Happy Pub Day to The Project by Courtney Summers! I finished this book a couple of days ago, but it was so out of the realm of my normal reading genres that it took me some time to collect my thoughts.
Speaking of, how do you guys write your reviews? I find that I tend to ramble often, especially with books I enjoy, because I feel like I cannot find adequate enough words to describe how much I appreciate the book and want others to read it!
If you have any tips on writing reviews, or even what kind of reviews you like to read (spoiler vs spoiler free, short vs long, pro vs con lists, etc.), drop them in the comments below! I’d love to hear about them.
That being said, please enjoy my constant babbling of The Project below!
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.
The Project was one hell of a ride! We follow two different timelines and two sisters, Bea and Lo. It definitely was a slow burn till the timelines converge and we are able to see how the story intertwines.
While it is considered a YA thriller, I thought it was extremely well written. I don’t think I have read a YA thriller/mystery until this point, and a book centered around a cult at that!
Though this book had more of a measured pace, I found myself glued to every page and every word of this book. I was hooked and just couldn’t get enough. The whole idea and concept of a cult is quite the morbid fascination, especially seeing how it plays out in modern day.
One of the things I found interesting in this book is that it doesn’t necessarily focus primarily on the fact that cults are terrifying, but instead, centers around individuals who are lost and trying to find their anchor in this thing we call life. These individuals are broken and are trying to find a place they feel like they can belong and call home. It is a hard and emotional read in the sense that this is something, very realistically speaking, people see their loved ones get sucked in to.
The characters were written with so much depth. At the heart of the novel is Lo and Bea- you feel their grief and love for each other as they both process the accident that changed everything. We watch as both sisters get entangled with the Unity Project in different ways and different times, and for different reasons. At the heart of the Unity Project is Lev. His character is just WOW. Courtney did such a wonderful job developing him. Understandably, he is the villain of the story; however, he has to be crafted in a way that shows how charismatic one must be to lure people into a cult and have them give up everything.
The Project is my first novel by Courtney Summers. It is stimulating and complex and just leaves you with much to think about. I am so glad I got the chance to read this! Many thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Courtney Summers for writing this bold and gripping story!
Title: The Project
Author: Courtney Summers
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
As always, Christie and I are so grateful for your support!
Thank you for taking time and stopping by our blog!
If you have read any other C. Summers books or have any other YA mystery/thriller suggestions,
let’s have a chat in the comments, because I obviously have been missing out!