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Rules for Vanishing

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In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes the campfire story of a missing girl, a vengeful ghost, and the girl who is determined to find her sister--at all costs. Once a year, the path appears in the forest and Lucy Gallows beckons. Who is brave enough to find her--and who won't make it out of the woods? It's been exactly one year since Sa In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes the campfire story of a missing girl, a vengeful ghost, and the girl who is determined to find her sister--at all costs. Once a year, the path appears in the forest and Lucy Gallows beckons. Who is brave enough to find her--and who won't make it out of the woods? It's been exactly one year since Sara's sister, Becca, disappeared, and high school life has far from settled back to normal. With her sister gone, Sara doesn't know whether her former friends no longer like her...or are scared of her, and the days of eating alone at lunch have started to blend together. When a mysterious text message invites Sara and her estranged friends to "play the game" and find local ghost legend Lucy Gallows, Sara is sure this is the only way to find Becca--before she's lost forever. And even though she's hardly spoken with them for a year, Sara finds herself deep in the darkness of the forest, her friends--and their cameras--following her down the path. Together, they will have to draw on all of their strengths to survive. The road is rarely forgiving, and no one will be the same on the other side.


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In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes the campfire story of a missing girl, a vengeful ghost, and the girl who is determined to find her sister--at all costs. Once a year, the path appears in the forest and Lucy Gallows beckons. Who is brave enough to find her--and who won't make it out of the woods? It's been exactly one year since Sa In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes the campfire story of a missing girl, a vengeful ghost, and the girl who is determined to find her sister--at all costs. Once a year, the path appears in the forest and Lucy Gallows beckons. Who is brave enough to find her--and who won't make it out of the woods? It's been exactly one year since Sara's sister, Becca, disappeared, and high school life has far from settled back to normal. With her sister gone, Sara doesn't know whether her former friends no longer like her...or are scared of her, and the days of eating alone at lunch have started to blend together. When a mysterious text message invites Sara and her estranged friends to "play the game" and find local ghost legend Lucy Gallows, Sara is sure this is the only way to find Becca--before she's lost forever. And even though she's hardly spoken with them for a year, Sara finds herself deep in the darkness of the forest, her friends--and their cameras--following her down the path. Together, they will have to draw on all of their strengths to survive. The road is rarely forgiving, and no one will be the same on the other side.

30 review for Rules for Vanishing

  1. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    its getting to that time of year where im feeling a little spooky and brave enough for some horror stories. ive seen a few reviews praising this for its creepiness, so i was looking forward to picking it up. if theres one thing this book has going for it, its the format the story is told. ive never seen ‘the blair witch project,’ but im familiar that it follows a firsthand account style of narration. i really like how this book adopts that with a collection of text printouts, emails, video transcripts, i its getting to that time of year where im feeling a little spooky and brave enough for some horror stories. ive seen a few reviews praising this for its creepiness, so i was looking forward to picking it up. if theres one thing this book has going for it, its the format the story is told. ive never seen ‘the blair witch project,’ but im familiar that it follows a firsthand account style of narration. i really like how this book adopts that with a collection of text printouts, emails, video transcripts, interview recordings, etc. it adds a very exciting and tangible layer to the storytelling, and i think thats very cool. however, the subject material just wasnt for me. at first, i pegged it down to me just not being in the mood. this story is very out there. and although i wanted spooky, i didnt really want bizarre. but then i got to thinking - if i was in the mood for this, would i enjoy it? and i dont think i would. its just too far outside my comfort zone. the massive cast of characters didnt quite help things either, as it was difficult to keep track of everyone. i dunno. the unique storytelling kept me interested but, even then, my interest was slight. i do think a lot of people will really enjoy this, as its the perfect october book, but it just wasnt completely for me. ↠ 2.5 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Riley

    this was everything I wanted from a YA horror. it was such a crazy ride, i never knew what was gonna happen next

  3. 4 out of 5

    Whispering Stories

    Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com Nearly one year ago Becca went missing, her parents think that she ran away with her boyfriend but her sister Sara has another solution to the mystery – She played the game and became lost in another world. Legend has it that in 1953 little Lucy Callows (now renamed Gallows) went missing in the Briar Glen Woods. She was last seen wearing a white dress with a blue sash, her brother Billy was sent to look for her and he swore he saw his sister being led away by Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com Nearly one year ago Becca went missing, her parents think that she ran away with her boyfriend but her sister Sara has another solution to the mystery – She played the game and became lost in another world. Legend has it that in 1953 little Lucy Callows (now renamed Gallows) went missing in the Briar Glen Woods. She was last seen wearing a white dress with a blue sash, her brother Billy was sent to look for her and he swore he saw his sister being led away by a man but he couldn’t get to her as the road they were on just disappeared. She was never seen again. The road is supposed to appear once a year leading to another dimension and you have to follow the rules carefully or you will become trapped there. Lucy is waiting for those who dare to play! Sara had overheard her sister Becca talking about the game and after she had disappeared she found a notebook belonging to Becca containing all the rules to play the game. She is determined to bring her sister back and on the anniversary goes to the woods to see if the legend is true. Sara isn’t alone though, her friends are waiting for her, they don’t want her to go alone and so when the road does reveal itself to them they join hands and start their journey – Nine enter the road but how many will make it to the other end? Rules for Vanishing is a very creepy and spooky novel that follows a group of teenagers entering a strange and unpredictable dimension. The book is told via transcribes, written testimonies, interviews, exhibits, and video evidence. We know from the beginning that the game begins in April 2017 and that the transcribes, etc are conducted in May 2017 and that Sara is the main person being interviewed, so we know that Sara makes it out alive, what we don’t know is who else made it with her and if she found her sister. The book is told in five parts – The Game – The Road – The Beast – The Girl – The Truth. There are lots of rules to the game including you must bring a key to get through the seven gates, make it through all of them and you have completed the game and are free to leave. Along the way, the teenagers encounter many obstacles and strange beings. I was desperate to get through the book as I needed to know who made it out alive at the other end of the road and what unworldly beings and games would they have to face. The writing is superb and the book has a real atmospherically feel to it, you get the feeling of being in some dark, strange unnerving place whilst reading and can picture what is happening perfectly. You also get the sense of impending doom just waiting in ever chapter. There is a lot of mystery to the book and sometimes it has the feeling of trying to piece the puzzle together to work out what really happened. The book was such a great read and I enjoyed it the whole way through. The ending was perfect too which made me so relieved as I was apprehensive that it was going to be one of those books that you get to the end of and then they state, ‘it was all a dream’ or ‘someone made the whole thing up’. Although it is one of those endings that will make you think about what you have just read and analyse it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Julie Zantopoulos

    "the sea rushes in her lover rushes in her lover is the sea she unlocks the gate he floods her salt her lips slat her thighs salt her tongue we are drowned the sea rushes in." Sara's sister Becca has gone missing a year before this story takes place and while most people think she ran away with her boyfriend, Sara knows the truth. She found the road and answered the call of Lucy Gallows, the spirit that called to her in her dreams. The whole town knows the legend of Lucy Gallows so when the "the sea rushes in her lover rushes in her lover is the sea she unlocks the gate he floods her salt her lips slat her thighs salt her tongue we are drowned the sea rushes in." Sara's sister Becca has gone missing a year before this story takes place and while most people think she ran away with her boyfriend, Sara knows the truth. She found the road and answered the call of Lucy Gallows, the spirit that called to her in her dreams. The whole town knows the legend of Lucy Gallows so when the text message comes, they're ready. Do you want to know what happened to Lucy? Yeah, I did, too. "In the house in the town in the woods on the road are the halls that breathe. The singing will lure you the smoke will infest you the words will unmake you the woman will hate you." The road will appear if you have prepared, if you have your key, your partner, and are ready to follow the rules. The road wants you, it calls to you, and you have to answer the call. But the road is more than it seems and the people who walk it don't return the same, if at all. So when Sara and her friends (Vanessa, Mel, Miranda, Jeremy, Anthony, Trina and Kevin) set off with her you know some of them aren't making it out alive. "We feed the road. We feed it by traveling. We feed it by dying." This novel nearly got some freezer time! I flew through it, it's compelling and gripping but also terrifying. It is pitched as Blair Witch meets The Hazel Wood and man...I get it. It's part portal fantasy and part mockumentary. You get interviews from the kids, text receipts, DM's, video footage transcriptions, and first-hand accounts and all of it is haunting. I don't do scary stories but this was one of the easiest five stars I've given this year. The annotations hold a lot of gasps and "this is brilliant writing". I adored it as a reader, as a writer, and as an experience. If you are into horror, hauntings, or scary stories I suggest giving this one a read! Also, this book absolutely worked for me but I can see it annoying some people (esp the ending). I still stand behind it! You're going to want to put this one on an October TBR for sure. It's out for sale 9/24. "Her stutter is pronounced, but she doesn't fight it like she used to when we were younger, and it has its own relaxed flow to it. She likes to tell people it's worth the wait to hear what she has to say." I loved the rep in this novel for a character with a stutter (Vanessa) and a hard of hearing character (Jeremy) as well as the use of ASL. There's also rep for an adopted sibling, a strong brother/sister bond, friendship bonds, f/f romance, bisexuality, and differing ethnicities. TW: suicide attempt, death of a loved one, loss of a sibling, domestic abuse, child abuse, murder, death, and gore.

  5. 5 out of 5

    honey (myonna reads)

    This honestly has to be one of the most perfect ya horror stories i’ve read so far this year. Not only was it spooky but it was very diverse, which is something i look for a lot with books. It had characters of color and queer characters. One of the things i loved most about this was that it was a mocumentary with hints of fantasy. Another thing i really enjoyed with this book was the childhood legend aspect of this book. Childhood legends were something that really intrigued me as a kid and not This honestly has to be one of the most perfect ya horror stories i’ve read so far this year. Not only was it spooky but it was very diverse, which is something i look for a lot with books. It had characters of color and queer characters. One of the things i loved most about this was that it was a mocumentary with hints of fantasy. Another thing i really enjoyed with this book was the childhood legend aspect of this book. Childhood legends were something that really intrigued me as a kid and not only were the details of the legend perfect but how the author came up with songs and games for it was amazing. I can see this book being hyped for the fall seasons and i can’t wait to get my hands on a hardcover physical copy when it releases!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    I've been developing a spot in my heart for horror that is bent to YA. It's not that difficult. Most of the horror movies I watched as a kid were all full of kids getting eaten, slashed, or otherwise completely f***ed up. You might say I always thought horror stories were MADE for kids. Just look at campfire ghost stores, man, and you'll know what I mean. So what about this? It's high school and all the kids here are ripe for the picking. In a lot of ways, it's great for the older kids with kids I've been developing a spot in my heart for horror that is bent to YA. It's not that difficult. Most of the horror movies I watched as a kid were all full of kids getting eaten, slashed, or otherwise completely f***ed up. You might say I always thought horror stories were MADE for kids. Just look at campfire ghost stores, man, and you'll know what I mean. So what about this? It's high school and all the kids here are ripe for the picking. In a lot of ways, it's great for the older kids with kids in high school because they can vicariously watch all the little s**ts get eaten and if you're the same age, you feel EXACTLY the same way. So what makes this book different? It reads like an awesome and equally f**d-up adaptation of Silent Hill. Movie or game, it doesn't matter. It's freaking weird and deeply involved and horribly convoluted and awesomely deadly. Me? When I first watched Silent Hill, I freaked and fell deeply in love. The same thing happened with me on this book. So why the 4 stars rather than 5? Because of the ending. With all that awesome going on in the middle of the book, far surpassing the solid opening, I wanted something THOROUGHLY ambiguous and thought-provoking. Something that fit the premise and execution of the rest. Please don't dumb down an otherwise smart book. Please? PLEASE. It's like a fantastic runner pushed all her limits to the very edge of human endurance, only to ask for a wheelchair nearly at the end of the race when there was clearly no need. TRUST YOUR READERS. Awesome is awesome. Let them have the full meal. Sheesh. Otherwise, this was a fantastic book. :)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kate (GirlReading)

    4.5* This was SO GREAT. But also, that ending?! I WANT ANSWERS. This is the first book in a long time that’s given me that ‘just one more chapter’ feeling, making it entirely impossible to put down. I haven’t read anything this eerie, or genuinely creepy in far too long and I’m grateful to it for reminding me how much I love horror/thrillers! The formatting, with its interview and video transcripts etc. superbly elevated the plot, pulling me in with ten more questions for each one they answered, 4.5* This was SO GREAT. But also, that ending?! I WANT ANSWERS. This is the first book in a long time that’s given me that ‘just one more chapter’ feeling, making it entirely impossible to put down. I haven’t read anything this eerie, or genuinely creepy in far too long and I’m grateful to it for reminding me how much I love horror/thrillers! The formatting, with its interview and video transcripts etc. superbly elevated the plot, pulling me in with ten more questions for each one they answered, making it incredibly addictive. All in all, this whole reading experience was a riot from start to finish. Simply fantastic. TW: mention of suicide attempt and domestic abuse.

  8. 4 out of 5

    ✨Brithanie Faith✨

    4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. As soon as I saw that Rules For Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall was written in the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project I requested it without a second thought, and thank god I did, because it is without a doubt one of the best books that I've read so far this summer! Once a year, a mysterious path appears in the forest and Lucy Gallows beckons. Who is brave enough to try to find her, and who won't make it out of t 4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. As soon as I saw that Rules For Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall was written in the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project I requested it without a second thought, and thank god I did, because it is without a doubt one of the best books that I've read so far this summer! Once a year, a mysterious path appears in the forest and Lucy Gallows beckons. Who is brave enough to try to find her, and who won't make it out of the woods alive? I wasn't expecting to love this one as much as I did, but I'm already thinking of doing a re-read of it in the fall, because it was far creepier than I was anticipating, and I'm looking forward to discussing it in depth once more people have read it- so please do yourselves a favor and add this to your TBR's if you haven't already! I cannot wait to see what else this author is capable of!

  9. 5 out of 5

    TL

    Great story for the most part and very spooky... the ending was underwhelming in some respects. I don't mind an open-ended conclusion sometimes and I know you can't always have the answers but... felt a little cheated with this one. The ending isn't a bad one but with everything else before it *shrugs* (view spoiler)[Wish it was more clear and resolved what happened with Becca and Dahut .. or at least another section from Becca's POV. (hide spoiler)]

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    if you read one (1) YA horror this year, make it this one blair witch project meets wizard of oz meets silent hill IT WAS SO GOOD creepy, spooky, haunting, emotional pls read this book kthxbye

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elvina Zafril

    Rules for Vanishing is incredibly amazing. This book has everything I need. Mystery, spooky, ghosts, friendship and more. I’ve never read horror that has everything in one book. I was so lucky that I received this book from Pansing. The powerful narrator kept me going. I adored how the narrator tells this story. I adored the writing style, and the unique story telling which used interviews to deliver the story. The setting is amazing. They were to many characters that I felt a bit difficult to k Rules for Vanishing is incredibly amazing. This book has everything I need. Mystery, spooky, ghosts, friendship and more. I’ve never read horror that has everything in one book. I was so lucky that I received this book from Pansing. The powerful narrator kept me going. I adored how the narrator tells this story. I adored the writing style, and the unique story telling which used interviews to deliver the story. The setting is amazing. They were to many characters that I felt a bit difficult to keep up. But I didn’t really mind because every one of them have their own purpose. Have you ever read something that you can’t wait to know the ending although you feel goosebumps all over your body? Yeah, this book made me feel that. This story is so good and you won’t regret it. Thank you Pansing, for sending me a copy of Rules for Vanishing in return for an honest review

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katie.dorny

    If you want a spooky autumnal read..don’t bother with this novel. Enjoyable overall but lacking any thrilling aspects it attempts to execute. Hear we meet a group of teenagers searching to find a lost sister who ventured out to find a girl lost years ago. What follows is their mission to return home and recover from what they go through whilst on the road. The mythology of Lucy and the immersion in the word on the road was decent, though it didn’t wrap me up the way I expec If you want a spooky autumnal read..don’t bother with this novel. Enjoyable overall but lacking any thrilling aspects it attempts to execute. Hear we meet a group of teenagers searching to find a lost sister who ventured out to find a girl lost years ago. What follows is their mission to return home and recover from what they go through whilst on the road. The mythology of Lucy and the immersion in the word on the road was decent, though it didn’t wrap me up the way I expected. The dialogue again was good and every typical of every written Hugh school character. The plot jumped about without enough explanation for me. People and things would just pop up and happen but nothing was explained properly. I understand a thriller having some mystery but this seemed more plot holes than a deliberate plot plan by the author. An okay young adult book, but nothing to be excited about.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    This book is so creepy and haunting, holy fuck. My god, what the hell did I just read? I would not want to be stuck in this world. This world is full of nightmares. I got so many goosebumps while reading this story, I kid you not. Some of the things described in here are enough to make my skin crawl. It was truly horrifying. There were quite a few characters to keep up with, but that didn’t really bother me. I was never bored once during this entire book. I also really love the format that it’s tol This book is so creepy and haunting, holy fuck. My god, what the hell did I just read? I would not want to be stuck in this world. This world is full of nightmares. I got so many goosebumps while reading this story, I kid you not. Some of the things described in here are enough to make my skin crawl. It was truly horrifying. There were quite a few characters to keep up with, but that didn’t really bother me. I was never bored once during this entire book. I also really love the format that it’s told in — some parts in Sara’s POV, some in video format, and some told in interviews. It’s a dossier format and I love when that type of format is in books. This is definitely perfect for the spooky times. If you want a great reading experience, I suggest perhaps reading this in the dark with a flashlight, if you don’t read the ebook format. Seriously, it will up the spine tingling experience. I will say though, this ending? I didn’t understand it whatsoever. Soooo.... if you’ve read this and understand the ending, please message me and help me out lol. I know a lot of people haven’t read this yet, as it is still an ARC, but regardless, I hope someone messages me and can help explain it? Overall, if you’re looking for a story that will make you question reality, and I mean truly question it, then look no further and let me present to you Rules For Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall. Many thanks to Edelweiss and the publishers for sending a digital copy of this my way!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    3.5 Stars This young adult horror novel was a quick and easy read. Written as a collection of documents, this book successfully created the experience of reading a found footage movie. Between the regular chapters, the author included transcripts of messages as well as descriptions of videos and pictures retrieved from the teenagers’ phones. Unlike other multimedia books, this one did not feel gimmicky or over the top. This book definitely felt targeted to a young audience. As someone wh 3.5 Stars This young adult horror novel was a quick and easy read. Written as a collection of documents, this book successfully created the experience of reading a found footage movie. Between the regular chapters, the author included transcripts of messages as well as descriptions of videos and pictures retrieved from the teenagers’ phones. Unlike other multimedia books, this one did not feel gimmicky or over the top. This book definitely felt targeted to a young audience. As someone who predominantly reads adult fiction, I honestly felt too old for this one. I appreciated that the book avoided many of the annoying tropes of young adult fiction. While this book was not for me, I would still love to gift it to teenagers.  There was a lot of great diversity in this story, including persons of various sexual orientations and ethnic backgrounds. However, the group of friends almost felt too perfectly diverse, which felt a bit artificial.    I did not find this one scary, but I am also a rather harden reader who enjoys a lot of very intense adult horror. However, younger readers with less horror experience will likely find this one creepier than I did. I would recommend this one to teenagers and other readers who enjoy young adult books. This one would particularly appeal to those who love books like The Slenderman and The Dead House. Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher.

  15. 5 out of 5

    andrea caro

    What a weird, wild ride. RTC.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

    Disclaimer: I receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you are looking for a YA mystery/horror read, this book is the one. The synopsis does not do justice of how amazing this book is! I thought I won't be creep out but I actually was creep out with the book. I literally flew through the book. It is a balance between a narration of the past and the present. I think that what keep the mystery very exciting. I had so much Disclaimer: I receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you are looking for a YA mystery/horror read, this book is the one. The synopsis does not do justice of how amazing this book is! I thought I won't be creep out but I actually was creep out with the book. I literally flew through the book. It is a balance between a narration of the past and the present. I think that what keep the mystery very exciting. I had so much theories in my head and I just needed to know what was going on immediately. There is definitely a focus on other characters. Which I find their addition very perfect. It wasn't too much. I wasn't attached to any of the side characters, but I find their presence adds mystery to what is going on. The pace of the book was quite fast. It just goes straight into it compare to other thriller books. I need to dive into more YA thriller/horror and definitely read more Kate Alice Marshall books.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jeri

    This was such a good horror book for the YA and adult audience. Sara's sister Becca has been gone for a year. Some say she ran away with a boyfriend, but Sara knows that isn't true. There is a little girl in the woods that calls to you and invites you to travel down a road. That road only appears once a year. Sara gathers a few of her long time friends to go looking for her sister on that road. They take along their phones because no teen is ever without their phone. This provides documented evi This was such a good horror book for the YA and adult audience. Sara's sister Becca has been gone for a year. Some say she ran away with a boyfriend, but Sara knows that isn't true. There is a little girl in the woods that calls to you and invites you to travel down a road. That road only appears once a year. Sara gathers a few of her long time friends to go looking for her sister on that road. They take along their phones because no teen is ever without their phone. This provides documented evidence as to what happens on that road. I really enjoyed this book, it really did not turn out like I thought it would. It kept surprising me with the twists and turns! I won an ARC through GoodReads First Reads program.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Schizanthus

    Review coming soon

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Once a year a path appears in the forest and Lucy Gallows beckons someone to come and find her. Are you willing to walk along this mysterious path filled with traps to find a lost girl? What happens to those who never make it out? Exactly one year has passed since Sara’s sister, Becca, disappeared without a trace. Local cops believe she ran away with her boyfriend, but Sara is convinced she is lost somewhere in the woods after traveling the path to find Lucy. Sara has spent much of th Once a year a path appears in the forest and Lucy Gallows beckons someone to come and find her. Are you willing to walk along this mysterious path filled with traps to find a lost girl? What happens to those who never make it out? Exactly one year has passed since Sara’s sister, Becca, disappeared without a trace. Local cops believe she ran away with her boyfriend, but Sara is convinced she is lost somewhere in the woods after traveling the path to find Lucy. Sara has spent much of the last year feeling lost. Her friends no longer seem to like her and appear to almost be afraid of her. When a mysterious text message comes through inviting Sara and her estranged friends to play the game and find Lucy Gallows they decide to band together and let fate decide if this is a hoax or the local legend is true. Can Sara and her friends save Becca or is she lost forever? RULES FOR VANISHING is the first YA horror/paranormal/mystery book I have picked up in ages and I’m so happy this one found its way to me! I had an absolute blast reading this book and following along with Sara and her group of friends on the hunt for missing Becca. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a massive sucker for a story surrounding any local legend or lore. I knew walking into RULES FOR VANISHING that the story centered around the tale of Lucy Gallows and her path in the woods. What I didn’t know and wasn’t prepared for were all the intricate happenings that this group of friends would meet along the path. I don’t want to give away anything about the story because I truly feel that Marshall laid out a wonderful path to the grand reveal, but I can’t help wanting to gush about my favorite traps along the road. I’ll leave it with: this path has a mind of its own, it doesn’t forgive if you don’t follow the rules, and it will not make it easy for you to leave. If the premise of this book isn’t instantly selling you, let the design and format of the book do the work! This book is compiled in a faux-documentary style with excerpts from interviews, video footage, text message conversations, etc. Marshall smartly mixes these alternate narratives with first person retellings from Sara, who is leading the reader through her journey to find Becca. I loved how these supplemental materials added a new aspect to the story, showing the reader events through the eyes of Sara’s friends. They also work to keep the reader on their toes by progressing the story in an accelerated manner. There’s no way you’re going to read a chapter of the story from Sara then an excerpt of video footage that contradicts what she’s telling the reader and not want to keep pushing through. If you’re worried about picking up this title because it falls into the YA genre and that’s not your thing, don’t be! Speaking as a reader who doesn’t frequent the genre, this book blew me away! I absolutely could not put it down and I was immediately invested in the plot. The book is suspenseful, creepy, and makes you question everything. If you’re looking for a spooky read, put this one on your TBR immediately! Disclosure: A huge thank you to Penguin Teen and Viking Books for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mila

    This was a very spooky and creepy read, I quite enjoyed the mystery aspect. The writing was good and it also fit the document format very well. I think the story could've done better with more character development prior to the actual plot and a more concrete ending than this one but I still enjoyed this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    amanda

    I’ve been plagued with nightmares lately. Dreams where I’m being followed and when I turn around nobody is there but the dull sound of footsteps still follow me. I’ve woken myself up to the sound of my own screams. It’s been a rough couple of weeks so of course I’ve been treating myself to the creepiest of books on top of it. Halloween is right around the corner and sleep is for for the weak. I love horror in all its shapes and forms. When my daughter is in school and I have the day off work I search on my fire stick horror movies to wa I’ve been plagued with nightmares lately. Dreams where I’m being followed and when I turn around nobody is there but the dull sound of footsteps still follow me. I’ve woken myself up to the sound of my own screams. It’s been a rough couple of weeks so of course I’ve been treating myself to the creepiest of books on top of it. Halloween is right around the corner and sleep is for for the weak. I love horror in all its shapes and forms. When my daughter is in school and I have the day off work I search on my fire stick horror movies to watch and my kindle is packed with books to read. I have been WAITING for Rules for Vanishing to be released and guys, the day has come and I am not disappointed. I’m terrified. It is so damn scary. And so damn good. What town doesn’t have its own ghost story complete with its own ritual? Once a year a path appears and that’s when the ghost of Lucy Gallows appears. A year ago Sara’s sister, Becca, sought out Lucy and never returned. And now Sara is determined to retrieve her sister back from the unknown. Together with her friends Sara trudges down the paths and beyond the seven gates, will they find Becca? Or will what’s on the other side come and claim them? This book. This goddamn book is completely fucked. And I mean that in the best way. I have read so many books this year that have claimed to be like the Blair Witch and this is the only book that has LIVED UP TO THAT COMPLETELY. It nails the faux documentary style completely. It’s creepy beyond belief and definitely contributed to my nightmare last night. There are multiple interview snippets, text message styles, instagrams, etc…It’s very well done and not confusing at all. It reminds me a lot of a horror game and I absolutely love it. The author, Kate Alice Marshall, does a really great job with atmosphere and I commend her highly. One of my favorite parts is just 14% in on my kindle where Sara gets a text from her sister and the text keeps coming in over and over again. Mind you, her sister has been missing for over a year so that feeling just hits you in the gut. I honestly think this is the scariest book I have read all year and I have read a ton of scary books this year. The characters are diverse and feel very real. I cried a lot but I’m also very hormonal. These are the books that stick with you for a long time. The writing is beautiful and I can see this being made into a movie or a Netflix series. I’m wishing this into existence goddammit. All in all, fucking fantastic. And yes, this is a great fall read. Bring on the creep factor. I have nothing bad to say other than the fact that I probably won’t be sleeping soundly but whatevs. what’s new? But there’s nowhere for memory to live anymore.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jillian Reynolds (Jillian Loves Books)

    I finished this in the middle of the night on a dark plane ride on Halloween. Perfect end to Spoopy season. Full review to come.

  23. 5 out of 5

    MyTimeOutShelf

    4.5 ⭐I really loved this spooky, weird, original and diverse read! I loved the text messages, video recording reports and all the other details included in this story. I want so badly to give it 5 stars but the ending has me somewhat confused. Oddly enough, this did not effect my experience with the book. It’s one I can definitely see myself picking up again! 4.5 ⭐️I really loved this spooky, weird, original and diverse read! I loved the text messages, video recording reports and all the other details included in this story. I want so badly to give it 5 stars but the ending has me somewhat confused. Oddly enough, this did not effect my experience with the book. It’s one I can definitely see myself picking up again!

  24. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    ➸ Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)[ableism, physical child abuse (nop), amnesia, self-immolation (op & ideation discussed), minor blood & gore depiction, eyeball trauma, starvation discussed, grief depiction, death of a sister, death of a friend, murder, attempted murder, knife violence, disappearance of a loved one (central theme), drowning (op), animal attack, and warning for those with arachnophobia (hide spoiler)] . ▷ Representation: Sara (mc) is bisexual; Mel (sc) i ➸ Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)[ableism, physical child abuse (nop), amnesia, self-immolation (op & ideation discussed), minor blood & gore depiction, eyeball trauma, starvation discussed, grief depiction, death of a sister, death of a friend, murder, attempted murder, knife violence, disappearance of a loved one (central theme), drowning (op), animal attack, and warning for those with arachnophobia (hide spoiler)] . ▷ Representation: Sara (mc) is bisexual; Mel (sc) is Black and a lesbian; Vanessa (sc) has a stutter; Jeremy (sc) wears hearing aids; Becca (sc) is Asian; Dr Ashford (sc) is Black; f/f romance. Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Advanced reader copy provided by publisher. It’s been a while since a book gripped me so much that I stayed up past my bedtime reading and wanted to call in sick to finish it, but Rules of Vanishing is the kind of book that you just can’t put down. I won it in a giveaway that described it as a ghost story of the present, and the ARC jacket copy describes it as a literary Blair Witch Trials, but though there is a ghost and it does take a documentary format, I would consider it more of Advanced reader copy provided by publisher. It’s been a while since a book gripped me so much that I stayed up past my bedtime reading and wanted to call in sick to finish it, but Rules of Vanishing is the kind of book that you just can’t put down. I won it in a giveaway that described it as a ghost story of the present, and the ARC jacket copy describes it as a literary Blair Witch Trials, but though there is a ghost and it does take a documentary format, I would consider it more of a dark fantasy. The setup is a familiar one from many movies- a gang of loyal friends converge to investigate a mystery, and not all of them may survive. In this case, the mystery is the disappearance of Becca, the sister of the protagonist, Sara, which appears to be tied to a local legend about another missing girl named Lucy who was seen vanishing on a road that only appears once a year. The twist that makes the setup feel fresh is centering it on girls. Sisterly love propels the investigation, and instead of a bunch of boys on bikes with a token female love interest, the girls are in charge here and the boys come along for the ride. Sara is an unreliable narrator, we assume at first because she’s been traumatized by the loss of her sister, whom everyone else thinks ran away with an unsuitable boyfriend. Unwilling to give up on the shining star of her life (Becca), she decides to investigate the night the road is supposed to appear, and even though they’ve been estranged by the loss, their core group of childhood friends plus a couple of curious additions come together to back her up, even if it’s only to prove that her theory is wrong- there can’t be a magic road in modern suburban Massachusetts. In the dark of the woods, though, they find that the road is all too real, and as Sara suspected, her sister set out upon it to search for the legendary Lucy. There are rules for vanishing, and one of them is that you can never go backwards, only forwards, so soon the gang is pressing on through unimaginable danger. I won’t be specific about what they find at the 7 gates along the road, but it’s a compelling read, weaving in the aforementioned elements with extremely expressive writing and making it all come together with a backstory based on Breton legends. Loyalties are forged and tested, heart wrenching decisions are made, and Sara displays heroism and leadership at every turn, as do some of the other characters. If this book has a downfall, it is the characterizations. The gang is admirably inclusive, with an Asian character, an African American character, a character who wears hearing aids, and a light romance between a lesbian character and Sara, who is bisexual. I enjoyed this because it felt more like real life in urbane areas today, but I didn’t get enough of a sense of their personalities to understand why they cared about each other, much less for me to care about them myself. There were also parts that were completely inexplicable, such as when a character who is described as a perfect good girl suddenly reveals she may have killed her stepfather earlier that night. I think the intent was to surprise and shock but it was really out of nowhere in spite of clumsy attempts to foreshadow (she and her brother wince at any mention of him, and it’s revealed that the brother attempted suicide earlier in the year, which we are later supposed to infer was because of abuse). This all sounds damning but the simple pleasures of the book, like the realistic relationship between Sara and Becca, the imaginative trials and tribulations along the road, the intriguing backstory of and relationship between the psychiatrist and his assistant who interrogate Sara (I’ll leave out why they’re doing so, which is a major spoiler, but their involvement is almost more interesting than the main plot line and is never quite resolved, perhaps leaving room for a sequel), keep one turning the pages. Oh, and the ghost- I was promised a ghost story in the giveaway, and all I can say is there is one, she’s not who you think she is, but she’s very mysterious and very resourceful, and while this isn’t really her story, I would very much enjoy reading that in the future.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)

    I haven't read a ton of YA horror but what I have read, I have found to be pretty entertaining but never scary. This novel does have that creepy feel to it when the group heads down that road searching for Becca. The story goes that Lucy Gallows disappeared many moons ago and if you play the game and find her ghost on this road to who knows where... well, what exactly do you "win"? For Sara, her sister Becca, who disappeared a year ago playing this very same game. Told in various form I haven't read a ton of YA horror but what I have read, I have found to be pretty entertaining but never scary. This novel does have that creepy feel to it when the group heads down that road searching for Becca. The story goes that Lucy Gallows disappeared many moons ago and if you play the game and find her ghost on this road to who knows where... well, what exactly do you "win"? For Sara, her sister Becca, who disappeared a year ago playing this very same game. Told in various forms of communications, we get a full circle look at what occurred during this groups' journey. Honestly you guys, I had no idea what I was in for and after closing the book, I still have no idea what I now have left behind. There is an abundance of characters interspersed with their own characters and I was confused quite a bit during this read. And if that sentence confused you at all then you have an inkling of how I am feeling right now. ;) I loved all the creepy instances as they reached each gate. The crows, the eerie, morbid characters they ran into on the way. The feel of the road trying to pull them off. The vanishing of those who accidentally *let go*. The remembering and the forgetting. It all does mesh together quite well in its choatic ensemble but I felt just as disgruntled as Sara as she was being interviewed, though I think that was part of the point of it all. I also applaud the author for the variety in ethnicity and sexuality within this group... but it did feel like it was splashed in just to be there rather than for it to bring more layers to the story... if that makes any sense. I'm torn between wanting to really love this and just unsure what exactly happened. I can appreciate that maybe you're just not supposed to know because there's a reason these campfire stories and ghostly legends are so intriguing to everyone- especially the kids who are willing to take those dares and chances to see what's real and what's not.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Viola

    This was an extremely gripping read. It creeped the hell out of me! The ending though... what was that ending? That ending was too abrupt! I need answers and that ending definitely didn’t deliver any. The ending is the only reason why I took a star off

  28. 5 out of 5

    Angela Staudt

    BookishFirst gave me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Rules for Vanishing was such a terrifying read, I can’t tell you how many times I had goosebumps. If you are into ghosts, mystery, horror, and spooky vibes, then this is the book I choose for you! This book was told in multiple views, kind of like the Blair Witch Trials. I honestly can’t even collect my thoughts to write a proper review. This was an incredible read, it takes a lot of horror and a high level of creepiness to BookishFirst gave me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Rules for Vanishing was such a terrifying read, I can’t tell you how many times I had goosebumps. If you are into ghosts, mystery, horror, and spooky vibes, then this is the book I choose for you! This book was told in multiple views, kind of like the Blair Witch Trials. I honestly can’t even collect my thoughts to write a proper review. This was an incredible read, it takes a lot of horror and a high level of creepiness to make me say that a book truly scared me. This had me so terrified I actually had to stop reading at night and I slept with the lights on. “So be careful what roads you take, and be careful who you follow down them.” Rules for Vanishing follows the main character, Sara, on a quest to find her missing sister. She believes her sister found the mysterious ghost road and went down it, only to never come back. Sara and a group of her friends go out at midnight on the believed anniversary of not only Becca’s disappearance, but the anniversary of when Lucy Gallows centuries ago went missing on the same road. To make it through the road, you have to make it through seven horrifying gates, that each unleash a special kind of fear. “The Sinner’s Gate is guilt, and it is judgement. The toll is blood, Sara Donoghue. The toll is blood, and the wicked among you must pay.” Honestly, I was expecting such a different storyline, but was so surprised with how this story came together and the ending. I still haven’t yet processed all that happened, all I know is plot twist after plot twist took place. I didn’t have a single clue as to how this would end, and OH boy was it crazy. Rules for Vanishing was actually crazy from the very first page to the last. I didn’t know what a true frightening book was until I read this.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    “𝐈 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐩𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤. 𝐎𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐦𝐲 𝐨𝐰𝐧." This book got a unique plot and setting. Spooky and very disturbing scenarios. It literally kept me up at some nights because every chapter will definitely get you hooked. Sara is a great narrator. Her love for her sister is very admirable. The only downfall of this book is the constant popping of characters in the story. It was really confusing. Although there is a footnotes to keep you o “𝐈 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐩𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤. 𝐎𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐦𝐲 𝐨𝐰𝐧." This book got a unique plot and setting. Spooky and very disturbing scenarios. It literally kept me up at some nights because every chapter will definitely get you hooked. Sara is a great narrator. Her love for her sister is very admirable. The only downfall of this book is the constant popping of characters in the story. It was really confusing. Although there is a footnotes to keep you on track, it will still confuse you and make you think, “wait, what?” Also, this book is a little bit long in my opinion, but the ending was really worth it. Never expected it. So my tip: Remember the names. Remember every member of the group and even the small detailed characters to avoid confusion and save you time from back tracking. Overall, it was such a nice read! And definitely recommended to readers who love horror and spooky reads.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Em The Reading Challenge Challenge

    “What happened in the dark?” Lucy Gallows is calling to the citizens of Briar Glen. She's begging them, imploring them, to play the game and join her on the road. Many have tried and failed to find her but maybe Sara Donoghue, who lost her sister to the road, will finally be able to help Lucy break free. Whew, if you're in need of a ghost story this Halloween, you have got to get around Rules for Vanishing. It's been marketed as The Blair Witch Project meets Stranger Things and if you add in a little dash of Coraline, you've got a “What happened in the dark?” Lucy Gallows is calling to the citizens of Briar Glen. She's begging them, imploring them, to play the game and join her on the road. Many have tried and failed to find her but maybe Sara Donoghue, who lost her sister to the road, will finally be able to help Lucy break free. Whew, if you're in need of a ghost story this Halloween, you have got to get around Rules for Vanishing. It's been marketed as The Blair Witch Project meets Stranger Things and if you add in a little dash of Coraline, you've got a pretty accurate estimation of how this book is set up but you will not be prepared for this original, haunting romp through the woods. With parts of the story told through messages, interviews and video transcripts you can never decide who to trust and that makes for a thrilling read. I've read enough YA now that I can usually pick how a story is going to go. I can measure out the story beats and twig a twist just before it happens but that was not the case with this gem. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and with a mysterious, ambiguous ending I am still trying to figure out what really happened. With unique mythology, it was the perfect blend of paranormal and mystery and thriller but it didn't creep me out so much that I had to stop reading. (Though your mileage may vary 'cause it does get pretty graphic in places). The beauty of this book is definitely the characters. Marshall has put together a stellar cast of interesting people with heaps of diversity. We've got plenty of POC, several disabled characters and a couple of LGBT+ characters (a bi girl and a lesbian). We've got some great sibling relationships too, especially one between an adopted child and a biological child. The cast did feel a little too big in the beginning but once the story gets moving and the monsters come out to play, it was easy to sort them all out again. My only qualm was (view spoiler)[the ratios with which certain diverse characters are killed off while the less marginal remain. (hide spoiler)] An absolutely stunning horror novel that will have you up all night! Warnings: Violence, horror, character death, references to attempted suicide, references to a physically abusive parent.

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