Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking those links, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you.The Project by Courtney Summers
Published by Wednesday Books on February 2, 2021
Genres: New Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Suspense
Format: eBook (339 pages)
Purchase: Amazon • IndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads • Bookhype
Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died, Lo's sister, Bea, joined The Unity Project, leaving Lo in the care of their great aunt. Thanks to its extensive charitable work and community outreach, The Unity Project has won the hearts and minds of most in the Upstate New York region, but Lo knows there's more to the group than meets the eye. She's spent the last six years of her life trying—and failing—to prove it.
When a man shows up at the magazine Lo works for claiming The Unity Project killed his son, Lo sees the perfect opportunity to expose the group and reunite with Bea once and for all. When her investigation puts her in the direct path of its leader, Lev Warren and as Lo delves deeper into The Project, the lives of its members it upends everything she thought she knew about her sister, herself, cults, and the world around her—to the point she can no longer tell what's real or true. Lo never thought she could afford to believe in Lev Warren . . . but now she doesn't know if she can afford not to.
Proceed With Caution:
This book contains cults, religious extremism, trauma, grief, death, murder, suicide, abuse, and brain washing.
The Project follows nineteen-year-old Lo as she investigates the death of a young man who was in the same cult as her sister. She plans to expose this group but what she wants most is the truth.
The Project is being marketed as Young Adult, but I’m going to have to shelf it as New Adult. Lo is nineteen, she’s out of school, she’s building a career and a life for herself. These are new adult or even adult issues. The content is also very mature, and all of the characters are adults. The secondary POV is Lo’s sister, Bea, and covers her from nineteen to twenty-five. Just be aware of that if you were looking for a YA Thriller about cults. This is not that.
I knew I had to read The Project because I am fascinated by cults and fanatical religious groups. A car accident killed Lo and Bea’s parents six years, nearly killing Lo as well. But Bea meets Lev, a man who claims to speak with God and the founder of The Unity Project. He seemingly brings her sister back from the brink of death and in her desperate state, Bea clings to him and disappears from Lo’s life. Now Lo witnesses the death of a young man who seemed to know her and was connected to The Unity Project, meaning he must have known her sister. And Lo is determined to find out what really happened.
The Project was really interesting. Lo works for a magazine and is hoping that this story she’s working on will earn her first byline. However, the more time she spends with Lev the more gets pulled in. I was pulled in by Lev too! He seems extremely reasonable and like he really does just want to do good in the world. He isn’t holding anyone against their will. He isn’t taking more than anyone is willing to give. But isn’t that how they all start? Everything he says sounds “right” but I knew something must have been lingering under the surface.
Unfortunately, The Project lost me a bit by the end. It was very rushed. Lo was getting deep into The Unity Project. She was uncovering secrets left and right, and then it all starts crumbling around her. Then…it’s over. A major event happens, but we’re told in the epilogue. How did it happen? What happened afterward? What really happened to Bea? I’m left with more questions than answers. I didn’t expect everything to be neatly tied up with a bow, but the ending was abrupt.