Book Review | The Project by Courtney Summers

The Unity Project saved my life.”

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.

“The Unity Project murdered my son.”

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 charismatic and mysterious leader, Lev Warren, he proposes a deal: if she can prove the worst of her suspicions about The Unity Project, she may expose them. If she can’t, she must finally leave them alone.

But as Lo delves deeper into The Project, the lives of its members, and spends more time with Lev, 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.

Welcome to The Unity Project.

Goodreads Rating: ☀️☀️☀️☀️

The Project by Cortney Summers is a compelling look at what drives people to join a cult and stay even after they realize what it is.

What I Liked

I liked the many relevant themes that wound their way throughout the story providing an authentic feel. They all work together to tell the tale of two sisters whose lives drastically change the day a devastating accident occurred – themes of sacrifice, grief, loss, forgiveness, and love, as well as the all-important theme of the need to belong to something much bigger than ourselves. The story is rich with emotion, devastating in its truths, and insightful with its look into the human mind.

The crafting of the characters is so divine that their vulnerability and need shine through in a way that makes them sympathetic, even when you want to shake reality back into their minds. The complexities and the layers upon layers of those complexities are just mind-blowing. Lo and Bea share the spotlight though Lo is the one telling us the tale, and she does so in such a stark, matter-of-fact manner that it is easy to forget this is a fictional story.

The story Lo tells was in 2018, and the rest of the story in this dual timeline tale is set between the accident and a year prior. The dual timeline is essential to the story but could be discombobulating to read, especially at first. Yet, it’s hard to fault it as it allows the telling of the complete tale.

To Read or Not to Read

If you love exploring how the mind works and why people join cults, this is the perfect book for you and will draw you in from the first page and keep you there well after the last page.

20 Replies to “Book Review | The Project by Courtney Summers”

  1. This sounds intriguing. Thank you for the review, I’ll have to check this out.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not really my thing, though your words make it quite compelling… Great review

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, it’s definitely not for everyone. I’m still not sure if it was my thing or not but still it’s very interesting.


  3. Oh! this one sounds right up my street. Great review and I’ve added to the tbr!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I didn’t read Sadie, yet, but I heard only good things. Being an only child, I think I am attracted to sibling stories, especially the dysfunctional ones. Why, IDK, but I enjoyed The Project!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Project is a very interesting look at sisters, isn’t it? I felt for them, going through so much at such a young age. ❤️


  5. I normally don’t like books that deal with cults, but this one sounds pretty intriguing, and I’ve heard good things about it. I’m going to have to explore further…when I can surface from my TBR, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

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