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.The Project by Courtney Summers will leave you spent and reflective as you absorb all that occurred. #NewRelease #Thriller #MustRead Click To Tweet