ARC Review: The Project by Courtney Summers

Title: The Project

Author: Courtney Summers

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Source: e-ARC (Netgalley)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Physical abuse, emotional abuse, cults

Rating: ★★★★

Book Links:


One Sentence Synopsis

Lo Denham’s sister disappeared into The Unity Project when she was a young girl and, years later, Lo takes it upon herself to save her sister from them.

Favorite Quote

“Having a sister, mom says, is a place only the two of them will share, made of secrets they never have to say aloud – but if they did, it would be in a language only the two of them could speak. Having a sister is a promise no one but the two of you can make – and no one but the two of you can break.”

We all know that fantasy is my favorite genre. It is known. BUT my second favorite genre, and one I feel like I neglect far too much, is thrillers. Or mysteries. Or mystery thrillers! I love the darker tone, trying to figure things out as the story unfolds, and all the twists and turns! I’ve also been wanting to read something by Courtney Summers ever since I heard about Sadie, so when this book pop up as a Read Now on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance to snag it!

The Project follows two sisters, Lo and Bea. After a tragic accident that kills their parents and leaves Lo fighting for her life, Bea is begging for a miracle. Then a miracle walks into the hospital room in the form of the charismatic leader of The Unity Project. Bea credits him with bringing her sister back and, to show her thanks, she throws her lot in with this band of do-gooders. But flash forward a number of years and Bea has disappeared into the depths of the Project and Lo, now an adult herself, is determined to save her from what she thinks is a pretty obvious cult. But how can you save someone who refuses to even speak to you on the phone?

This book was everything I love about thrillers! The tone was beautifully dark in a subtle, yet pervasive way. It had me questioning so many things as I was reading and the twists were incredible! I did see where we were going with the story, but I still ended up loving every twist we were given. I love when an author can do that! I think my favorite thing, though, was watching the dynamic between Lo and Bea. They are completely estranged and, yet, you still can get such a strong sense of their relationship and I do love a book with an intriguing sibling dynamic.

I will say, I was a little thrown off by the shifting timelines. Not that they were confusing. No, it was because I would be so invested in what was happening in one timeline and then BAM we were in the other one! Then I’d get invested in that one and BOOM timeline shift! I guess it’s a great thing that both were so compelling, but it was still a bit jarring.

Final thoughts: This was a well-plotted thriller that kept you guessing throughout the story! The tone is perfectly tense and will keep you on the edge of your seat. This is told in two separate timelines and the shifts between them can be a bit jarring, but they are both so intriguing that you’ll be sucked in no matter which timeline you’re reading. If you enjoy your thrillers with a lot of questions, great twists, and a dark feel, I think you’d enjoy The Project!


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