But just when it seems that her family has finally escaped Witness Protection, the illusion that Anna could resume a normal life comes crashing down.
The deadly man Anna knows as Thomas is still on the loose, and now he’s using her as a pawn in a dangerous game with the drug cartel determined to silence her forever. When Thomas and a mysterious masked man capture not only Anna but also her fragile younger sister and her boyfriend, Anna decides it’s time to break all the rules-even if it means teaming up with the lesser of two evils.
Anna will do whatever it takes to protect the people she loves and win her life back once and for all. But her true enemies are hidden in plain sight. Before long, Anna will learn that putting her trust in anyone may be the last mistake she ever makes.
The Rules for Breaking by Ashley Elston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First of all, I have to say that this was one of my most anticipated titles in 2014 and I’m so lucky to have gotten my hands on a copy. I grabbed The Rules for Disappearing last year on a whim, not realizing that I was going to absolutely love it … and I did. I was so pleasantly surprised by how much. The plot is completely original, there aren’t many (if any at all) stories that have to do with teens and Witness Protection and the characters are just wonderfully layered and complicated.
All that said, I had very high expectations for The Rules For Breaking.
And this book met every single one.
This book picks up shortly after the end of book 1 – Anna is no longer in Witness Protection and she’s trying to make her life as normal as possible. Her mom is in rehab now, and her family is on it’s way back to some form of ordinary. But suddenly everything crashes around her. The return of her journal seeming to be the trigger, but where did it come from and how did it get in her possession?
Suddenly, her and Ethan’s families are in danger and Anna doesn’t know what to do. Thinking isolation is the key, the two families head off to some private land and that’s where the real action begins.
The game Anna has to play has become even more dangerous than it was before and now she has Ethan and her younger sister to worry about as well. Elston does an amazing job of building the suspense in this final book… like Anna, I never knew who she could trust and at times when I thought I had everything figured out, something would twist and turn and everything would change.
And once again, the characters are wonderfully done. We know quite a bit about Anna from our previous books, but we get to know her even better. Her tenacity, her determination, and her love of her family and friends is apparent throughout and it makes her one of my favorite characters. Then there’s Ethan. Just as wonderful as he was in book 1, he’s there for Anna throughout and determined to get them out of the mess they are in.
But then there is Thomas… or the man we know as Thomas. He’s wonderfully evil with no conscience at all for the life he lives … which I suppose makes his job and life easier. I never was sure about him and where he actually stood, especially with the way book 1 ends, but you definitely find out his story and motivations in this book.
I can’t tell you much more about the story without ruining some of the suspense, so I’m going to leave you here and tell you that this is a must read.
Elston delivers a book filled with action and suspense, characters you will adore, a wonderfully paced story and even a few swoons along the way. If you haven’t started this series, definitely consider picking it up soon. You’ll see why I’ve placed this among my favorites!
I’ll definitely be looking forward to more from Elston in the future.
Thank you to Disney Hyperion for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts!
Loved this one as much as the first. Definitely a must read.
The Rules for Breaking by Ashley Elston is the second book in the series I have to mention here that I don’t know why this series sat on my shelf for so long. I mean, Jaime kept telling me how good it was…I just didn’t listen. I finally decided to dive in and I absolutely loved The Rules for Disappearing. Also, I was super excited about the fact that I didn’t have to wait for more Ethan and Anna.
This book picks up shortly after The Rules for Disappearing ends and Anna and her family are no longer under Witness Protection. Unfortunately, Anna is still more than a little nervous about things. Especially since her journal has suddenly shown up with a note from “T”. In her efforts to protect those she loves, she chooses to keep this a secret…until Ethan finds out.
Once this happens, things start to move and honestly never stop. As part of the plan to ferret out a mole in the U.S. Marshall Service as well as protect Anna, her family, Ethan, and his family, it is decided to move them to Ethan’s family hunting club. Unfortunately for them, Thomas has connections and once he finds them, he will do anything to get what he wants, including kidnapping Anna, Ethan and Teeny.
As Anna and Ethan struggle to find out what really is going on all while staying alive, they find out exactly who gave Anna her journal back, what Thomas is up to, and who the mole is in the Marshall service.
The characters are great. Anna is still trying to protect her family, Ethan is still super swoony and trying to protect Anna, Thomas is an interesting bad guy, and the addition of a mystery character makes things intriguing. Teeny also comes out stronger in this book and I liked that she changed from the damaged little girl to one with a personality and a bit of an attitude.
Sorry for not giving you much detail here but I don’t want to give anything away. What I will tell you is that this book is continual action, danger, and mystery. If you enjoyed the first book, you will definitely like this one too. In addition to all of that, there is the relationship between Ethan and Anna. They hit some bumps along the way mostly due to the secrets Anna is keeping because she thinks she is protecting everyone.
It isn’t every day I come across a story that includes a high schooler and her challenges with the Witness Protection Program. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this book (and book one) and encourage everyone to read this!