Book Review | Rules For Vanishing

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Title: Rules For Vanishing

Author: Kate Alice Marshall

Format: Hardcover (borrowed)

Pages: 416

Categories: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult, Supernatural, Horror

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.

I finally got my hands on this book and it totally reminded me of The Blair Witch Project, which I saw on opening back in…1999. 🀭

So there is an urban legend about Lucy Gallows who went into the woods and never came out. When Sara’s sister Becca goes on this search to find Lucy, she goes missing as well. One year later, text messages are sent, to play the game to find Lucy Gallows. Sara wants to do it so she can find her sister and her old friends join her.

This was definitely like The Blair Witch Project, but with cell phones and them seeing actual ghosts! Because we all know there was like nothing to see in BWP. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

  • I like the urban legend of Lucy Gallows – I get a kick out of stories like that. I love the ghost hunting and I’m glad the kids thought to capture video of their journey on the road because hello yes, in this day and age we need video evidence!
  • The road was very fascinating. I thought the gates were interesting and for the horror fans there are a lot of gruesome descriptions of people who tried to walk the road and…never made it off the road basically. πŸ‘€
  • The story is told in alternating between interviews with Sara (after the events of the road) and during the trip on the road. I thought it helped build up the suspense and at some points I wondered if this was all some psychological twist in Sara’s mind. It also included text messages between the group of friends and video evidence. I just like how the author used a whole mix of things to tell the story.
  • My favorite scene is when all of the characters are lost in a house, which s still part of the road. But it gets kind of crazy in there and that’s the part where I felt was the most creepiest in the book.
  • I connected to no character. ☹️ How is that possible? Maybe too many characters? And some characters going missing and honestly…at some points I didn’t remember who was supposed to be on this Lucy Gallows search party. There was a Miranda and Mel (Melanie) and I kept confusing the two. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ
  • Without spoiling – and it’s hard…there is something other than Lucy Gallows that haunts the road and it’s a big part of the story but it emerges in the middle of the story. It took me too long to hook me, plus with the confusing ending I had to process this book for a minute – okay it took me all weekend because my my brain burned out due to catching the flu. Anyway I googled this legend of Dahut and Ys and it exists! Okay why didn’t the legend just start with that instead? I guess it added layers to the story but I think at times it threw me off, maybe that was the purpose but it made me impatient.
  • The ending was abrupt and confusing.

I found Rules for Vanishing entertaining until the ending which confused me. It was fun following this group of teens walking down this mysterious road that shows up but the ending left me underwhelmed. On a scary scale, and I usually can’t tolerate a whole lot of scary…this one did not scare me at all. It did have the creepy factor so I’m glad about that.

4 thoughts on “Book Review | Rules For Vanishing

  1. I definitely know what you mean about getting confused with the characters and who was who, especially as the story went on and more characters were “lost” and others found. That and the similar names too. I think that was what made it tricky for me anyway! πŸ˜‚ Still, this book was so outside my comfort zone but I ended up really enjoying it. I was miffed with that ending too though πŸ™„ Great review, Yolanda!

    Liked by 1 person

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