#ATBR2019 – Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall

Some YA horror for the #allthebookreviews duo!

Thanks to Penguin Teen for the free advanced copies in exchange for our honest reviews

RULES FOR VANISHING – Kate Alice Marshall (out now)

Check out our full thoughts below!


Book Description:

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

Chandra’s Thoughts: 3/5 stars

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

My Thoughts: 4/5 stars

I will always love when authors add in different formats when telling a story. In RULES FOR VANISHING we get portions of text conversations, police interrogations, transcripts with a therapist, and transcripts from cell phone videos. We get a clear picture of the events coming together to get the bigger picture.

We all know those local legends and ghost stories, they usually change a little from person to person but the legend of Lucy Gallows has taken center stage in this small town. A young girl went missing in the woods decades ago and once a year on the anniversary, its said a road appears in the woods that will lead you to her. Not everyone makes it out of the woods to tell the tale.

Last year, Sara’s sister Becca disappeared and the she has never stopped believing that she’ll be found again. She’s determined to find her, so she and her friends begin the game to find Lucy Gallows in the woods.

I really liked the layout and how creepy some parts got! Definitely great for those looking for a lighter horror or for fans of YA horror. Would highly recommend!

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