Title: The Project
Author: Courtney Summers
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: February 2, 2021
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.
Lo Denham’s parents died in a car crash that left her with a large scar on her face. Her aunt took care of her after her older sister, Bea, joined The Unity Project. The Unity Project is a group known for their charity work and community outreach. Lo hasn’t spoken to her sister in six years, and she is sure that The Unity Project is a cult. When her boss’s friend claims that The Unity Project killed his son who jumped in front of a train in front of Lo, she knows she has to investigate The Project. Her research leads her right to the founder Lev Warren, who makes Lo question her own beliefs.
This story had dual narratives. Lo told her first person perspective, which alternated with a third person narrative about Bea and her years in the cult when she didn’t speak to her sister. The two sisters had been through a lot together, with losing their parents and Lo having a life altering injury from the car crash. However, Lev was able to convince Bea that the cult would be better for her than her sister.
Lev and The Unity Project were very convincing. There were accusations of abuse within the group, which prompted Lo to investigate The Project and find her sister. Lo was slowly drawn into the cult as well. The things they told her were quite convincing, but when you look at what they left out, they looked very suspicious. I could see the ending coming, but like other Courtney Summers’s books, it was heartbreaking.
This is a great, slow burn thriller.
Thank you Wednesday Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams
The Grey Sisters by Jo Treggiari
Have you read The Project? What did you think of it?