The Last Time I Lied

The Last Time I Lied

Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she--or anyone--saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Em...

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Title:The Last Time I Lied
Author:Riley Sager
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Last Time I Lied Reviews

  • Melisa

    : The Last Time I Lied has been picked up by Amazon Studios to be developed into a series.

    : I get really really ridiculously excited about good thrillers now and tend to use an excess of exclamation points, so this is just a preemptive “please excuse my flabbergabbling.”

    This is a true th

    : The Last Time I Lied has been picked up by Amazon Studios to be developed into a series.

    : I get really really ridiculously excited about good thrillers now and tend to use an excess of exclamation points, so this is just a preemptive “please excuse my flabbergabbling.”

    This is a true thriller in the sense of the word - it’s thrilling with understated suspense and it will creep you out in the best way possible.

    So compulsively readable and intriguing, I could not put this one down until I knew how it ended. Oh the twists and the turns and the theories that I had, that were all wrong by the way! It’s also super cinematic - I could totally see this one being turned into a film.

    Riley Sager has weaved an intoxicating tale of girls gone missing at a sleep away camp. There is a huge cast of characters, none of which you will trust, and a highly unreliable narrator.

    I loved how every flashback chapter was an answer to the question the previous chapter put forward. Everything was connected. You had all the pieces but no answers and had to figure it all out with the main character.

    The best kind of stories are the ones that can scare you silly without any violence. And that is exactly what you will find here.

    There is one teensy tiny detail of the conclusion that I have a question about and I need to discuss further. Riley Sager, shoot me an email so we can discuss!

    4.5 super creepy stars!

    Thank you to Dutton Books for my review copy! This was a buddy read with the Traveling Sisters - Berit, Brenda, Holly B, Mackenzie and Marialyce. Loved that you were all as equally enthusiastic about this one as I was!

  • Debra

    4.5 stars

    While reading my second book by Sager, I can't help but think that he is an 80's horror movie fan or at least grew up in the 80's watching these flicks. His other book, "Final Girls" read like an 80's horror film to me (which I loved!) and while reading The Last Time I Lied, I felt as if I was at Camp Crystal Lake....oops...I meant at Camp Nightingale. And no, there is no killer in a hockey mask chasing camp counselors through the woods here, but it does have a camp in the middle of the

    4.5 stars

    While reading my second book by Sager, I can't help but think that he is an 80's horror movie fan or at least grew up in the 80's watching these flicks. His other book, "Final Girls" read like an 80's horror film to me (which I loved!) and while reading The Last Time I Lied, I felt as if I was at Camp Crystal Lake....oops...I meant at Camp Nightingale. And no, there is no killer in a hockey mask chasing camp counselors through the woods here, but it does have a camp in the middle of the woods, where campers tell each other rumors about the camp’s dark history. Is there any truth to these rumors or are the girls just trying to scare each other?

    When Emma was thirteen years old her parents sent her to "camp rich bitch" a.k.a. Camp Nightingale. Since she arrived late, she is placed in a cabin called Dogwood with three older teens: Vivian, Allison, and Natalie. One-night Emma wakes to see the trio sneaking out and is told she is to0 young to go with them. The three teens are never seen again.

    Fifteen years later, Emma is an artist who cannot stop drawing the images of the missing girls in her artwork. She is still haunted by that summer and the events which led up to the disappearance of the missing teens. When the camp owner, Francesca Harris-White, invites her to return to the camp for its re-opening, Emma is torn but eventually agrees to teach art lessons at the camp. Emma hopes this will help her move on and come to terms with the events of that summer and the disappearance of her bunk mates.

    From the start, things don't seem to be going according to plan. Emma is back in the cabin she shared with the missing girls fifteen years ago. This is only the beginning. Searching for the truth, she stumbles upon some clues left behind by one of the girls. Someone must not have warned her to "be careful what you wish/look for” What happens when what you've been searching for, comes looking for you? Will finding the truth set her free or make things worse? Can you ever go back again? YES, she does go back ...but you know what I mean.

    A lot of characters have secrets in this book - I loved this! The cabin mates loved to play "two truths and a lie". I felt as if I were playing that game right along with them, trying to decipher what was real, what was a lie, who is lying (if anyone), who is being deceptive, who is reliable, etc. This was a fun and creepy (yes things can be fun and creepy at the same time!) jaunt through the woods! Ahhh, I could hear the twigs breaking underfoot, see the ripples in the lake and hear the birds chirping. What I couldn't do was find those missing "mean girls." I dare you..no wait..I triple dog dare you to try and figure this book out! If you do, then you are a better super sleuth that I am! I pinkie promise you that this book delivers on a few twist and turns.

    There are a lot of characters in this book, but I never found this to be confusing. I found it easy to keep track of everyone. Some of the characters are likable, some not so much, some are mean, some seem too syrupy sweet, some will seem deceptive and some you may not trust. I love how he draw them to stir the plot and keep the reader guessing.

    At first this book did seem a little slow to me, mainly because I wanted to be instantly grabbed by this book as I was Final Girls. But I found as I kept reading, I became hooked. Going back and forth in time, looking for clues, I was invested in learning what happened. I felt for characters and was suspicious of them, and then a character would do something or say something and then I suspected them. Thus, I was intrigued and HAD to know whodunit! The woods, cabin and lake were the perfect back drop for this riveting book about missing girls, the search for the truth, the pains of growing up, and the guilt of lies.

    I received a copy of this book from Dutton Publishing and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

    See more of my reviews at

  • j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]

    I’m trying my best to contain my excitement and review Riley Sager’s new book in a professional manner.

    See that? I only used one exclamation point. I want at least 300 more! It is a spanking good, cracker jack of a novel that I could not stop reading for two days.

    is a brilliant and campy

    mystery for all you grown up fans of Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys.

    I’m trying my best to contain my excitement and review Riley Sager’s new book in a professional manner.

    See that? I only used one exclamation point. I want at least 300 more! It is a spanking good, cracker jack of a novel that I could not stop reading for two days.

    is a brilliant and campy

    mystery for all you grown up fans of Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys.

    I'm crazy about Sager’s deceptively easy writing style. He breezes right through the telling of the story, all the while creating mood, atmosphere and the fun kind of dread you get in the pit of your stomach while watching a horror flick. The pages suck you in and Sager holds your hand as he walks you through the creepy story that began 15 years ago at Camp Nightingale.

    Three out of four girls disappeared from the Dogwood cabin and that fourth girl? She suffered a nervous breakdown in the months following the disappearance of her friends. In a way, she is the SOLE SURVIVOR, and if you loved

    you know what that means. Yes, Emma is a Final Girl and she is a sympathetic and very unreliable narrator. Emma has a chance to return to the camp fifteen years later, and of course, in Riley Sager’s world, she goes back to teach art at the camp. Oh, and to solve the old mystery while confronting her many demons.

    Please don’t bother to read the overly long and convoluted book jacket synopsis. It almost scared me away. So many names that are meaningless until you read the story. If you liked

    , you will love

    It is also delicious reading for fans of

    or

    .

  • Mackenzie - Traveling Sister

    Riley Sager somehow surpasses the amazing hype surrounding his first novel,

    , with an absolutely compulsively-good psychological thriller full or secrets, lies, and shocking truths that you won’t be able to put down!

    I have to say, I have read some outstanding books already in 2018, but this is by far the best psychological thriller for me this year! I was captivated by this book! I have a list of quotes and notes several pages long that I pulled while reading. Since I reached the sho

    Riley Sager somehow surpasses the amazing hype surrounding his first novel,

    , with an absolutely compulsively-good psychological thriller full or secrets, lies, and shocking truths that you won’t be able to put down!

    I have to say, I have read some outstanding books already in 2018, but this is by far the best psychological thriller for me this year! I was captivated by this book! I have a list of quotes and notes several pages long that I pulled while reading. Since I reached the shocking ending (seriously! What an ending!!!), I have been going back to those quotes and notes and finding even more clues and meaning in them.

    We read this as a Traveling Sister read, and the discussion has been so engaging and wonderful. We each are finding clues that give us a new theory about aspects of the book. I wish I could share, but you should go in and experience this one as it is written! You will find your own path through the mysterious web of truth and lies, and I think this one will keep you guessing!!

    Emma Davis was 13 years old when she first attended Camp Nightingale—a summer sleepaway camp for the upper-class girls of the northeastern states. Emma is late—her mother didn’t mention that she would be away all summer until the first day of camp—and so she is placed into a tiny cabin with popular senior campers Vivian, Natalie, and Allison. Emma immediately bonds with the beautiful, enigmatic Vivian. Vivian feels like the older sister Emma always wanted. The girls quickly engage Emma in their favorite game, two truths and a lie. The point of the game is to trick others into believing your lie. And then one night, Emma watches the girls sneak out of the cabin. By the next morning, they’ve disappeared for good, and Emma is left wondering if she could have stopped them.

    At 28, Emma is a successful painter with a gallery full of her Forest series—paintings inspired by the forest at Camp Nightingale and her lingering questions around that summer. Not a day goes by that Emma doesn’t think about the three missing girls, particularly Vivian. And then Franny, the wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale, approaches Emma with an offer—return to Camp Nightingale’s grand re-opening. Emma thinks this may be her opportunity to finally process what happened to her friends and move on for good. But all is not as it seems once she arrives at Camp Nightingale.

    But Emma has secrets she has never revealed to anyone. About that summer. About the girls. Emma may know more about what happened than she admits. Though Emma tries to live a life of truths, she can’t seem to escape her lies that summer. And it seems that someone out there knows what Emma lied about, and is trying to make Emma pay. Can Emma find the truth before her lies catch up to her?

    I cannot put into words how wonderful this book is! It has layers upon layers of secrets, lies, and mystery that I continue to peel back, even after finishing. Small moments that seemed innocuous at first reading take on so much meaning as I discovered more about the events at Camp Nightingale. The characters are all slightly unsettling in a good way. You’re never totally sure that anyone is telling the full truth. But as Vivian says, lying is how you win the game.

    One of my absolute favorite things about this book was the mysterious setting of Camp Nightingale. Sager uses the setting as a character in and of itself. He says at one point,

    The description of a place as having a memory; of knowing all of the secrets, and it creating a personality to the building that may not exist if things had been different. Emma reflects at one point that she was getting reacquainted with the lake, only to then state that actually, it felt like the lake was getting reacquainted with her. And then at other times several characters mention the forest as inviting them in, and the pull it has for those at the camp. The setting of the book completely came alive through Sager’s wonderful writing. It became a force within the story that held the clues to the mystery, if only Emma could be brave enough to ask.

    And finally, THAT ENDING! I can’t say much more because I refuse to spoil even a second of this wonderful ending, but boy-oh-boy was I paging back and forward, processing what I just read. I can’t wait for readers to discover this book for themselves! The entire book is a masterpiece, and one I already am planning to read again. And like all of the best books, I already know that each time I read it, I’ll get a bit more out of it.

    Thank you so much to Dutton, Penguin Books, and Riley Sager for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Norma * Traveling Sister

    Holy Shooty Balls this was a good one! 😝 I absolutely LOVED this book!

    THE LAST TIME I LIED by RILEY SAGER was an absolutely fantastic, compulsive, thrilling, and tension filled psychological thriller that had me totally engaged and racing through those pages as fast as I could to see how this story was going to end. I was totally blown away with that absolutely shocking and surprise ending! I did another whoop at books end.

    RILEY SAGER delivers an extremely detailed, twisty, atmospheric and well

    Holy Shooty Balls this was a good one! 😝 I absolutely LOVED this book!

    THE LAST TIME I LIED by RILEY SAGER was an absolutely fantastic, compulsive, thrilling, and tension filled psychological thriller that had me totally engaged and racing through those pages as fast as I could to see how this story was going to end. I was totally blown away with that absolutely shocking and surprise ending! I did another whoop at books end.

    RILEY SAGER delivers an extremely detailed, twisty, atmospheric and well-written story here. I absolutely love his writing style and the way that he set the mood was pretty much perfect for a creepy and thrilling reading experience for me. I had that uneasy and apprehensive feeling throughout most of this novel which I am always seeking from my thrillers. This one definitely delivered!

    This novel was so gripping and intriguing and in my opinion had the perfect setting. The creepy woods, cabin, and the eerie lake with the camp setting was so good. The camp setting had me reminiscing about my summer camp memories when I was younger. I couldn’t help thinking Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys while I was reading this one too. Also, another fun aspect of this novel was the game “two truths and a lie” that the girls played at Camp Nightingale in their cabin. I’m not going to lie - I absolutely loved this book! Would highly recommend!

    Expected Publishing Date: July 10, 2018

    Thank you so much to Edelweiss, Dutton Publishing, and Riley Sager for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.

    Review written and posted on our themed book blog Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading.

    Coulee: a term applied rather loosely to different landforms, all of which refer to a kind of valley.

  • (Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

    🚣🏻♀

    🏕

    I was uneasy the entire time I read this book. Part of that was my own excited expectations/anticipation of the book but the other part was Sager’s writing.

    You’re reading, turning page after page, just waiting for “that something” to happen. You know it’s coming. You’re creeped out and suspicious of everyone. You can’t put the bo

    🚣🏻‍♀️

    🏕

    I was uneasy the entire time I read this book. Part of that was my own excited expectations/anticipation of the book but the other part was Sager’s writing.

    You’re reading, turning page after page, just waiting for “that something” to happen. You know it’s coming. You’re creeped out and suspicious of everyone. You can’t put the book down because you simply have to know where its all going. That’s my reading experience with this book in a nutshell and I loved every minute of it.

    Sager masterfully spun a tale that is told in two different times - the present & past (told via flashback from 15 years ago). It all began at Camp Nightingale 15 years prior when three girls disappear from Dogwood cabin. Emma, the youngest of the four girls rooming in the cabin was the only one left. She is deeply affected by the disappearance of her friends and is haunted by the girls throughout her life. Emma is unable to come to terms with the terrible tragedy because they never fully learned what happened to the girls that fateful summer night.

    Flash forward 15 years and Camp Nightingale is once again opening its doors to campers. Emma has been invited to teach art at the camp for the summer and of course she accepts. It’s her chance to finally solve the mystery and hopefully put the events of that summer behind her.

    Emma is a wonderfully sympathetic yet unreliable narrator. Can her memories be trusted when she herself admits to having had a nervous breakdown in the months after her first camp experience? There were so many secrets that it was nearly impossible to figure out what was true and what wasn’t. There were so many well crafted layers to this mystery! I literally suspected everyone, trusted no one & still had it all wrong in the end. I LOVE when I don’t see "it" coming. It was all there, the crumbs had been woven into the story but with Emma being such an unreliable narrator you simply don’t know what to think or who to believe.

    I too was on a search for the truth with Emma amidst all the secrets, lies & guilt. I definitely recommend this read to fellow mystery fans and hope it will keep you second guessing just as it did me!

    has even been picked up by Amazon Studios to be adapted into a limited series!!! Yay, I can't wait!!!!! You can read all about it here if you'd like -->

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    I'll admit, I wasn't as intoxicated with

    last year as the general public seemed to be, but I was in tune enough to realize that Riley Sager has some serious talent in his writing repertoire. His stories are darkly compulsive, and I've come to find that his growth in the psychological thriller field is enormous between his first book (good) and his second one (great). This is

    what I like to see in an author's pattern of book releases, and I honestly could

    I'll admit, I wasn't as intoxicated with

    last year as the general public seemed to be, but I was in tune enough to realize that Riley Sager has some serious talent in his writing repertoire. His stories are darkly compulsive, and I've come to find that his growth in the psychological thriller field is enormous between his first book (good) and his second one (great). This is

    what I like to see in an author's pattern of book releases, and I honestly couldn't be more excited for where his next work takes us.

    I would say the format of storytelling is similar to

    , and both books are dark psychological thrillers, but the similarities end there. Where the previous novel was more of a slasher thriller with a YA vibe, this one was a more grown up, complex psychological thriller that was driven by the multiple mysteries at hand. While I can't put my finger on exactly what it is that I liked more about

    , I think it had something to do with the timing of reading it, plus the fact that this one felt far less formulaic and engaged my brain power as a reader, rather than just expecting me to sit back and be entertained alone.

    It's tricky to go into details without spoiling any of the book, but it's definitely one that will grasp your attention from the prologue. The story is told alternating between flashbacks during Emma's first stay at Camp Nightingale and present day, which is 15 years in the future. What looks like a straightforward investigation into the disappearance of Emma's three friends from the past turns into a hella good suspenseful romp into so many different directions that I had to re-read one of the reveal sections

    before I could move forward because-

    ! As an avid suspense aficionado, it's a feeling that I don't get often these days and cherish when the opportunity comes along.

    I'm still torn on how I feel about a few aspects of the ending, but overall I was very pleased with each facet of this one. It was entertaining, engaging, and had that "unputdownable" factor we have all come to crave from our latest read. If you've been eagerly anticipating this one as much as I have over the past year, I hope you're as satisfied with the pay off as I was. At a time that I've been almost ready to give up on psychological thrillers, I am so thrilled to have consumed this one and for it redeeming the genre in my eyes and persuading me to ride the suspense train a little bit longer.

  • Meredith

    Picture this: Sleepaway camp. 4 girls share a cabin until the day 3 disappear never to be found. One 13-year-old girl is left to tell their story. But her stories are built around lies.

    15 years later, the same girl returns to the camp to teach art and assist the owner’s new charitable endeavor. She is assigned to the same cabin that the girls disappeared from. Once again, 3 girls go missing. Something is amiss at Cam

    Picture this: Sleepaway camp. 4 girls share a cabin until the day 3 disappear never to be found. One 13-year-old girl is left to tell their story. But her stories are built around lies.

    15 years later, the same girl returns to the camp to teach art and assist the owner’s new charitable endeavor. She is assigned to the same cabin that the girls disappeared from. Once again, 3 girls go missing. Something is amiss at Camp Nightingale.

    is a tension-packed, atmospheric thriller! Sager brings Camp Nightingale to life: from the eerie camp grounds, to the mysterious lake, to the campfire smoke, to the angst of the teenage campers, I was transported.

    While things start off a little slow, I was interested enough in the mystery to keep on reading. Bits and pieces are gradually revealed, dark twists and turns occur, culminating in an over-the-top ending. While this element would normally have taken me out of a book, in this instance, it had me smiling (in a good way)!

    I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss+ and Dutton, Penguin Books in exchange for an honest review.

  • Emma Giordano

    2.5 Stars. I’m honestly so conflicted on this book that I don’t even want to write a review because I’m not really sure where my thoughts are. Did I like it at all? Did I absolutely hate it? I honestly can’t tell you.

    CW: violence, drowning, peeping toms, cancer, schizophreniform

    While I enjoyed Riley Sager’s previous work,

    , I had some issues with the writing. While I do feel that many of those issues were resolved in

    , I actually prefer

    .

    was

    2.5 Stars. I’m honestly so conflicted on this book that I don’t even want to write a review because I’m not really sure where my thoughts are. Did I like it at all? Did I absolutely hate it? I honestly can’t tell you.

    CW: violence, drowning, peeping toms, cancer, schizophreniform

    While I enjoyed Riley Sager’s previous work,

    , I had some issues with the writing. While I do feel that many of those issues were resolved in

    , I actually prefer

    .

    was intriguing to me as it is a twist on a famous trope in horror, whereas

    is fairly similar to many thrillers out there. I do think

    is a better constructed novel, but I wasn’t all that entertained by this story. By the end, I was finishing it just to finish it.

    I did notice one inconsistency in the story. A significant plot point is the revelation of Emma’s past mental health history through a “background check” when she agrees to work at the camp. Immediately, this struck me as odd because in America, the HIPAA law protects your personal health information, therefore, employers have no access to medical records through background checks. It is clear Emma did not consent to providing them with this information and also unlikely the head of camp would have gone through illegal methods to obtain this info, based on the context of the camp’s re-opening. I also consulted with a professional in the mental health field who confirmed there’s no way for mental health records to be revealed in a background check without consent. This is particularly disappointing as a large part of the plot progression and why Emma is considered a non-credible witness and an unreliable narrator by readers is due to the reveal of her mental health issues as a teen. A large chunk of this story is completely invalidated because there is

    her mental health history would have been revealed in this way. I hate to be

    who gets stuck on a single inconsistency about the story, but having an incorrect piece of information play a large part of your story is something that needs to be discussed. I’ve been desperately looking for a reasonable explanation, but it seems this falsehood was entirely ignored by the author/publisher.

    None of the characters stood out to me. I felt almost all of them were characters I’ve read before. Excluding Emma, I found few characters to be well-developed and have a multitude of motivations. Vivian is the only notable character, but I wouldn’t consider that a compliment as the only reason she stands out is because she’s an overly-sexualized teenager written entirely through a male-gaze. She made me uncomfortable, and not in the way you want to be uncomfortable while reading a thriller.

    Also, the theme of “lying” was shoved down my throat so much, it was suffocating. We get it. ~Everyone lies so we can’t trust any of the characters.~ It’s like the author thinks readers aren’t capable of figuring that out themselves. I was so over the blatant attention to lies at the very beginning of the work.

    Many of the positive reviews of this novel mention the “shocking, twist ending” and I concur – the very last moments of this book caught me off guard. But it personally was not enough to save a story I didn’t fully enjoy otherwise.

    I’m aware I’m the unpopular opinion for this book, but it wasn’t a great read for me. I can’t for the life of me tell you why, but I’ll probably give Riley Sager another try in the future. I guess that says something about his ability to draw in readers.

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