The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
Reviewed by Minda!!
What M drank prior: A bacon-infused Bloody Mary, Two 20oz mugs of rosé cider, and one daiquiri—went with the flow for Sunday Funday.
Spoiler-free Overview: The book follows this woman Emma who is sort of stuck in the past on a traumatic thing that happened to her at summer camp—namely her three bunkmates disappeared and were never found with an intricate web of secrets surrounding the disappearance. For some reason, she’s invited back to the camp 15 years later as a camp instructor and she hopes to unravel the mystery behind her “friends’” disappearance.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: This book was so addicting I breezed through it. Definitely kept me on the edge of seat—like any good mystery/thriller should. Some of it kind of seemed like super coincidental and bad decision making, but it all moved the story forward in a good way and I thought the ending twist(s) were great.
Characters: Now that I’m thinking about it, there are no characters that I really loved because they all had some sort of arrested development, but it all made sense for the story, ya know? We spent a lot of time learning about Vivian, though I couldn’t quite understand why except it’s a 12 yo perspective. I thought Natalie and Allison weren’t very fleshed out, though that made sense as the story unfolded. I found Emma frustrating but I think she was supposed to be. The whole Harris-White clan seemed to have something off about them. I guess I really liked Em’s bff, but he wasn’t featured all that much.
Plot: like I said above, we’re following Emma, the only survivor from her bunk at summer camp 15 years ago. She’s now an artist who only paints the three girls then covers them up over and over again. To get past her rut and/or coincidently, she runs into the former camp director who informs her that she will be reopening the camp and Hey Emma, wouldn’t it be so great if you came back, too? Yeahhhh.
So anyways, for some bizarre reason, the camp is reopened 15 years later and E is invited back as an instructor of art—which btw she really isn’t qualified for and why the fuck would this be a thing that was offered/accepted, but whatever, story. She back onsite IN THE SAME CABIN with three young girls—were talking like 12— who she treats like peers. Ugh creepy and weird. Things happen and more mysteries and questions and answers come to light until it all comes to a head.
One of those mysteries involves this older guy she was into when she was at the camp at age 12 who also happened to be camp dorector’s son and who she accused of killing the three girls back then.
***Spoilers!!! Skip if you’re going to read (or don’t, still not your mom)***
First, I was blown away when it first came out that the three current young girl bunkmates we’re missing and I was like wait, what? Is this girl off her rocker? But no, it actually happened.
Once Theo showed up at the scene and it seemed like him, I was like damn that’s a let down. Then the whole thing happened with Chet and I started freaking tf out. It tied into a bow a little too nicely that he took her to the scene of the crime with the originalngirls, but I was like ok fine.
Then Omgomgomg crazy that it turned out Vivian killed Natalie and Allison! Did not see that coming. Real fucked up. Then she showed up at the art show!? Amazing ending with E being done with all the lies and viv.
Also, side note, was I the only one that found her relationship with Theo super gross? On multiple levels with the age difference and the fact that they are still both so ducked (thx autocorrect) up from the incident.
Rating: 4/5 shots.
Drink pairing: Redbull vodka. It’s addicting and kept me up all night reading, filled with adrenaline, and a tad juvenile.
Cheers until next time!