February 3, 2021

The Project

The Project

by Courtney Summers

Published February 2, 2021
by St. Martin’s Press – Wednesday Books

Rating: 3 Stars ⭐⭐⭐

Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery

Synopsis:

Lo was in a traumatic car crash when she was 13, resulting in the death of her parents. Her sister Bea is devastated when it looks like her only surviving immediate family member may not pull through. In the chapel at the hospital, she makes a deal with God – to do whatever it takes to save Lo. When Lev Warren of The Unity Project answers Bea’s prayer and miraculously saves Lo’s life, Bea devotes her life to the Project.

Years later, Lo is angry that her sister Bea has abandoned her. After her recovery, her sister was gone, fully ingrained in The Unity Project. Lo tried to get her out, but without success.

Working as an assistant for a small magazine, Lo pitches a story to expose The Unity Project to her boss because surely her sister didn’t renounce her only sister of her own free will. But the magazine prides itself on honest, well researched stories and her boss is convinced after conducting his own research that The Unity Project is as clean as it seems and that Lev Warren is legit.

Is Lo’s hunch that The Unity Project is more of a cult than a movement to help people correct? Can she rescue her sister, or is it too late?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed the writing style and the use of the varying timelines. We follow Lo in real time as she tries to uncover malfeasance on the part of Lev and the Project. We also follow Bea’s story as she joins the Project and enters into a romantic relationship with Lev. I also really liked that this didn’t really feel like a young adult novel to me.

However, overall I found this story fairly underwhelming. I love stories about cults and the premise of this novel really intrigued me. Unfortunately, I felt like much of the drama didn’t really happen until the end and the build up was a little stale. There’s a big turning point in the novel around 80% that felt inauthentic and rushed. If it had happened earlier on, I think the story would have had a better flow.

This was definitely a good book that I generally enjoyed, but it’s not one that I would enthusiastically recommend.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books for an advanced copy of this novel.

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