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Rules for Vanishing

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,614 ratings  ·  561 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,
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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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…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)
David Marshall Amazon listed the UK paperback version instead of the US Hardback. If you order the hardback, you should be able to get it.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  1,614 ratings  ·  561 reviews

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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
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
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spooky
this was everything I wanted from a YA horror. it was such a crazy ride, i never knew what was gonna happen next
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A haunted wood, a mysterious road that appears and disappears seemingly at random, the legend of a missing girl; these were the things that first attracted me to this story.

I got so much more than that, parts I am still trying to wrap my brain around.

Told through interviews, written statements and found footage, this story tells the tale of Sara, whose sister, Becca, went missing a year prior.

The mixed media pieces together her quest to find her sister and the people who go along with her.

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
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: horror, 2019-shelf, ya
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
sarah xoxo
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-read
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
honey (myonna reads)
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-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
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
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,
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)
review to follow.

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 cannot imagine writing this book and the detail that went into it.

Often when I am not into a book, it is because it is not well written or there is no structure or plot
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
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
✨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 it
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
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
Elvina Zafril
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
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
andrea caro
What a weird, wild ride. RTC.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Intense. This book is intensely horrifying or horrifyingly intense. It's up to you which word to choose to describe the book. This book with a faux-documentary style narration is a treat for all the horror genre loving fans. The horror is not the jump scares or the sudden twists. It is the scary atmosphere permeating from the book that makes us want to curl up and make ourselves as small as possible so that Lucy will not find you.

I always love a character ensemble. And this book has just that. A
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kelsea by: MyTimeOutShelf
Shelves: reviewed, arc
This book was SO much fun! I read the ARC, thanks to a friend who sent me hers. It's a really engrossing story featuring local legends, an epistolary format (interview transcripts, descriptions of video footage, diary entries, etc.), really creepy descriptions, and an f/f romance with a bi main character. It's been marketed as a YA Blair Witch project and the story felt true to that description.

I would recommend this for fans of YA horror, slasher films, and the Illuminae Files!
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
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
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
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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“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...”
“What do you wear when you go to meet a ghost?” 1 likes
More quotes…