Book Review: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

I was a girl scout for many years and I loved it. I loved going to the meetings and seeing my friends. I loved the little chants we would sing and the little outings we would go on. I’m old, okay? So we sold the cookies the old way. We didn’t have pop up tents by the local Starbucks or Target. You were supposed to go door to door in your neighborhood. Except my black parents said hell no to that and just took my cookie sheet around to my millions of relatives and their coworkers and racked up on orders that way. I loved everything about being a girl scout. Except…camping.

To make a long story short the one time we went camping they started telling scary stories, I wasn’t having it, my parents were called, I went home. CAMPING EXPERIENCE OVER. The idea of camp has always had a…well, effect of me. Okay, let’s be straight up. Camping is creepy. Think Friday the 13th, The Blair Witch, any weird found footage movie. I guess that’s why I love ANY book with camping in it so much. It scares the hell out of me to my core. And I am not the only one.

I’ve talked about this book before here, it’s one of my favorites of 2019 and it deserves it. It’s a great book truly!

Welcome to my 2nd installment of the week of young adult books. Happy young adult week 🙂

Emma Davis is haunted by what has happened at her time in Camp Nightingale. She watched her fellow cabin mates leave one by one and never return and now she years later in a fairly well known painter who paints those same girls as ghosts in shades of white.

Synopsis:

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.

Characters:

Emma is the baby, the youngest of the rest of the girls she’s bunked with at Camp Nightingale.

It is a camp for the privileged and god, do they show it. I liked Emma’s character a lot but I felt that she was way too hard on herself . When you read the book you will find out what I mean but I also related to her because I also do the exact same thing. I felt she was brave to return to the same place where the worst in her life occured and I also understood fully.

Vivian enthralled me. She was this psychopathic beauty that I could not help but love. From start to end I was entranced with everything about her and so curious about her story.

Every single one of the characters in this story are complex and rich, even the paintings that Emma draws. They are impossible to not be drawn to.

My Thoughts and Rating:

This was my first Riley Sager novel and I was thoroughly impressed. His writing style jumps out at you and shocks you. I loved going to Camp Nightingale with Emma those two times and felt her apprehension. Unraveling the mystery of those many years ago felt unreal. I don’t know maybe I will try my hand at camping one day…Or maybe I’ll sit in the air conditioning every summer like normal people do and keep reading murder mysteries as god intended me to.

💜💜💜💜💜 5/5

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