Book Reviews

Review: The Project by Courtney Summers

You know those thrillers that make you finish reading in one day? That was me and The Project. If you have been eyeing this book, make sure to keep reading my book review. There were some elements that surprised me and kept me reading all day!


“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.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: suicide, pedophilia, abuse, miscarriage, assault, torture

From the first chapter of The Project it was immediately full of suspense. This dual POV features Lo’s journey to understand The Project, as well as Bea’s experience within. While The Project is very much a thriller, part of what I enjoyed was the bonds of sisterhood. We are able to see the love, confusion, and resentment in their words. The complex bonds of sisterhood that can leave you hollow and searching. The Project immediately becomes relatable in Lo’s search for Bea. What will Lo stumble across? And where is Bea?

The Project is a book with many shifting faces. Constantly moving in your grips, it’s a story that will take you on a roller coaster. At the heart of the book is not only a story about sisterhood, but also about what we will do to be seen. How relationships begin, form on shaky or non-existent foundations. The ways in which things rarely come for free with strings trailing on the ground like wisps of smoke. When we feel seen, it feels powerful. The ways people are searching for something in other people.

Throughout The Project there were some fabulous writing twists that shocked me. It’s a deeply character driven story not in the way I mean it normally, but because the characters, their relationships, and motivations create this sense of mystery. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of action, but it’s always reinforced by a sense of, “why”. Whether it’s wanting to be chosen, trying to find a sense of control, or love.

Find The Project on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


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