by Courtney Summers
Genres: Psychological Thriller
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
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.
Courtney Summers has long been a favorite here at Caffeinated Reviewer, from her zombie dystopias to her mystery thrillers. Her newest novel The Project introduces us to an aspiring journalist as she searches for her sister within a cult.
Summers shares multiple perspectives as we learn about two siblings, the power of love, and the deceptions of a charismatic cult leader.
We meet Lo at nineteen. She works as an assistant at a local newspaper and hasn’t heard from her sister since the accident that left their parents dead and Lo scarred. A young man’s dying message propels Lo into the world of the Unity Project as she searches for her sister Bea.
The tale that unfolds shares both past and present. Chapters are defined by a year. While the story takes us into the cult and lets us see its dynamics, the author also highlighted each sister’s need for acceptance and belonging.
Summers’ digs into family bonds, dysfunctional families, and the trappings of cult life. At times the story is painful and dark. These characters bare their soul as they hope for redemption, seek worth and desperately want to belong.
As the reader, my emotions ranged from deep sympathy to outrage and anger. Summers allows the reader to slip in and become a part of the story and understand both Lo and Bea’s hearts. She gave voice to secondary characters who added depth and understanding to events.
The publishers have marketed this as a young adult novel, but like Sadie, it falls towards the older spectrum and perhaps belongs in the adult section.
The Project will leave you spent and reflective as you absorb all that occurred. It isn’t a story you will easily forget.
This sounds like a good book, cant wait to read!
Tyler H. Jolley
I am here for this. And interestingly, experts claim that with all the unrest there’s likely to be a surge in cults–much like in the late 1970s. This book hit at the right time! Great review, Kimba!
Sounds like a great read and I love the cover.
You have me curious. I have never read this author before. It would seem I need to rectify that by adding this book to my shelf. Great review.
The Unity Project sounds like an ominous group.
Can you believe I’ve never actually read a book by Courtney Summers! This sounds like one I’d enjoy listening to on audio.
Great review, I love the little symbols you use to describe contents of the book. 🙂
I can’t wait to read this one!! I’m so glad you liked it. I’ve read a couple books by Summers so far and loved them.
I’ve only read her zombie novel, but this one sounds too good to pass up.
Thanks for sharing!
Maureen @ Maureen's Books
This sounds like an interesting read Kimberly. I love it when an author manages to make you feel all the emotions the characters are feeling.
The cover is really different and the story looks interesting so I woul be curious to try
I’m excited about this one. I’ve liked what I’ve read of Coutney Summers so far and this sounds chilling and fascinating. Sounds like it really stirs the emotions too.
Oh thank you by the way for including my post on your Sunday Post! I’ve been terrible at replying to comments lately but wanted to say thank you!!!