Hi! Today we’re celebrating the release of Ashley Elston’s THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING, which came out on Tuesday!
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.
I love the hook of a girl in the Witness Protection Program! It reminds me of a childhood favorite, Lois Duncan’s DON’T LOOK BEHIND YOU. Meg is a tremendously sympathetic main character. Her dad is keeping secrets about why they’ve got to endure this, her spunky little sister is going silent and childlike, and her mom’s drinking is getting out of control. After being abruptly yanked out of her original life and several placements, leaving friends and identities behind in each place, it’s totally understandable that she’s decided not to even try in Louisiana. Of course, that’s before she meets Ethan, who really is adorable. Her attempts to push him away are, again, understandable, but I appreciate that instead of being endlessly patient, he gets frustrated with her and demands the truth. I love the charming small-town setting and the rich family dynamics – but what really kept me flipping pages is the mystery of what got Meg’s family into this situation and the very real sense of danger following her. The neat ending struck me as a tad implausible, but it’s possible that the sequel will make it all make sense. I’ll definitely be reading it! Recommend!
Now for our interview with Ashley:
1. Describe your main character in 3 adjectives + a noun.
Meg is a smart, scared, determined sister. (JS: I loved the sisterly relationship here!)
2. Describe your book in 3 adjectives + a noun.
THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING is a mysterious, romantic, thrilling novel.
3. Describe yourself in 3 adjectives + a noun.
I’m a happy, independent, kind adventurer.
4. If you could travel to any 3 countries, what would they be?
Australia, Ireland, Argentina
5. If you could take any 3 non-writing-related classes, what would they be?
Pottery, cake decorating, French (JS: ooh, cake decorating would be so fun!)
6. If you could have any 3 alternate careers, what would they be?
Photography, horticulturist, archeologist
7. What are your 3 favorite flowers?
Gardenia, hydrangea, Louisiana Iris
8. What are your 3 favorite foods?
Crawfish, German chocolate cake, sushi
9. What are your 3 favorite books?
GRACELING by Kristin Cashore, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE by Laini Taylor (JS: awesome choices! I love all of these!)
Ashley is offering up a swag pack to one lucky winner in the US (necklace, bookmark, and stickers). To enter, leave me a comment telling me what fake name you’d choose if you had to go into hiding. I’m going to go with Lia! ETA: contest open until next Thursday, May 23, at noon.
Thank you for stopping by, Ashley! I hope you’re having a fabulous debut week!