Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 14th 2013
Format: eARC Provided by Netgalley
Rating: 5 Stars
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.
From time to time I will check out Netgalley and see what is coming up and boy am I glad I did with this one! This book was a great page turner.
Meg Jones and her family are in the witness relocation program from what she assumes is something her father did. Their new placement takes them to a small town in Louisianna where she vows to herself to find out what happened and stop running. She ends up looking after her younger sister "Mary" because their mother is battling an alcohol addiction and their dad is busy trying to work with the FEDs and keep a steady job to provide for them what the program doesn't fund. Starting a new school is difficult to begin with but with Meg it proves to be harder than she first planned. See "Meg" has promised herself she won't make any friends or get close to any boys for fear of being taken away again. NO attachments mean NO heartache but the handsome and charming Ethan Landry makes that impossible. She meets him for the first time in the school office while getting her schedule and then he tries to befriend her at lunch. She avoids him as much as possible until she gets a job at a local pizza joint where it just so happens his aunt owns the place. The more she avoids him the more curious he gets and soon starts to uncover what she's hiding. She finally gives in and tells him some of what she can and they become closer despite Megs plan not to get close.
Strange things start happening to Meg that she tries to brush off as just her paranoia but she starts to think the people who are after them have found her. When she starts having memory flashes she first thought were just nightmares, she begs her dad to finally tell her the real reason they are on the run. What she finds out turns her whole world upside down. With the help of Ethan and some old friends she finally figures out just what happened and tries to handle things herself but ends up making things more complicated that leads to a "To Be Continued..." ending!
A Young Adult book that packs in action, romance, suspense and drama? Yes Please! This book had a little of everything for every taste. I aboslutely loved it! Getting to see what this family went through just to be able to survive was intense. Fake contact lenses, hair dye and new names were only half of the things they had to deal with. Poor Meg can't have any sort of a normal teenage life filled with dating and first kisses and prom because she is terrified that the FED's or "The Suits" as she calls them will snatch them up and relocate them. She learned her lesson with one boy she liked at a previous location and when The Suits swooped in the kid no idea why he was just stood up. Meg was such a strong character to be so young and watching her cope with a life she didn't want and something she feels like she shouldn't have to suffer through was really sad to witness. She's watching her mother slowly deteriorate by alcohol, her dad is distant and doesn't really do much for her or her sister so she ends up taking care of both herself and her sister. On top of that she is watching the light fade out of her sisters eyes with every move and doesn't know how to help. It's not until Ethan comes in to the picture that things start to change.
Ah Ethan. My heart went crazy for this kid! He was sweet, patient and a really strong guy who was just what Meg needed. He becomes a good friend and as they slowly grow closer he becomes her rock and partner throughout her journey. During one scene he takes her out Hog hunting (It's a southern thing just go with it) and she has a freak out moment that causes her to go into shock to which Ethan steps up and takes care of the situation with ease, making sure she got home and that she was ok. He really shows his true character when he so selflessly gets swept up into the mess that is her life and ends up being her greatest Ally when they are both in danger. But the absolute best part was watching Ethan bond with Megs sister Mary and bring her out of her shell that this lifestyle has caused her to retreat in. Mary was almost despondant until she met Ethan and they were almost inseperable. How can you not love a guy who loves your baby sister?
When the smoke cleared and the story wrapped up the ending had me confused because it felt like it could go either way. It was one of those things where you get answers but you are left with even more and I was freaking out wondering if there would be a sequel. Thankfully I hounded the author on Twitter and she confirmed she is working on the second one AT. THIS. MOMENT. It was such a good book that I just couldn't stand to think there wouldn't be another. I hope the next one is filled with even more twists, turns and freefalls as this one because to be a smut free YA book it sure knocked my socks off!
"Dad's the only thing stopping mom's drunk ass from falling off the bed. Teeny's off in never-never land and I look like some terminally ill kid with a bad wig. This family has fallen apart." Loc. 113
"Don't ask your coworkers about their boyfriend, girlfriend, dog, cat, latest fad diet, thoughts on global warming, or anything else remotely personal. Because then you have to lie about your boyfriend, girlfriend, dog, cat, latest fad diet, and thoughts on global warming and that really sucks." Loc. 846
He kisses me lightly on the lips. "Do you have to go home now or can you stay out a while?" At this moment, I can't even remember what my fake name is. Loc. 1571
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 certified landscape horticulturist and loves digging in the dirt. Her debut novel, THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING, will be published by Disney Hyperion in winter 2013.