The Rules for Disappearing
Released: May 14, 2013
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
Everything is about to change again - uprooted from yet another life by the Witness Protection Program, Meg is on her way to Louisiana with her parents and little sister. This is the sixth time they're moving and it's not getting any easier, especially since with every move she feels her original identity slipping further away. Her father won't tell her why they're in the Witness Protection Program. Now, plagued with nightmares, Meg is determined to find out the truth.
This book blew me away. I loved every minute, from the moment we're thrown into the story as Meg is forced to change her appearance for the upcoming move, to the moment the book ends on a "OMGWTF" moment, but I'll get to that later. The Rules for Disappearing is a completely unique plot line. I have to give the author props for coming up with that and her plot twists. It's obvious from the start that there's something fishy going on with this family, but it's hard to know what, especially since Meg has no idea why they're even in the program. But I had a couple suspicions.
Meg made all sorts of rules for herself for this move (hence the title of the book) like don't make any friends, don't join any clubs, don't stand out... but human nature goes against her as she starts developing feelings for a boy at her new school. What's great about Ethan is that he's completely supportive of Meg. Obviously something's up with her, but he doesn't push her and he let's her do her thing for the most part. They had a sweet little romance that wasn't dipped in insta-love. It seemed pretty realistic aside from the fact that I'm not aware of too many teenage guys who are as understanding and sweet as Ethan.
But ah, those plot twists! I half guessed at the first one and was mostly right, although I had no idea how dramatic it would be when the truth came out. When we finally found out why Meg and her family was in the program, I was a little surprised at how in-depth the problem was. From that point on the book became all about how to fix it so Meg didn't have to be in the program anymore. More than anything, she just wanted to live a normal life - and who could blame her as the program was tearing her family apart.
The second plot twist came in the second last chapter of the book. I'll just say I was right about one of the characters, but I still have no idea what their motivation was. This was me as I finished the book: "Whaaaa?" *Turns the page... there's nothing left but the acknowledgments. Shakes the book furiously to see if another chapter will appear. It doesn't.* It wasn't an earth-shattering cliffhanger, but it was definitely left open ended. Thank goodness I discovered there's going to be a sequel! I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for it.
Five stars! The Rules for Disappearing was a fantastic novel I did not want to put down, resulting in my being rather sluggish at work Wednesday after a Tuesday night readathon. I've read a couple luke-warm reviews of this book but I don't understand - this book was unique and full of drama. Quite simply, it was amazing. If you're a contemporary fan, this is a must read!