Book Reviews

The Last Time I Lied

  • Title: The Last Time I Lied
  • Author: Riley Sager
  • Edition: Kindle Edition
  • Publishing: July 10, 2018
  • Publisher: Dutton
  • Page Count: 336 pages

“Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. But the games ended the night Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin into the darkness. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips (Goodreads).”

Move over Camp Crystal Lake because Camp Nightingale is about to give you a run for your money. Camp Nightingale is the setting for this thrilling follow-up to Riley Sager’s debut novel (and now international bestseller) Final Girls. Sager proves their tremendous talent and announces they’re here to stay with this campy, nostalgic, romp.

Fifteen years prior to where the story begins, three girls, Vivian Natalie, and Allison, mysteriously vanished from their cabin at Camp Nightingale, leaving behind a sole survivor – our protagonist – Emma, who has found the only creative outlet for her grief is through painting. She spends her days obscuring portraits of the three missing girls amidst dark forests. This is her method of coping but it doesn’t appear to be working. She is clearly haunted and unable to forgive herself for the way events unfolded leading up to their sudden departure. In many ways, The Last Time I Lied is structured like a classic 80’s horror film, so of course Emma takes the opportunity when it arises to return to her stomping grounds and seek the truth of that fateful night so many years ago so she may finally be able to put the memory of Vivian, Natalie, and Allison to rest.

Sager is a master storyteller and they do it with such ease, I blew through the first two hundred pages without even realizing how much I had read. Sager does an excellent job at crafting the mystery, I never knew exactly which way the mystery would veer next. For the first time in a long time, I did not predict the ending of this novel. Clues are dropped with precision throughout the book, tiny ones you won’t realize until it all pulls together at the end. I’m pretty certain if I were to reread it, I’d pick up on quite a bit of foreshadowing.

My only critique would be of the character Vivian, the ringleader of the girls and the one that Emma most idolized. She felt one-dimensional to me, she was a character I had seen depicted hundreds of time before without much new to say and therefore I found some of the plot developments to be a little trite but she also felt like a satirical jab at the “mean girl” archetype so I didn’t find myself too upset by it.

If you enjoy horror movies or Pretty Little Liars or just having plain old fun then I highly recommend this book. I would be surprised if it doesn’t make several summer must-reads lists!

Many thanks to NetGalley, Riley Sager and their publishers, for furnishing me with an ARC of this book!


2 thoughts on “The Last Time I Lied”

  1. I got a galley of this through my book club’s blogging program a while back. I enjoyed the story, but I felt like most of the characters felt really flat. I liked the protagonist, but other than her, they mostly felt one-dimensional. The mystery was really fun, though.


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