Book: The Rules for Disappearing

"The Rules for Disappearing"

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, it has 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 of 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.

I’m on the fence on whether I liked the book or not. On the one hand, I like the cinematic premise. I like the idea, and for the most part, the execution of it. I like the logic that the main character employs in trying to figure out what the story is behind their placement in Witness Protection. But the cinematic premise is also my biggest bone of contention with The Rules for Disappearing.

You see, when you watch a movie, you’re not always privy to what your main character is thinking. You can be, some movies employ narration or voice overs, but suspense thrillers usually let the action speak for itself. Which is why in movies, left-of-field twists work. In books though, withholding information, even if it’s important and organic to your story, makes your main character an unreliable narrator. And that’s when we get into a bit of trouble. Because it’s hard to trust an unreliable narrator.

Also, it’s hard to get romantically swept away when your main character is constantly reminding you that she shouldn’t be falling in love. It kills the mood. And makes her a tad unlikeable when she disobeys her own rules.

And that’s just the tip of why I don’t know whether The Rules for Disappearing is something I would recommend to people or not.

I did enjoy reading the book. A lot. It was a very fast read, and for the most part, I was very engaged in what was happening to the main character. But, and please bear in mind that I am not a resident of the United States of America, the plan our main character tries to pull to get her family out of Witness Protection in the last quarter of the book was very unbelievable. Highly improbable. And that ruined the book a little for me.

Which is kind of sad since the ending was very chilling. And would make you want to read the sequel, even as you wonder if the book actually warrants a sequel. I guess when I do eventually pick up the follow-up, I’ll just cross my fingers and hope that the events don’t unfold the way it did here–unrealistically.

But this is me, and other people have other opinions. So why don’t we mosey on down to their little corners of the world wide web and find out what they have to say about the novel:
The Flyleaf Review
Oh, Chrys
Young Adult Book Haven

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