I’ve had Final Girls by Riley Sager on my tbr FOREVER and still haven’t picked it up! After finishing The Last Time I Lied I need it even more in my life. I powered through this one. SO GOOD. It had everything I wanted! The interesting heroine, creepy setting, flashbacks, twists you don’t see coming…
A bit of a slow start but the pace picks up quickly. Helped by short chapters alternating between Emma present day and fifteen years earlier at the camp. Riley keeps you in a state of suspense with his layers of secrets, lies, and mystery. The Last Time I Lied is beautifully written with great character depth.
I guess everyone has been to camp or has seen Friday the 13th? The atmospheric setting and backdrop of Lake Midnight definitely came alive. I loved Sager’s writing style and description of how the lake and camp came to be. Though not scary or a horror Sager keeps the mystery up throughout the story.
Emma is a good, believable narrator and as such is relatable. She is definitely flawed but in a realistic way. I really liked the way Sager explores her inability to find closure. And how her regret and childhood trauma affects her adult life.
Sager gets a little in-depth on female friendships and how complicated they could be. It was refreshing that though there were predominantly female characters; they were all quite complex and interesting. You really feel the tension from each and their fear. Vivian especially – despite being the mean girl Sager gave her a lot of depth.
You’re never quite sure who is telling the truth The Last Time I Lied. I was hoping to like it but surprised myself by LOVING IT. So much. One of the best thrillers this year and highly recommend. Actually, as I’m writing this I still feel amped up! An excellent ending and such a great read for me.
ABOUT 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 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. 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.
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.