Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall

Rules for vanishingRules For Vanishing
by Kate Alice Marshall

Published by Viking Books

Published on the 24th of September 2019

416 Pages

Purchase from | Amazon AU | Amazon US  | Booktopia | Book Depository | Fishpond AU | Dymocks | QBD |

My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Actual rating of 4.75

“Little Lucy, dressed in white

Gave her mother such a fright

Walked into the woods one day

Where she went no one can say

Down a road that no one found

Or are her bones sunk in the ground?

How many steps did Lucy take?

One, two, three, four…”

Once a year the road appears, the chance to play the game – find the road, and find Lucy Gallows.

It’s been one year, one year since Sara’s sister Becca disappeared. Sara believes she knows what happened to Becca, what REALLY happened. While everyone else put her disappearance down to rebellious young love, Sara knew deep down that Becca really went to find Lucy Gallows. In that year, Sara spends her lunches sitting alone, she stopped responding to her friend’s reaching out to her and now she’s not sure whether there’s even friendships left to salvage. So when a mysterious text is sent to everyone in school, inviting them to play the game and find Lucy Gallows, Sara knows what she’s going to do, but will she have to do it alone?

Oh my Goddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd!! This book. I first became aware of it when a bookish friend had posted a review, from the instant I read the synopsis, and her review, I just knew I NEEEDDEDDDD IT!!!! And it did not disappoint. I’m torn between an actual rating for this one, I want to give it five stars, but a couple of things near the end felt like a little bit of a let down, but I feel like giving a 4.5 just wasn’t enough, so here we are at 4.75 territory.

So! I’d put this book under the young adult paranormal horror category – what others class this as, I’m not too sure, but this is what it felt like for me. Marshall has written an absolutely riveting story and I could not put it down. I was glued to it from the first page right through until the last. The writing flows wonderfully, and the format of the novel itself was well done. The goodreads synopsis for this story pins it as being written in a similar style to the Blair Witch Project. Which, yeah, it was. We have Exhibits in the form of video evidence, message and email transcripts, and descriptions of photographs, we also have interviews being conducted in present day, while the meat of the story is written as Sara’s written testimony. I was worried that the format of the story would be difficult to read in that I would be jolted out of the story by the changes from interviews and evidence to the actual written account of what happened, but this didn’t happen which was great. It all flowed together really nicely for me.

The story itself, as said above is absolutely RIVETING. I could not put it down. This is up there as one of my favourite reads for the year. There were actual parts in this that creeped me out, one instance actually forced me to close the blinds in the room I was in because there was nothing but pitch blackness outside the window and I was TERRIFIED that I would start seeing disembodied faces staring at me. So A+++ for creep factor, it definitely did it’s job. There were certain elements in this book that were written so well and the feeling of being unsettled really stood out, so absolutely fantastic job on that one. It’s hard for me to find a book these days that creep me out, so it was a welcomed change.

The characters were written fine, general teenagers, full of teenage angst, hormones and thinking that they know it all. Sara did annoy me a bit, purely because, even though she was going through an absolutely horrible time, she would not accept her friend’s help or shoulders or whatever it is that she needed. They knew Becca too, they lost her too, so that just pissed me off a bit haha. Though when you think about it, withdrawing can be a completely normal part of grief so it does make sense. I guess you could say, I wasn’t annoyed at how the characters were written, I was just annoyed at some of their choices, which to me, shows good writing. The rest of the cast were fine, not extremely fleshes out, but to me they were distinctive enough in their personalities to not get them mixed up, and I did care about what happened to most of them.

The world, well, the road I guess you could say, was so intriguing. I would absolutely LOVE to have a conversation with Marshall and get to know where she thought up the concept that this whole story is based around, it is so interesting and unlike anything else that I’ve read before. I’ve read books about alternate worlds and realities existing side by side, but this was something else. The creatures encountered and just the way that the road works was written so well, and I just really need to know how this concept came about! INTRIGUING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As said above, one thing irked me a little, and it was how things ended. Not so much because it left so many unanswered questions, but everything seemed to climax so quickly and all of a sudden all this stuff is happening, and I think it’s maybe still taking my mind a bit to catch up to what actually happened in the end. I have a few questions, and I’m wondering whether we’ll ever get some answers to some of them. I hope so…

All in all, this was an abso-bloody-lutely fantastic book, and I definitely think I’ll be re-reading it at some point. A breath of fresh air towards the end of the year, an absolute page turner.

View all my reviews

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