“Everything is a game, Em. Whether you know it or not. Which means that sometimes a lie is more than just a lie. Sometimes it’s the only way to win.”
Riley Sager is becoming one of my favorite thriller novelists. Last year, I absolutely devoured his debut thriller, FINAL GIRLS, and when I saw he was coming out with a new novel, I knew I had to get my hands on it—which makes me even more excited to be included on the blog tour for THE LAST TIME I LIED. Folks, I loved FINAL GIRLS, but I thiiiiiink I might have loved this even more.
Read on for a spoiler-free review AND a giveaway below.
“Two truths and lie, ladies. I’ll start.”
The 411: At 13, Emma Davis is sent to Camp Nightingale aka Camp Rich Bitch for the summer. She’s assigned to the Dogwood cabin and is taken in by her cabin-mates, Natalie, Allison, and most importantly, Queen Bee Vivian Hawthorne. Vivian’s favorite game is “two truths and lie” and over the course of the summer, the girls use it to gang up and humiliate each other. The games end, however, when the other three girls go missing one night. As the last person to see the girls, Emma accuses the camp director’s son, Theo, as the culprit.
Fast-forward 15 years and Emma is a hot up-and-comer on the NYC art scene, where she creates lush paintings of forests, (and unknowingly to everyone else) hides three girls in flowy, white dresses. At an art show, Emma is approached by Franny Harris-White, the former director of Camp Nightingale, with the news that she is reopening the camp and wants Emma to return as staff.
Emma returns to Camp Nightingale in the hopes of finally uncovering what happened to her friends, and to face the Harris-White family, who she tore apart with her accusation.
Ok, friends. There were so many swerves in this book that my motion sickness-prone ass was metaphorically spinning by the end. And let me clarify, these were all the good kind of swerves. Here’s the mandatory disclaimer that I am horrible at figuring out twists in books—so it’s no surprise that the ending threw me for a hell of a loop. But it’s an ending that makes sense and is completely satisfying.
Now, the Unreliable Female Narrator is a super common plot line these days and while I do enjoy this trope, I am seriously tired of the is-she-or-isn’t-she-going-“insane” trope. And honestly, I was a little worried that’s where this book was heading at first. Mental illness is involved, but is maaaaaybe mentioned 10 sentences at most. It’s also not often where I enjoy books without some kind of romantic aspect. I don’t need a relaysh to root for, but it definitely helps me feel more invested.
MY RATING: ✰✰✰✰1/2
RECOMMENDED READING: Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier, Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst
Also, this book is a July pick for Book for the Month club! If you have a subscription, you should definitely add this to your box and if you don’t—you can grab one here.
If you’re still here, I’m going to assume you’re here for the freebie (I’m not cocky enough to assume you’ve kept scrolling for my incomparable wit). Dutton is being amazing and offering up 20 hardcovers of THE LAST TIME I LIED for all the blogs on the tour. To get your own copy of the summer’s hottest thriller, here’s what you need to do:
Follow me on Twitter @katekrug
Reply to this tweet and play my game of Two Truths and a Lie. PS if you get it right—you’ll get an extra entry 🙂
Do this by 11:59 p.m. on 7/19 and I’ll announce the winner on the 20th.
US/Canada only. Winners can only be chosen once per tour (so if you win on another blog, you’ll be disqualified).
Thank you so much to Fantastic Flying Book Club for including me on the tour and to Dutton for my galley. Check out all the other stops on the blog tour here.