The Reading Shelf

I love reading books, especially Young Adult books of all kinds. I have a book reviewing blog (The Reading Shelf) that I try to update whenever I'm not reading or procrastinating on the internet.

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

The Rules for Disappearing - Ashley Elston

This is another 2013 debut, but it’s about a much different topic than most (if any) debuts this year – the Witness Protection Program. Unfortunately for me, this wasn’t an amazing book for me – it was decent, but it didn’t blow me away.


The main reason this book didn’t blow me away was because I had trouble connecting with MC Meg. I’m sure I would be quite whiny if I was stuck in the Witness Protection Program and forced to move around all the time, but it still frustrated me when Meg spent so much time whining and pushing people away and judging her alcoholic mother. It was hard to care about what would happen to Meg when I was too busy rolling my eyes at her. She was in a very dramatic and stressful situation, but it wouldn’t have hurt for her to seem more sympathetic. I guess it makes her a more realistic character, but not one I necessarily want to read about.


I liked the love interest Ethan (although I objected to the few times that Meg suggested he was a “bad boy” – he really, really wasn’t, and it seemed like the author just threw in that characterization every once in a while to get the attention of readers who only like bad boys), but because Meg wasn’t my favorite person, I didn’t really care if they got together. There was relationship drama mixed in with the WPP drama, and it was often too much drama for my taste.


Then there was the mean girl character – sure, she wasn’t a very good person and had too many issues with Meg for basically no reason, but I got annoyed with how many times Meg complained about her and made the antagonism between them seem as dramatic as the WPP drama. It’s really, really not. And you find out something about the mean girl, Emma, that makes you wonder why so many people still make such a huge deal about her and judge her so much.


As I mentioned, Meg didn’t deal with her mother well. She was always complaining about her mother’s drinking, and it really annoyed me because it seemed like Meg didn’t understand at all that her mother had a problem that she couldn’t control. There were random times when she seemed to be fine and not drinking, and it just didn’t seem realistic based on how bad her drinking was previously. Now, I’ve never been in that situation with a parent, but it didn’t always seem realistic and Meg didn’t seem to understand that her mother needed help, not her judgment.


I know it seems like I really didn’t like this book, but that’s not true. The story itself was pretty interesting. I saw some twists coming, but not all of them, and the ending was pretty interesting. I think I’ll wait to read reviews before checking out the second book, but I’m slightly interested to see what will happen to Meg and her friends and family next.