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From the Publisher3Q 4P S In this sequel to The Rules for Disappearing (Hyperion, 2013/VOYA June 2013), Anna and her family have recently left the witness protection program but are on the run again. It appears that a fake government agent (and likely assassin) knows where they are, as evidenced by the journal he covertly returns. Anna is tired of running, hiding, and being a victim. Anna, her sister, and her father, along with her boyfriend, Ethan, and his family, flee to a remote island on the Mississippi River, hoping to stay out of harm's way while the authorities try to track down the assassin, and the mole who is leading him to Anna. Thomas, the assassin, abducts Ethan, Anna, and her sister, throwing them smack in the middle of a complicated power struggle for leadership of a cartel. Anna struggles to figure out what is going on and is shocked when she realizes who the people are behind the scenes. This thriller is densely packed with action, scheming, double-crossing, and revelations, which makes the story occasionally difficult to follow. Much of the complicated plot seems far-fetched, but Elston never leaves time for readers to dwell on that, constantly propelling the story forward faster with twists and turns. Though there is some backstory given, readers who pick this up without having read the first book will likely be lost at times. Give this one to readers looking for a suspenseful action story led by a protagonist who is willing to risk her own life to save those she loves.-Amanda MacGregor.—VOYA
Anna Boyd finally has her name-and her life-back, and she won't give either up without a fight. In this follow-up to The Rules for Disappearing (2013), Anna, so thankful to have left the world of witness protection behind, is shocked to learn that she is still being hunted by Thomas, the villain who masqueraded as a federal agent and who inexplicably allowed her and her boyfriend, Ethan, to escape when he might easily have killed them. Before she knows what hit her, Anna, her family, and Ethan's are sent off to hide in a remote wilderness area from which she, Ethan, and her little sister, Teeny, are ultimately kidnapped. The trio is whisked away to a secret location where they learn that they have become pawns in a deadly game of chess being played by assassins, organized crime lords and rogue agents. The implausible but still engaging storyline is jam-packed with impulsive decisions that carry foreseeable disastrous consequences, unexpected betrayals and alliances, and a series of skin-of-the-teeth escapes. Amid the chaos, Anna's head-over-heels infatuation with Ethan and sweet devotion to Teeny will give readers something familiar they can hold on to. Like a good roller-coaster ride: adrenaline-fueled and terrifying with an underlying feeling that everything will end as it should. (Suspense. 12-18)—Kirkus
Gr 9 Up Anna's post Witness Protection Program life isn't perfect, but at least she no longer has to keep her identity a secret or move from place to place at the drop of a hat. In Natchitoches, she's developed solid friendships and is dating a really great guy. Her sister, Teeny, is even beginning to recover from the trauma of their former lifestyle. Then Anna's missing journal is returned, along with a note from "T." Anna assumes it's from Thomas, the man hired to kill her, and the FBI agrees. Instead of going back into Witness Protection, the teen argues in favor of staying put, hoping that the FBI can apprehend Thomas before he finds her to finish his fatal task. He has a larger plan in place, however, and his accomplices are people Anna would never suspect. In order to outsmart them, she will have to think fast and stay strong-especially when her boyfriend and sister get dragged into the danger zone. This sequel to The Rules for Disappearing (Hyperion, 2013) doesn't stand well on its own, as pertinent backstory is not sufficiently explained for the uninitiated. There is, however, significant character growth over the course of this novel. Anna is a fairly likable heroine who realistically goes from pawn to triumphant victor. The plot drags at the start, but picks up the pace as it progresses. The underlying mystery and fits of suspense will keep readers' attention. Teens who enjoyed the first book will snap this up. Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL—SLJ
"[H]ard to put down."
—The New York Journal of Books
"Elston has crafted a gripping tale that immediately captures the reader's attention."
Praise for The Rules for Disappearing:
"The realistic setting, believable romance and spunky protagonist will make this one worth the trip for mystery and romance fans."—Kirkus
After surviving the harrowing conclusion of The Rules for Disappearing (2013), Anna is finally able to cast aside her Witness Protection Program identity and live a normal life. She's back with her hot boyfriend, Ethan, and her little sister, Teeny, has finally started to talk again. Normal lasts about one month, however, long enough for Anna's nemesis, the once-trusted agent, Thomas, to re-enter her life. Thomas viciously kidnaps Anna, Ethan, and Teeny, claiming that he is protecting Anna from evildoers who still want her dead. It's clear that Thomas is ready to kill anyone who tries to help Anna. When an old boyfriend of Anna's turns out to be working with Thomas, Anna is thoroughly confused. Are they being protected or abducted or something Anna can't even imagine? The suspense is taut until the final pages as Anna desperately tries to figure out whom she can trust. Readers continuing the story from The Rules for Disappearing will find the sequel just as page-turning, while newcomers will find enough to orient them. - Diane Colson—Booklist