Title: The Project
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication date: February 2nd, 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.
I find cults fascinating, so if you also find cults fascinating – read this book.
Lo has been searching for her sister, Bea, for years after she joined The Unity Project. On the outside, the organization looks to be the largest, faith driven, philanthropic organization in the world – looking to help others and provide safety. But Lo knows the truth, the leader of The Unity Project was keeping her sister from her and she would do anything to get her back. She agrees to meet with Lev in order to write an expose on his group, a positive one, in order to get access to her sister. But as she gets deeper and deeper into the project, her sense of truth and lie get more and more jumbled….
The most fascinating part of this book is trying to decide whether The Unity Project was or wasn’t a cult. Because that’s how they get you, they make is sound SO. GOOD. so that it’s hard to believe they would be doing anything nefarious in the organization. The beginning of the book through me a bit, I’m not entirely sure what Lo’s birth story had to do with the overall plot of the book. I could’ve skipped that personally.
I also felt like the pacing was off. The first half of the book goes at a steady pace, then the second half seems to flip a switch and race along. Without getting spoilery, Lo makes a decision that still seems out of character at that point – it was a bit jarring and confusing. However, the end really makes up for the middle. Like I said, if you enjoy learning about cults or reading about cults, you’ll enjoy this book.
Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!