“Although their eventual fate remains a mystery, I’m certain that what happened to those girls is all my fault.”
One of my favorite books is coming out in paperback in April, so I figured it was a good time to post a review of the book! Take a look at one of my favorite mystery, thriller summer books from 2018 as you get ready for Riley Sager’s new book, Lock Every Door!
The Last Time I Lied
By Riley Sager
Published: July 2018
Paperback Publishing Date: April 2, 2019
Read Date: July 2018
Genre: mystery, thriller
Rating: 5/5 Moose
Page Count: 384 Pages
Emma Davis – the main character and only girl in her cabin to not disappear that night at camp all those years ago
Harris-White Family – the family that owns the camp and the grounds around it. Emma also accused the eldest son of the family of hurting the missing girls.
Vivian Hawthorne – the leader of the cabin. Older than Emma, but willing to take her under her wing. One of the missing girls.
5 stars for that ending.
I read Riley Sager’s first book, Final Girls, and enjoyed it quite a bit. That being said, this one is definitely a better book! I am loving the feel of a 1970’s-1990’s horror movie in book format. The book discusses the disappearance of three girls from summer camp fifteen years ago and how it affects the surviving cabin member – Emma Davis. And fifteen years later she is going back to get some closure.
This book drags in some places – an understandable drag to give the feel of whether or not Emma is actually having a breakdown or if what she is going through is real. The twists and turns are small until the end which was massive up until the last word.
It’s a good beach read if you are like me and don’t prefer “chick lit books” all the time. Summer for me is for slasher movies and good mysteries – mysteries that don’t have “Girl” in the title.
Thoughts One Year Later:
I have to admit, this book still resonates with me even after all this time. The book is told in the present day times – when Emma is in her twenties and an artist in New York City. Emma is dealing with some almost PTSD symptoms even years later, after her bunk mates have disappeared from camp. It’s all she can paint – forest scenery over dead girls.
The correlations between the girls who disappeared years ago and the girls Emma is responsible for in the re-opened camp shows how much teenage girls have changed for both the good and bad over the years. In some ways teen girls have less of a clique mean girl vibe, though of course other problems have raised over the years. Either way, Emma both realizing these girls are the same as her missing bunk mates, but also struggles to separate herself and her issues from the girls.
As for Emma as a narrator, I overall love the feel of trying to decide if she’s going slowly mad or not. This isn’t an unreliable narrator in the sense of Gone Girl, or any book that has tried that twist, but rather a genuine, keep you on the edge of your seat as you wonder:
- What is Emma not telling people?
- What is Emma not admitting to herself?
- What does Emma genuinely not realize about herself?
- What does Emma not get about what’s going on?
In the end, I still highly recommend this book. It is a great “sophomore” book, as it definitely improves on what was good in Final Girls. My totally justified feeling about summer camps is something I can pinpoint in this book, as well as the nostalgic feeling about being a teen girl and wanting to tell urban legends and ghost stories around a camp fire. The only reason I didn’t immediately sit down to reread this book for its paperback release is because I have too many books on my plate already. But I definitely have it and Final Girls scheduled in for when Lock Every Door is released.
Also, can we just talk about that cover? I can’t look at it too closely because of how haunting it is, but it blends so well with his last book’s cover while also capturing the dark art Emma paints in the book. I love it just so much, and am so glad the paperback book isn’t changing it up!