Book Review: Rules For Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall

Add Rules for Vanishing to your Goodreads TBR:

Published on the 1st October, 2019 by Walker Books Australia.

Pre Order/Purchase Links:


Dymocks Books:

Angus & Roberston:


Australian RRP: $16.99

Genre: Young Adult Thriller, Horror Fiction.

Page Count: 393

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Sypnosis from Walker Books Australia:

Cross The Blair Witch Project with Stranger Things and you’ve got Rules for Vanishing: a skin-crawling story that grows more unsettling with every step…

Once a year, a road appears in the forest. And at the end of it, the ghost of Lucy Gallows beckons. Lucy’s game isn’t for the faint of heart. If you win, you escape with your life. But if you lose…

Sara’s sister disappeared one year ago – and only Sara knows where she is. Becca went to find the ghost of Lucy Gallows and is trapped on her road. In the sleepy town of Briar Glen, Lucy’s road is nothing more than local lore. But Sara knows it’s real, and she’s going to find it.

When Sara and her skeptical friends meet in the forest to search for Becca, the mysterious road unfurls before them. All they have to do is walk down it. But the path to Lucy is not of this world, and it has its own rules.

Every mistake summons new horrors. Vengeful spirits and broken, angry creatures are waiting for them to slip, and no one is guaranteed safe passage. The only certainty is this: the road has a toll and it will be paid. Sara knows that if she steps onto the road, she might not come back. But Becca needs her. And Lucy is waiting.

My Review:

I recieved a copy of this book from Walker Books Australia in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

If you’re looking for a perfect, spooky read with every chill-inducing element then Rules For Vanishing is definitely for you! I haven’t read a great deal of Horror as a genre in YA Fiction but this is perfection! The mystery aspect too will keep you guessing right until the end!

Sara has felt like she’s lost a part of herself when her sister, Becca, disappears. Becca, who Sara idolised. Sara knows that her sister was fascinated with the lore story of Lucy Gallows, a young girl killed in a forest who’s ghost is rumored to be seen still, and supposedly communicates with those who seek her! The perfect backstory for a perfectly haunting, chilling, atmospheric read!

What a page turner Rules For Vanishing is! The mixed media narrative is absolutely brilliant, adding so much mystery to the story! Just when I thought I knew one thing, just when I thought I had the notions of what might come next, BAM something else was added or revealed and just made me wonder possibly what would be revealed next, what could have happened between Sara’s narrative and the interview transcripts which take place after everyone’s daring ventures into the woods.

For Becca.

It’s curious, after learning about her fascination with Lucy Gallows and her supposed forbidden rendezvous with a guy her parents and Sara didn’t particularly like and them then supposedly taking off into the forest, my pre conceptions of Becca’s character were definitely mixed. I enjoyed her fascination with the local lore, I wanted to like her as much as Sara did, but to really take off like that and leave not a sign for your family? It’s harsh.

However, I’m being slightly judgemental because there is much more to it, really. I honestly don’t want to go into what happens when Sara and her friends trek through the woods and find themselves in explicable danger, because it’s best to get into the heart of this mystery with as little known information, because as everyone started to make their way through the horrifying gates, where they faced obstacles that were honestly so flipping frightening, that the forest would take them and not return them home, the fact that it’s quite possible that not everyone would be returning, just gave me all the chills!

And what happened really to little Lucy Gallows? What about another deadly mystery interwoven with the forest too? Why were Sara’s thoughts and experiences about what happened getting so vague and patchy? Was she remembering things wrong? What really happened? What was coming next?

These were just some of the thoughts and questions I had when I was reading this book, and what followed was just an unforgettable and incredible and altogether haunting reading experience that will be staying with me for some time to come! You must, must pick up a copy of Rules For Vanishing! I daresay I won’t read anything like this again!

Happy Reading,



  1. This sounds like a really interesting book!
    I love books that focus on sisters/siblings. And the fact that it was a page turner for you has made me put it on my wishlist.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Brooklyn!
    Lovely review. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

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