The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager Review

People love it but I'm sitting here like "meh".

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
Thriller, 384 Pages
Released July 2018
Goodreads | Buy A Copy Here 

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.

These Are My Thoughts, Please Share Yours!

Hmmm, I have to say that this book was a wee bit disappointing. The reviews are stellar, for the most part, and my hopes were high but all I can summon up when I try to write a review is “meh”.

I guess I’m broken again. Or maybe I’ve read too many of these but, boo hoo hoo, I was hoping for something sinister, something blacker and meaner than what was written upon all of these pages. I also guessed the present day villain and I am not at all good at this game, trust me. The past one got me though so points for that.

Three friends go missing at a summer camp and the surviving girl, Emma, carries the burden of surviving and also of pointing the finger of guilt at her first love Theo. The camp is closed for obvious reasons but fifteen years later Emma is contacted by the owner and asked to return for reasons that make NO SENSE to me but don’t think about that because I am a nitpicker and without those lame reasons there would be no book. Alas, Theo returns too and he is as handsome as ever so there’s some lusting and confusion going on there as Emma attempts to determine exactly what the heck happened to her camp friends so many years earlier and Theo isn’t entirely in the clear.

This book was too damned long for its own good. It seemed to go on forever. There was so much mean girl drama that even I got tired of it and I always enjoy some mean girl dramatics. I think it boils down to the fact that I didn’t find Emma very interesting, sympathetic or engaging so thusly the mystery of it all wasn’t enough to hold my attention.

I think I need to re-watch Sleepaway Camp to put the good, gory, summer camp vibes back in my head.

3 out of 5

About Author Riley Sager

Riley Sager is the award-winning pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer who previously published mysteries under his real name. 

Now a full-time author, Riley's first thriller, FINAL GIRLS, became a national and international bestseller and was called "the first great thriller of 2017" by Stephen King. Translation rights have been sold in more than two dozen countries and a film version is being developed by Universal Pictures. 

Riley's second book, THE LAST TIME I LIED, was published in 2018 and became an instant New York Times bestseller. It was inspired by the classic novel and film "Picnic at Hanging Rock" and one horrible week Riley spent at summer camp when he was ten. A television adaptation is being developed by Amazon Studios.

His next book, LOCK EVERY DOOR, inspired by a lifelong fascination with the grand apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, will be published in July.

A native of Pennsylvania, Riley now lives in Princeton, New Jersey. When he's not writing, he enjoys reading, cooking and going to the movies as much as possible. His favorite film is "Rear Window." Or maybe "Jaws." But probably, if he's being honest, "Mary Poppins."

Twitter: @Riley_Sager


  1. Bummer. I can't read too many of these kinds of books in a row or else I'm all meh-d out lol

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  2. Sorry to hear you didn't like it more.

  3. Sorry this one didn't work for you. Some books hit the spot, and others don't. :)

  4. Sounds like it was completely different from what you were expecting. I hate it when that happens! Hope the next book is better:-)

    1. Thanks, Tammy. Yeah, I have to learn to stop buying into the hype machine.

  5. Oh I liked this one a lot. And I totally didn't see any of it coming lol. But yes it was long!!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it Grace! Maybe if it had been trimmed down my review wouldn't be quite so grumpy. But who knows, lol.

  6. It sure has the right ingredients for me. I'm curious about it. And sorry it was a bit disappointing for you:)

    1. I hope you find yourself a copy and enjoy it Laura :)

  7. So I'm giving him one more chance but if this is a bomb for me, and it sounds like it might be, I doubt I pick anything else up. So many loved Final Girl and I didn't. I guess I just don't understand the hype.

    1. lol, I sometimes fear I have divergent tastes to most of society. I hope you enjoy it when you get to read it.

  8. I've heard pretty mixed things about the author's work on blogs I visit. I like the camp theme but I'm just not sure it'll be for me!

  9. Aw darn! I was so hoping this would be a hit for you! I LOVED this one :) But I think I'm just a sucker for his writing.

    Erica | Erica Robyn Reads


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Tired of Feeling Meh

A House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher | Book Review

Suckerville by Chris Sorensen | Book Review