Short Take: There’s whoa, and there’s WHOA. This is a WHOA.
(*Note: I received a free advance copy of this book for review.*)
A while back, I read and reviewed Riley Sager’s first book (Final Girls), and I wasn’t overly impressed. In fact, I was downright mean. I still stand by my opinion on that one, so it was with some trepidation that I agree to dig into The Last Time I Lied.
Emma Davis is thirteen years old when she goes to Camp Nightingale for the first time. Due to a late arrival, she is put in a cabin with three older girls: Natalie, Allison, and Vivian. At first, it’s all great fun. Although Vivian is the alpha she-wolf of the camp with a truly vicious bite, she “adopts” Emma as a sort of little sister-slash-protege for the summer, and Emma, neglected at home and far out of her depth socially, is only too happy to play along.
Of course, there are warning signs that Vivian might be toying with Emma as well, but none of that matters when Emma wakes up one morning, and all three of her bunkmates have Vanished Without A Trace.
The story is told in alternating timelines, as Emma recounts what happened that summer fifteen years ago, and also returns to the camp as an art teacher, seeking some sort of redemption, or at least some answers.
Both storylines are a lot of fun, populated by a semi-creepy rich old lady who owns the camp, her hot son, and SO MUCH teenage girl snarkiness. These girls (from both timelines) are straight savage, y’all. I would have been terrified of them as a little nerdling, but man, do they make for some great reading.
The plot is deliciously twisty, and the final revelations left me legit speechless. And anyone who knows me will be happy to tell you how rare that really is.
The Nerd’s Rating: FIVE HAPPY NEURONS (and some s’mores. Because I STILL haven’t gotten any!)