Review: Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall


Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Title: Rules for Vanishing
Author: Kate Alice Marshall
Genre: Horror
Audience: Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Narrators: Jesse Vilinsky, Robbie Daymond, Rob Shapiro
Length: 11 hours (416 pages)
Publisher: Listening Library; Viking Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Source: Library (Libby app)
Recommended for fans of: found footage 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. 


SO CREEPY! I went into this thinking it was YA thriller, but it was straight up horror inspired by urban legends and paranormal games. It was full of chilling and disturbing imagery and had a few gruesome scenes. I would recommend this for older YA readers since I was scared and disturbed by this story as an adult.

The found footage/documentary-style storytelling alternating between past and present meant that there were always more pieces of the mystery the reader was missing, leading to some satisfying and horrifying reveals. The ending was wild, but the conclusion was a bit too open ended for my taste, and I still have so many questions.

I listened to this on audiobook. It took a little while for me to get used to the format with three narrators, but I should’ve paid more attention at the beginning, and once I got sucked into the story it was so good. Beware reading or listening to this book at night!

Author: Caroline | Carolibrary

Hello! I’m Caroline! I am a teacher, a book lover, and a nerd. My passions include reading, writing, bookstagram, barre & yoga, baking, binging TV shows, and Star Wars. I love stories in all formats because they can transport you to a different world while helping you understand the world around you. I have always found books to be a particularly magical source of imagination.

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