it took me to read: 4 hours

Plot Summary: 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.

What I Liked: I have been on a YA (Young Adult) kick of late and so, this book was a part of that mini-addiction. I really liked the premise of the book. I find Witness Protection very fascinating (even though I wouldn't wish it on anyone!) and have seen the usual movies and TV series based on this theme such as In Plain Sight etc. So, that's what got me to read this book and this is one aspect of the book that I enjoyed. Meg's life in the Witness Protection Program and the challenges of having to give up the life that you know and love for a completely different one- and in this case one which changes ever so frequently- was very lucid and well written. Also, the toll that this takes on the family was written with a lot of heart, which I liked. 

I liked Ethan Landry's character- he seems like the kind of solid guy and friend that one would want in their corner. Ethan's friends also seemed easy-going, nice and friendly, which is always a good thing to read in the YA genre as more often than not, YA books are full of mean girls and mean boys. 

I also liked Meg's little sister- Teeny. She is, once again, a great example of how something as traumatic as the Witness Protection Program can impact a young child. Teeny has slowly become a shadow of her former self and she is scarcely able to deal with her mom's increasing alcoholism and the rapid changes in her life. She was a character I was rooting for. 

What I Didn't Like: The 'big mystery' about what got Meg's family into Witness Protection was a bit lame and kind of obvious. Meg keeps thinking it is something her dad did and her parents as well as the agent refuse to tell her, which, pretty much, is a huge spoiler. Also, the 'big bad' guy was very obvious. I enjoy books where I am surprised in the end and if I guess what is going on in the book, then it ruins the fun for me. 

The ending of the book seemed very rushed. I would have preferred a build-up. 

Also, I am not very thrilled that there is going to be a sequel! This was the kind of story that didn't merit a sequel- a family that's in the Witness Protection, the big bad guy who is the reason they are there in the first place and the resolution of the issue. This story does not require a sequel! I am kinda not excited about reading Part 2. 

Meg seemed very whiny and weird. I just couldn't connect with her. She behaves like a brat- okay, that I get, no one wants to lose their old life of comforts and be on the run- but somehow Meg doesn't evoke much empathy. Also, the way she keeps pushing Ethan and his friends away is kind of predictable. Not much fun. 

Would you like it?: If you enjoy YA and want to read about what it feels like to be in the Witness Protection Program, then this is a good book for you. It is a quick and breezy read as well. 

Rating: 3/5 

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