Book Review: The Project
Published: 2021, Wednesday Books
Courtney Summers's new release, The Project, explores a relationship between two sisters and a cult. Told through different points of view over converging timelines, Summers seamlessly fills in the gaps of time and space where two sisters ache for each other but are kept apart through family grief. Lo, short for Gloria, is the main character, working as an assistant to a news magazine editor who won't let her get her hands dirty enough to write a feature on the cult responsible for her older sister's disappearance.
Tenacious and curious, Lo sets out to divulge the truth about The Unity Project, but gets entangled and charmed by their leader, Lev. By the time he's ensnared Lo, her sister is gone and what she's left behind for Lo to discover is both a comfort and a nightmare.
Lo must decide for herself if she will allow herself to be veiled from the truth in exchange for a family she so desperately needs or hear the harsh reality of what her sister, and every other member of The Project has suffered.
The relationship between the two sisters is like Elsa and Anna meets Daughter of Gloriavale. Without restraint, it explores the complex relationship between women and questions our pursuit to find balance between loving support and crushing control. Written with the emotional intensity appealing to the new adult readership, this book will also capture avid YA readers, but vulgar language, mild sexual content, and reference to violence make it appropriate for an older teen audience.