Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rules for Vanishing” as Want to Read:
Rules for Vanishing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Rules for Vanishing

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  3,295 ratings  ·  973 reviews
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, Be
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Viking Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rules for Vanishing, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Claire I have just finished the book myself, and I enjoy horror films and books. It is difficult for me to say if you will enjoy it, but I can give you my im…moreI have just finished the book myself, and I enjoy horror films and books. It is difficult for me to say if you will enjoy it, but I can give you my impression of it. I found it was in interesting take on the horror genre, and I would slot it psychological meets found footage. A lot will depend on why you aren't a fan of horror genre, so here are some of the bigger triggers that are in the book: characters death, abuse, murder, spiders, monsters, and darkness. Not a complete list but what I remember.

As a final thought the presentation of the book using interviews does remove the reader a bit from the action. So there are breaks between the horror aspect and the investigation. It also starts slow enough that easy to back out if it is not for you.(less)
Noor ♾ Did you get the part about Miranda at the end?? What did she give to Dr Ashford??

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,295 ratings  ·  973 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Rules for Vanishing
Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Retrieved from the cell phone of Nilufer the redhead reviewer

Recorded December 2, 02: 46 a.m.

The view is neat. A man called himself “Husband dearest” throws the book from the window and running out of the living room, screaming at the same time. Finally he is hiding himself under the kitchen table (he couldn’t fit under the table because he loves sweets and his wife’s lack of culinary skills forces him eat more junk food! Everybody thinks he’s 8 months pregnant for 13 years- you go

A haunted wood, a mysterious road and the legend of a missing girl; all buzzwords that can get me to read a book.

Rules for Vanishing did contain all of those aspects and more.

Honestly, though, I fear a lot of this went over my head. There's a lot I am still confused about.

Told through interviews, written statements and found footage, this follows teenager, Sara, whose older sister, Becca, has been missing for a year.

Through the mixed media sources, you learn of Sara's quest to fin
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
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 trans
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this was everything I wanted from a YA horror. it was such a crazy ride, i never knew what was gonna happen next
sarah xoxo
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rules For Vanishing is an unsettling, creepy and atmospheric read perfect for those crisp, frosty mornings where you just want to curl up under a cozy blanket and watch buzzed unsolved (just me? okay)

The atmosphere and writing of this book is truly where it excels. From the first page, it transported me to the eerie and ominous woods. I felt like I was playing the game alongside our characters, and was filled with a rising feeling of impending doom each page I read.

I loved the childhood ghost
Whispering Stories
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Book Reviewed on

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 awa
Dec 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Horror that features Gore, ghosts and monsters.
Recommended to Bren by: Monica (crazy_4_books)
“Do you want to know where Lucy went?
She went to play the game.
You can play, too.
Find a partner.
Find a key.
Find the road.
You have two days.”
― Kate Alice Marshall, Rules for Vanishing

I am going to be doing my review today or tomorrow but before I do..if anyone understands the ending can you either PM me or explain in comments section because I am at a loss.

OK. So I read this book which looked to be terrifying. I find this to be a tough review to do.

Why? Because the writing is SO GOOD. And I can
Julie Zantopoulos
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"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
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-shelf, ya, horror
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
myo 🍒 (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
“Something wants us here,” she whispers. Her fingertips spider up my arm, her eyes fixed on my shoulder, on nothing at all. “Something brings us. The road. Or something on it.”

you know when you see a little bobbing light and you’re like “huh okay interesting” so you approach and just as you get close you realize the light is attached to a translucent spiny monster-fish thingy that’s WAY bigger than anything you expected?

that’s kinda how i felt going into this book—except the more i read, th
Schizanthus Nerd
That was one seriously compulsive read! I just-one-more-chaptered my way through this book and I’m left feeling slightly panicked, knowing I almost didn’t read it at all. Too many books arrived at the library at once so some will have to be sent back unread. I know me and if they are returned unread, no matter how noble my intentions, they will disappear into the ‘I’m going to read that one day’ void.

It was only because this book was almost due and
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
if you read one (1) YA horror this year, make it this one
blair witch project meets wizard of oz meets silent hill
creepy, spooky, haunting, emotional
pls read this book kthxbye
Monica (crazy_4_books)
(read for #thistheseasonthon for the challenge: read a book you received as a gift)
Does this headline make any sense at all? Don't know. Remember the movie "Memento"? Well, I feel as dizzy as I did after watching that! This book is great. Since it's been marketed as YA (though I don't think it's very YA-ish), it's the best one I've read this year along with "Neverworld Wake".
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,
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it
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)

When I did pick it up, I was laser focused. At
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
✨Brithanie Faith✨
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Briar Glen is synonymous with the the name Lucy Gallows, a young woman that wandered into the forest and never returned. Her last known whereabouts was on a road to nowhere, being lead by an unknown male assailant. Throughout the years the fable may have interchanged but the instructions remain the same, find a partner, find a key, find the road.

On the eve of the anniversary of Lucy Gallow's disappearance, Sara Donoghue's adoptive sister Rebecca was lured into the fated fable, whispered conversa
Renee Godding
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
2/5 stars

I don’t even know at this point… I picked this YA-horror novel up in an attempt to lift my spirits and battle my looming readingslump, but unfortunately it did not have the desired effect. I couldn’t for the life of me get into the story.
The short version of what I liked and disliked about this story:

- The format: this reads like a found-footage movie. It has been compared to “The Blair Witch in bookform”, and I can honestly see that.
- In the first 100 pages, the novel does a
Erin A. Craig
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Holy boats! The SILENT HILL x IT FOLLOWS smashup of my heart! 😍😍😍😍
This started off really strong but then kind of lost me a bit as it continued.

In the beginning, it's very mysterious and suspenseful and truly kept me on the edge of my seat. There were a few instances were weird things happened that made you question if what you were actually reading was real or not or if you'd missed a crucial plot element because things just kind of stopped making sense. Don't worry though, all is revealed in the end.

Ultimately I think this is a book I'd have preferred as an
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
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
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
"So be careful what roads you take, and be careful who you follow down them."


I LOVED Rules for Vanishing. I'm still not sure what the hell happened, but I had a great time reading it. This book is partially written in an epistolary format, and it was really enjoyable for me. It reminded me a little of the style of House of Leaves, but not an obnoxious experience.

I got genuinely creeped out during this book, and that's always a treat. I have so many questions about what happened during this
Jinghay (these.blank.pages)
Wow this book messed with my head..
If you're looking for something spooky this month then it's perfect for the season!
But if you're a wimp like me well... Maybe read it in broad daylight 🙈 (and you might still have nightmares then-)

Admittedly, it's not a constant stream of horror, but some moments really left you chilled to the bone 💀

I couldn't stop reading and yet at the same time I just wanted it all to be over 😩 Listening to it in audiobook format made it all the more scary!

I'm very thankful
Elvina Zafril
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pansing
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
Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)

I just adore this book, I would say that it's one of my surprises of the year because although the plot always seemed interesting to me, I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying it, no doubt, this will be one of those books that I'll be recommending for years! What I highlight above all in the book, is the main idea of ​​the plot and the way it's executed, I think everything is very smart and has just the right complexity to make you can't stop reading. I also love the different formats i
Olivia | Liv's Library
Our first book pick for the 3 Blondes & A Book bookclub! You can watch our live discussion below. 👇🏻
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 who predomin
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bookish First Rea...: Rules for Vanishing 1 32 Oct 22, 2019 01:04PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Harrow Lake
  • Burn Our Bodies Down
  • Horrid
  • Now Entering Addamsville
  • Clown in a Cornfield
  • Home Before Dark
  • Wearing Paper Dresses
  • Chasing the Shadows (Sentinels of the Galaxy, #2)
  • Wilder Girls
  • Be Not Far from Me
  • I Killed Zoe Spanos
  • By Any Means Necessary
  • The Light at the Bottom of the World (Light the Abyss, #1)
  • The Haunted (The Haunted, #1)
  • A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #1)
  • Who Put This Song On?
  • Anyone
  • Sea Witch Rising (Sea Witch, #2)
See similar books…

Related Articles

The prolific and beloved author John Grisham, known for his courtroom thrillers, is back this month with a new pageturner, A Time for Mercy,...
32 likes · 5 comments
“What do you wear when you go to meet a ghost?” 5 likes
“Little Lucy, dressed in white
Gave her mother such a fright
Walked into the woods one day
Where she went no one can say
Down a road that no one found
Or are her bones sunk in the ground?
How many steps did Lucy take?
One, two, there, four...”
More quotes…