cover image The Rules for Disappearing

The Rules for Disappearing

Ashley Elston. Hyperion, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4231-6897-3

Seventeen-year-old Meg Jones (not her real name) and her family are in the witness protection program, and they’ve changed towns six times in less than a year, each move bleaker and more debilitating than the last. Meg’s mother is an alcoholic, her father is depressed and secretive, and her 11-year-old sister is having trouble coping with all of the change. Fed up, Meg wants out of the program and will do anything to save her family, including digging up what her father did to get them into this mess. After ignoring her instincts and letting a cute Louisiana farm boy into her life, Meg becomes even more resolved to stay put. Surprises aplenty await readers in this high-stakes thriller, Elston’s debut. After Meg discovers the real reason her family went into hiding (which some readers may find disappointing after all of the buildup), her efforts to set things right strain credibility. For those drawn in by the story’s action and mysteries, Elston leaves the door open for a sequel. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (May)