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Sunday, July 15, 2018

#allthebookreviews: The Last Time I Liked by Riley Sager @riley_sager @duttonbooks

The Last Time I Lied
by Riley Sager

Thanks so much to Dutton Books for these copies!
Jessica and I do love some Sager - especially after Final Girls last year.

Publisher:  Dutton Books
Publish Date:  July 3, 2018
370 Pages
Genres:  Thriller, Mystery, Horror

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 Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings--massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it's immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp's twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.

My Review:

We are all aware of the hype of Sager after Final Girls last year.  I absolutely LOVED that story.  This one falls somewhat along the same lines in terms of the way the story is told.  However, that's about all the similarities there are, which I love because when an author doesn't just regurgitate what they're really good at, it's nice to see where else their mind can take us.

While Final Girls felt more along the lines of YA horror, The Last Time I Lied takes us more into a psychological thriller feel surrounding an unreliable narrator and a fifteen year difference between disappearances.

I did feel this one ran a little slow at the beginning but then it ramps up towards the middle and I was fully immersed into finding out what keeps happening at this camp!  It's hard not to compare an author's sophomore release when the first one was such a big hit in the reading world.  In doing so, I realize that this one didn't quite resonate with me as the first one did.  However, it is well written with hints of a mean girls vibe (sorry ladies, no one is going to make me feel like I can't stuff my face full of foods I like), camp cliques and that all time alpha girl that you adore and hate at the same time.

Sager is an author to watch out for and I'll certainly be keeping an eye out for the next release.


Jessica's Review:

We've all played two truths and a lie, right? Well, what happens when that goes too far? Last year I read Sager's debut, FINAL GIRLS, and loved it! I didn't think it could be topped, but I think I loved this one even more. THE LAST TIME I LIED was one I could not put down. My first sitting was short-lived because life and responsibilities, but my second sitting I read pages 19-384. So basically, I finished the book that night and before I knew it it was 2am.

We go back and forth between present day and 15 years ago at Camp Nightingale, a prestigious camp for girls that lasted 6 weeks. Emma spent her first summer there 15 years ago and it ended in tragedy. The three girls she shared her cabin with - Natalie, Allison, and Vivian - all went missing and were never seen again. This caused the camp to close and the guilt has haunted Emma ever since.

Now, she is a rising star in the New York art scene, and one day she is approached at a gallery show by the owner of Camp Nightingale. Franny has a proposition for her. She is planning on reopening the camp for a summer and would love for her to come back, this time as a counselor. Emma decides to go so that she can try and find the girls that vanished 15 years ago and finally put her guilt to rest.

That's all I'm going to say! I couldn't believe all the twists in this one. I had moments of whispering, "what the fuck - did that just happen?" to myself. The beginning had a slower introduction but once she gets to the camp (around 20ish pages in) then things pick up and don't stop! So many secrets to uncover, eerie events, and having to face her past, THE LAST TIME I LIED is one I can see being another popular one for the summer. If you liked FINAL GIRLS, then you'll love this one.

I give this 5/5 stars!

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