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Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall

Publisher/date: Walker Books (October 3, 2019)

Genre: YA Ghost Story

"I feel it. Panic. It's a wet, slippery creature forcing its way up my throat. I clamp my teeth down and dig my fingernails into my palms. I will not panic. I will not scream. I will not run."

Once a year, a road appears in the woods at midnight and the ghost of Lucy Gallows beckons, inviting those who are brave enough to play her game. If you win, you escape with your life. But if you lose...

It’s almost a year since Becca went missing. Everyone else has given up searching for her, but her sister, Sara, knows she disappeared while looking for Lucy Gallows. Determined to find her, Sara and her closest friends enter the woods. But something more sinister than ghosts lurks on the road, and not everyone will survive.

Looking for a Blair Witch Project type story to ring in the Halloween season? Look no further!

This book is written almost like a movie script - actually, it would make a pretty damn good horror flick. In fact, for a book I think there are too many characters. They seem unnecessary in the book, but in a horror movie they would make excellent cannon fodder. It's not scary if you don't kill off a couple characters every time there's some action.

I enjoyed how the book unfolds. Piecing out the chapters with police interviews and ghost hunter interviews makes the plot more understandable in a way. Interspersing the real with the seemingly unreal gives the book a less surreal ghost story feel and a more terrifying place in current reality.

I’m not sure whether to like or dislike Sara from the beginning. It makes the plot twists and turns even better - her ambiguity. The mini teenage crush stories seem to be added for the teenage reader and don’t add anything to the plot.

The ending infuriated me a bit, but I won't tell you why, you'll need to read it yourself to find out. In the end, it wasn't creepy enough to really scare me! But I liked it.


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