The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston | BLOG TOUR REVIEW

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

Amazon | Goodreads | @ashley_elston |

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?

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15 thoughts on “The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston | BLOG TOUR REVIEW

  1. Great review, and despite being hyped as the big read this summer it doesn’t sound like its for me. I am glad that despite issues and disappointments that you enjoyed this lighthearted, high school drama!

    • I’d say the hype was counterproductive on me! From all the 5 star reviews on Goodreads, I expected something… something… more, something special about Ashley Elston’s The Rules for Disappearing but I guess my expectations weren’t exactly what the book went with! Or maybe I’m just watching too many action movies these days ;)

  2. I’m disappointed to hear the mystery was lacking and in it’s place regular old high school drama. Sigh… It held so much potential! Hopefully knowing that going into it will help me be able to enjoy it more for what it is. Thanks for the honest review =)

    • Well, if this was marketed more for its contemporary, self-discovery side, maybe I’d have loved it better. But I went into this thinking about the mysterious Witness Protection Program, all the possible creepy and surprising twists… It just didn’t work out! :/ Hope you’ll like it more than I did because there are really good moments!!

  3. It’s disappointing to hear the negative comments about such a hyped up book! I was interested in the plot of this one, but I’m not too sure if I should pick it up still… Do you still think it’s worth a read?

    • It pains me to write the review too!! So much potential, and I wish I went into reading WITHOUT having expectations for the thrilling aspects. I’d say… If you’re in for the plot, go ahead and give it try, because it is a good concept, just not the best execution.

  4. Pingback: May In Rewind 2013 | Summer Next Top Story

    • No sure how they’re going to prolong this story any further, maybe we get a new twist or a new plotline following another characters…? Will have to wait and see, I hope it won’t be a disappointment! > <

    • Definitely agree with you!! Standalone are like “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences that I’ll always treasure. As for series… I’m just “mehh, I’ll learn more about them anyway” and I proceed to chuck it to the side. The Rules for Disappearing lost its magic somehow and I won’t be strongly recommending this!

  5. I fully agree with everything you had to say here. I liked all of the elements that you liked too even though I did mind that the end got weird and easy. I thought the family dynamics were the most interesting part for me.

    • Thank you for dropping by, Christianna! The character development is my favourite element of the story and I loved the times when Meg would flashback on her previous moves. That definitely drew me in and helped me to relate to Meg’s weariness of her new town! Family dynamics made it a whole lot more interesting and unique from the other mysteries :)

  6. This sounded really interesting, and I was looking forward to reading it. However, I was hoping for more action and thriller, not a light-hearted read. I’m also not sure about where this will go as a series. I’ll wait until after I hear about the second book to decide whether or not I’ll give this one a try.

    Kris @Imaginary Reads

    • SO AGREE! I had a hard time reading the first chapters because it wasn’t what I expected at all. The intensity was barely there till the last 80 pages or so and the series thing really annoyed me!! Hoping that the sequel will pick up speed and have more mind-blowing twists to make up for the overly hyped expectations I had for this one…

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