“‘Everything is a game, Em. Whether you know it or not. Which means that sometimes a lie is more than just a lie. Sometimes it’s the only way to win.’”The Last Time I Lied – Riley Sager
In Summary of The Last Time I Lied
“Fifteen years ago, summer camper Emma Davis watched sleepily as her three cabin mates snuck out of their cabin in the dead of night. The last she–and anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips… Now a rising star in the NYC art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings. They catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of the very same Camp Nightingale–and when Francesca implores Emma to return to the camp as a painting counselor, Emma sees an opportunity to find closure and move on. Yet, it is immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by surfacing memories, Emma is suddenly plagued by a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca, and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian apparently left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. And as history begins to repeat itself and three girls go missing again, Emma must face threats from both man and nature in order to uncover all the buried secrets–including what really happened all those years ago.” —Goodreads
WARNING: PTSD, gaslighting, person-gone-missing, death
READ IF YOU LIKE: mystery/thrillers, summer camp, twisty plots, American Horror Story, Goosebumps
|The summer camp vibes!||Some circumstances seem too coincidental and not believable|
|Believable dialogue builds quality characterization||Would have liked for the book to have addressed the topic of PTSD more directly|
|Connections between the past and present are strong|
“Although their eventual fate remains a mystery, I’m certain that what happened to those girls is all my fault.”
Two truths and a lie: Anecdotes and Archetypes Version.
- Riley Sager is now one of my automatic-read authors.
- The Last Time I Lied was boring and awful.
- I will never think about summer camp in the same way again.
Okay, the answer is pretty obvious; #2 is the lie. In fact, it’s the complete opposite from the truth.
The Last Time I Lied is my first Riley Sager book and it will not be my last! He did a thorough job of building suspense and creating an intricate web of confusion based on what is past, present, real, and imagined. Flashbacks are woven in at the right moments to help us piece together clues, and readers are on their toes every step of the way.
Emma’s PTSD creates a true psychological encounter for readers, which is effective for this particular thriller. This book had the perfect opportunity to further reflect on PTSD as a real, serious mental health disorder; the symptoms of PTSD as a trauma response can easily go misunderstood. I wish that Riley Sager had used this book as a deeper education moment for readers on this topic; this is really my main critique with this novel.
Trust me, though – this one will hook you.
Also, creepy vibes all around in this one! The Last Time I Lied is the perfect summer-to-fall transition thriller. So grab this one as soon as you can!
The Last Time I Lied Book Information
- Published: 2018
- Publisher: Dutton
- ISBN: 978-1524743079
- Format: Hardback
- Length: 384 pages