BLOG TOUR {Review #101 & Giveaway}: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

Welcome to our blog tour stop for The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston, hosted by Shane at Itching for Books. You can follow the tour here. And don't forget to check out the giveaway at the end of this post! Thanks for stopping by! :D

Title: The Rules for Disappearing
Author: Ashley Elston
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Pages: 320, Hardcover

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.


Remember your old life is dead and gone. Better it than you."

The real draw here for me was the premise. I loved the idea of Meg being in Witness Protection. Another Identity. Another story. Having to hide so many things about her true self. It was a story I haven’t had the pleasure of reading before so it was new and exciting. And for her not to know why they were even in Witness Protection - she assumed it was something her father did - only added to the intrigue and mystery.

Only use public transportation. It's the one true way to look completely uninteresting. That is, unless you have a hideous wood-paneled station wagon. That'll work too."

But the story went deeper than that. The moves were starting to take a toll on her family. Her mom was rarely sober anymore. Her father was withdrawn. And her sister Teeny was almost non-responsive. Meg couldn’t stand to see her once happy family fall apart like this. She was tired of losing people and having them lose her. She was fed up with lying and pretending to be someone else. And she started to like this podunk town in Louisiana, and a certain boy who lived here, and couldn’t imagine moving again.

Meg was determined to stay and to do that she had to find out what her father did to get them in this mess in the first place. And fix it. And she really couldn’t do it fast enough because weird things were happening to her. She felt the sensation of being watched, her things disappeared or were disturbed, and her strange nightmares were getting worse. Not to mention, Ethan was on to her about not being who she said she was. And he was a persistent little bugger.

Educate yourself on what you plan to lie about. It sucks when you say your family is from Arkansas and then not be able to answer a damn thing about Arkansas."

I know I mention delivery a lot in my reviews because it’s a big thing for me. Not every book works with a sense of humor but they tend to be my favorite and this book had a bit of that. The "Rules for Disappearing" provided at the beginning of each chapter were my favorite. But the best scene was:

"He wiggles his eyebrows. 'Wanna go back to my place?' 
I giggle at his cheesy line and hit him with one of my own. 'Why? Wanna make like fabric softener and snuggle?'

He falls back, laughing then says, 'If I told you that you had a great body, would you hold it against me?' 

My cheeks get warm and I rack my brain for another line. He's smiling, dimples and all, and waiting for my comeback. Oh! Got it! I move in closer, trying hard for a serious expression and say, 'If I could rearrange the alphabet, I'd put U and I together.' 

He braces his hands on the table and is inches from my face, eyes twinkling, and asks, 'What's a nice girl like you doing in a dirty mind like mine?' 
Oh my God."

So cute. But Meg herself was just so-so. I loved her relationship with her sister. She was a rock for Teeny - caring, reliable. But even though she was pretty mature and reasonable when it came to managing her family, she had a tendency to act pretty reckless when it came to everything else. I always find it somewhat comical when people treat 'scary bad men that want to kill you' lightly. She just didn't really charm me. 

I've mentioned before that I have very little patience when it comes to silly, whiny, nonsensical, and/or boy-stupid behavior. Meg exhibited boy-stupid behavior. After moving so many times, she was determined not to make any friends or attachments at this new place. But her strength of will wasn't very strong because - and I don’t think I am exaggerating here - almost every single encounter between Meg and Ethan would start with her telling herself that she would say no to him, only for her to immediately say yes. Things like this annoy me easily.

"Say no or say yes? Say no. Every time I say yes, I wish I wouldn't have. Definitely say no. 'A movie sounds good.'"

"Ethan works his magic on me and like the weak ass I am, I agree."

But the story was fun and the ending was pretty thrilling. There was a good bit of suspense (who was after her). A good mystery (why she was in Witness Protection). And a nice adventure (how she was going to fix things). The story kept me entertained even though the romance and characters weren't my favorite.

If you have to get a job, do not make friends there. Don't ask your coworkers about their boyfriend, girlfriend, dog, cat, latest fad diet, thoughts on global warming, or anything else remotely personal. Because then you have to lie about your boyfriend, girlfriend, dog, cat, latest fad diet, and thoughts on global warming and that really sucks. "

About the Author

Ashley Elston lives is North Louisiana with her husband, three sons and two cats. She worked as a wedding and portrait photographer for ten years until she decided to pursue writing full time. Ashley is also a licensed Landscape Horticulturist and helps her husband run a commercial lawn and landscaping business. They also custom harvest pecans and have cows. Yes, cows.




  1. Good review & quotes. Thanks for participating.

  2. I'm posting my review tomorrow! I liked this one a lot! I thought it was so fun and had just the right amount of "what the hell is going on?" The end was pretty great too!

  3. Great review! My blog partner also read this and really enjoyed it. I just love HOW DIFFERENT IT SOUNDS. It gets a little boring to read about the same settings all the time. Hyperion has put some good books out this month! Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Yes! That was my initial attraction to this book. I am instantly drawn to books with a new story/setting and it definitely delivered in that regard!

  4. I really didn't like the romance at first, for the exact reason you mentioned: Meg was so weak when it came to Ethan, and it annoyed me. I did like it better as the story continued, but in the beginning I disliked it. I'm glad you enjoyed the rest of it though :) The mystery was so fun!

    1. Hah I tend to hold a grudge so that damage was done in the beginning. It didn't recover enough for me :) But yes, fun plot otherwise!

  5. Nicole fantastic review! I absolutely enjoyed The Rules for Disappearing and everything you mentioned your review I really enjoyed :)

    Here's my review forThe Rules for Disappearing.


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