Welcome to The Rules for Disappearing blog tour, hosted by Shane @ Itching For Books. Shane is amazing to work with and I love her tours, so do drop by and say hello!
The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston
Publisher/Year: Disney Hyperion May 14th 2013
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller with a mix of contemporary
Series: *sigh* apparently so
Other Books From Author: Nope, debut author
Source: Publisher for Blog Tour
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.
Where do I start? The Rules for Disappearing is one of my most anticipated debuts of 2013, and I expected a thrilling mystery with an interestingly woven story of lost identity. While it was an entertaining read, I felt more frustrated with the mystery than anything else. I kept waiting and waiting for the “OHMYGOSHWHATSORCERYISTHIS!!!” moment but it just never happened. Maybe because I was watching a spy series while reading this so I had equally high expectations for the intensity of action in this book. Turns out it is slightly lighthearted, with some high school drama, which I liked, BUT I didn’t.
There’s no denying the solid characterization in this book– an absent-minded father, and a cocktail-party-queen-turned-drunkard mother created tension and dynamics within Meg’s family. I could almost imagine these characters come alive before me! There’s this vibe about them that kept me curious about their lives. I liked Meg’s defiance against ignorance, the sweet moments between her and her sister, and her helplessness of being thrown from one identity to another. When her family is transplanted into Louisiana, Meg vows to never attach herself to the place, because what’s the point of trying when your identity and your friends will all be stripped away without warning? As much as Meg claims to be tired and resigned, we sometimes catch a spark in her— she WANTS to know why her family is in Witness Protection Program, and she will do ALL IT TAKES to get them out of it.
Meg is a strong individual, but when she’s together with Ethan… *awkward pause* Even though Ethan is cute/adorable/nice to a fault, I could NOT feel the chemistry between them. He was insignificant for the most parts and I was all “Hmm?! Since when did this guy pop up??” when Meg and Ethan started hanging out. Their conversations were short and awkward, and their relationship felt like a burden to the story. It didn’t help that the high school drama *SCREAMS* into your ears, just like your annoying younger siblings who would create a ruckus while you’re trying to finish your work. I couldn’t ENJOY the mystery because 70% of the time, Meg, Ethan & Co. would pull me right out of it with their cat fights. Not that the drama was completely unjustified, but it felt like a needless addition that compromised the action in the book.
The action. I won’t be giving anything away but to be honest, nothing much happens for the first parts of the book and it all got jam-packed into the final chapters. I was still loving the final plot twists and turns and unexpected betrayals and then: “To be continued in sequel… TEEHEE”.
There’s nothing more disappointing than seeing a potential standalone get dragged on into a series. The romance, drama and teen angst diluted what could have been an intense, mystifying thriller, and it didn’t deliver the promised “perilous journey” in its premise.
What do you think about this? Excited for the mystery? Does it bother you too when a potential-standalone become a series?