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The Rules For Disappearing Blog Tour | Review & Playlist

Welcome to the blog tour for
THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING by ASHLEY ELSTON!

A huge thanks to Disney-Hyperion, Shane from Itching for Books, and of course author Ashley Elston for organizing everything! I’m helping kick off the blog tour with my review for THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING as well as a playlist I’ve put together for the book. The book releases TODAY so I’m guessing most of you haven’t read it, so I’m really excited to share my review an even more excited to share my playlist! Our main character (alias: Meg) heavily relies on music and her iPod to sort of block out the world in the first part of the book in order to keep her distance from the other kids so although I didn’t know it when I chose it, the playlist turned out to be selection for the tour!

The Rules For Disappearing Blog Tour | Review & PlaylistTitle: The Rules for Disappearing (The Rules for Disappearing #1) by Ashley Elston
Publishing Info: May 14, 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 11, 2013
Related Posts: The Rules for Breaking (The Rules for Disappearing #2), This is Our Story

    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.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ashley Elston lives is North Louisiana with her husband, three sons and two cats. She worked as a wedding and portrait photographer for ten years until she decided to pursue writing full time. Ashley is also a licensed Landscape Horticulturist and helps her husband run a commercial lawn and landscaping business. They also custom harvest pecans and have cows. Yes, cows.

ashleyelston.com | twitter.com/ashley_elston

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I can honestly say that I was intrigued by THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING since the first page. Witness protection program? Yes, please! I mean, wait…. I just want to READ about it. In no way do I want to go through what our main character Meg had to. We first meet Meg as she and her family are getting pulled from her current location and it’s clear that life in the Witness Protection program has been no picnic. Meg, her father, her mother, and her younger sister known as “Teeny” all have some serious issues from hiding out, being on the run, and constantly moving. Their family dynamic was heartbreaking to see, but it seemed entirely realistic for the situation that they were in. My heart went out to them the whole book and I really felt like I connected with each one of them on such a personal level.

The concept for this book is so incredibly unnerving, but that tension kept me on my toes the whole book! Honestly, I would probably constantly be breaking down like Teeny if I had to watch my back my entire life, constantly remember these new identities, and constantly be ripped away from the new friends and “normal” life I once had. There were some really interesting plot twists that kept the pacing of THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING feeling like a thriller/mystery which was something exciting to see in the world of YA! I feel like mysteries are often wrapped in dystopians or paranormals and the thrillers are wrapped in horror so for me as a former mystery-lover, it was exciting to see this book stand more in the category of thriller/mystery without complicating the plot by throwing in a paranormal element or anything like that.

Despite Meg’s original plan to shut out everyone to protect herself, she meets Ethan. ETHAN!! Oh, how I loved Ethan in this book. He’s a nice country boy and NOT the jock (which I’m always happy for because I was never a jock person myself). He was so patient and sweet with Meg throughout this book and it absolutely made my heart melt. I loved the way their relationship developed and there were several times I was just like, “Ohhh, Ethan. I love you.” One thing that really did me in was that since Ethan worked on the farm, he had rough hands “like a man’s”. I may be biased because my boyfriend is a welder/fabricator and is always getting his hands into one project or another, but that totally made me appreciate Ethan even more. He was sturdy and strong and I totally fell for him!

The PLOT TWISTS! There were twists!! One I was totally shocked by and the other I could see coming but that didn’t take away from the fact that it was a wicked twist. The first twist totally surprised me and my literal reaction was “WHAT!?!” It was intense and really made the book that much better!

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Meg: I really felt for Meg. And her family. She seemed to be the one person in her family who was still managing to somewhat keep it together (well, her dad was too). She managed to come up with her own rules for disappearing and yet had the typical teenage desires like friends, clubs, and of course, boys. I really connected with her through most of the book!
Ethan: Oh, Ethan. I totally felt the swoon-factor. He was so sweet and so nice and doesn’t hurt that he was so cute too! The way he treated Meg was adorable and I absolutely loved his presence in the story.
Pearl: Pearl was a surprisingly bold character for me in this book. At first, I hadn’t expected much of her, but I loved her tough exterior with a soft heart. She turned out to be really important to the book in many ways and I loved seeing that from her!

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     Shadowlands      Nantucket Blue

PLAYLIST

I’m also really excited to share with you the playlist that I’ve made for the blog tour. I LOVE making playlists and something that’s really important to me when making them is what I guess you could call “playability”. I like my playlists/soundtracks to be able to transition smoothly from one song into the next, creating a soundtrack you can listen to all the way through… Only problem is, the one song I feel is perfectly aligned with the feelings of this book is such an oddball choice for a playlist that I feel like I need to put it separately.
I really love musical and show tunes, so when I was driving the other day and “Home” from the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack came on, I realized that nearly every word of this song fits for Meg in THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING. It’s all about leaving home from somewhere unpleasant, feeling alone, and feeling like even going back home wouldn’t solve everything. I HAD to include it, even if not as an official part of the playlist.


1. “Keep the Car Running” – The Arcade Fire

Lyrics: “Every night my dream’s the same
Same old city with a different name
Men are coming to take me away
I don’t know why but I know I can’t stay”
Context: Being taken from one location to the next by the suits


2. “Misguided Ghosts” – Paramore

Lyrics: “‘Cause I’m just one of those ghosts
Traveling endlessly
Don’t need no roads
In fact they follow me”
Context: Meg “traveling endlessly” and always feeling the ghosts of her former identities and friends she left behind


3. “That’s Not My Name” – The Ting Tings

Context: I just had to include this one because we find out in the book that one of the songs Meg is listening to on her iPod was The Ting Tings… Could it have been “That’s Not My Name?” Pun intended!?! I got a kick out of it!


4. “Your Fake Name is Good Enough For Me” – Iron and Wine

Lyrics: “Your fake name is not for everyone, good enough for me
Forgotten by the garden and your phone is ringing
Bet you’re watching all the happy kids kiss each other clean
They were singing something, maybe they were singing”
Context: Fake names, missing out on what all the “normal kids” are doing


5. “Stubborn Love” – The Lumineers

Lyrics: It‘s better to feel pain, than nothing at all
The opposite of love‘s indifference
So pay attention now, I‘m standing on your porch screaming out
And I wont leave until you come downstairs”
Context: Meg wanting to be attached to Ethan but knowing she shouldn’t/Ethan’s willingness to help Meg and refusal to desert her

Okay, that’ll wrap it up for my stop on THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING blog tour! Hope you had fun with my playlist and review! THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING is on sale today so you can go ahead and pick up your copy any time! Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a copy of THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING for yourself!

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How to Lead a Life of Crime – Kirsten Miller

How to Lead a Life of Crime – Kirsten MillerTitle: How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller
Publishing Info: February 21, 2013 by Penguin
Source: Netgalley
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 20, 2012

    A meth dealer. A prostitute. A serial killer.
Anywhere else, they’d be vermin. At the Mandel Academy, they’re called prodigies. The most exclusive school in New York City has been training young criminals for over a century. Only the most ruthless students are allowed to graduate. The rest disappear.
Flick, a teenage pickpocket, has risen to the top of his class. But then Mandel recruits a fierce new competitor who also happens to be Flick’s old flame. They’ve been told only one of them will make it out of the Mandel Academy. Will they find a way to save each other—or will the school destroy them both?

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Wow, so this book was definitely quite a bit different than I expected, but in a really good way. I guess I can’t really put it into any sort of box – It’s actually really hard to say what genres it even falls into. It was more mature than YA (definitely not suitable for the younger teens) but since the characters are teenagers, I don’t know if I’d feel comfortable calling it NA or Adult. It’s got a realism to it, but I almost feel like I could call it a kind of a dystopian, but not the way we normally think of it. Let me explain: Mandel Academy has sot of a struggle to find a utopian balance among the students, but at the same time any quest that’s a step towards their “ideal” society is totally messed up so it’s like an ideal insane society.

Anyway. As crazy as it all was, I loved it. I followed all of the twisty twists and got really into the characters and their stories. I usually find myself not relating to a male main character as well as female main characters, but Flick isn’t your average main character. He’s got some demons that he carries around with him and dark secrets from his past. The whole reason he gets into the twisted halls of Mandel is not only his penchant for lifting wallets but he’s also in the business of revenge – Anything he can do to get revenge on his father, whatever he decides that may be. I really found myself connecting with him, latching onto his beliefs, and rooting for him to figure out the right path.

I really enjoyed the story line and how things about Flick as well as the secrets about the school are revealed to us little by little. I was definitely captivated – much more than I thought I would be when I first started — and I found myself racing to finish. The ending brought around a few interesting plot turns that I didn’t see coming, including a “WHAT!?” moment.

This is definitely a book that revolves around the dark, the sinister, and the gruesome so if you’re looking for an upbeat or romantic story, this isn’t it. Be prepared that it’s pretty gritty and not for the faint of heart — We are reading a story about criminals and the people who are training teens to become well-rounded criminals as well. Even though I love a good rom-com, for some reason I find myself drawn to the creepy and sinister from time to time and this book just hit the spot for that niche. At times it almost had a Dark Knight/Batman feel to it and other times it felt a lot like DIVERGENT but with the character connections and action scenes that I had never found with the DIVERGENT series.

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Flick: I was surprised at how well I connected with Flick’s character. Even through the deep-seeded thoughts of revenge and his tendency to lean to “the dark side” I really got to love Flick. I think the readers really get to make a good connection with him and get really invested in his mission. Usually I don’t connect with male main characters as well as I do with female MCs (just the way it goes) but I really liked Flick and his story totally hooked me.
Flick’s father: I was actually super intrigued by Flick’s dad and what had actually happened in his past to make Flick so desperate for revenge. I love how that thread slowly unwound and we get to see many different sides of Flick’s father (at least that’s how I felt) and exactly what his intentions were towards his two sons and his wife.

addiction_factor1Buy it!

Wow, this was a really interesting book! Different from what I was expecting but that was in a good way. It was very thrilling and definitely captivating!

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