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The Project

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  5,833 ratings  ·  2,070 reviews
Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died in a tragic car accident, her sister Bea joined the elusive community called The Unity Project, leaving Lo to fend for herself. Desperate not to lose the only family she has left, Lo has spent the last six years trying to reconnect with Bea, only to be met with radio silence.

When Lo’s given the perfect opportuni
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 2nd 2021 by Wednesday Books
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  5,833 ratings  ·  2,070 reviews

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May 04, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)

THE PROJECT is out now. For 13 years, you've championed my brutal narratives featuring 'unlikable' female protagonists, and when I promise to destroy you, you show up every time. You meet all my books ask of you and then, for some reason, you keep asking me for more. THE PROJECT's deliciously challenging narrative might be asking the most of you yet. Thank you for the privilege and the support and . . . #WelcometoTheProject.


THE PROJECT is available in the following editions:

From left to
Nilufer Ozmekik
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Let’s start with this hypnotizing cover that you cannot take your eyes on it: it deserves more 15 million stars, doesn’t it?

Before you start this book, I assure you this is not standard “ welcome to the world of cults and meet with the lunatics who are also worshippers of one legendary man who lost most of his marbles” kind of book. It’s not only about a cult. It’s about losing your way in your life, looking for an anchor, grieving your family but mostly finding yourself story at the most unexp

ARC provided by Wednesday Books
✨ My Review for SADIE

"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 a language only the two of them could speak."

Courtney Summers is an author who has always meant a lot to me and her stories always impact me more than I have words to write in a review. I truly believe no other author writes about the sibling experience and feelings that
Oct 23, 2020 rated it liked it
CS tweeted ‘(this is) a book that will make you reconsider everything you think you know about yourself.’ and i get that an author has to promote their own book, but i think this is taking it just a tad bit too far.

i, in fact, did not reconsider anything about myself. this did not make me reconsider anything at all. i already know cults are insane. maybe its just the skeptic in me, but i was not buying anything lev was selling at any point. never. so there werent any shocks for me, unfortunately
Lala BooksandLala
Feb 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: most-anticipated
My expectations were a little off with this one, as I prefer a bit more of a gimmick, or twists and turns throughout with the investigative mystery/thriller books I pick up. I thought the writing itself was impeccable, and will continue to read from this author without hesitation. The dialogue and scenarios felt very genuine and her ability to design characters you immediately sympathize with was inspired. I found myself feeling quite a bit of disconnect with the narration style, and the intrigu ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
"I woke to the promise of a storm."

No one is more disappointed than I am that this wasn't the 5 star winner I anticipated it to be. Courtney Summers is an incredibly talented author, and I look forward to each new book that she releases with bated breath. Perhaps I overhyped myself, or it could be that I misunderstood going in just what this novel is, but I was mostly taken aback by the fact that there isn't a mystery to solve here. There are definitely dark, suspenseful aspects to the story, an
Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)

4.5 stars

“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.”

The Project is an addictive, compelling, and emotional read about the bond between sisters and those who prey on the vulnerable.

Lo and Bea Denham have always lived by the sisterly promise they made until their parents are killed in a car accident. Bea falls into the hands of an apparent cult called The Unity Project, whereas Lo is fighting to survive. 6 years later, Lo is
daph pink ♡

Are you sure this is written by COURTNEY SUMMERS ?
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
I had to read the blurb.

Rarely do I do that until I've turned the final page of a book, but at about the 10% mark of "The Project" I found myself needing a roadmap for the narrative I was trying to navigate.

In short, this is a story about a (very) young woman trying to investigate and expose an alleged cult called The Unity Project that has alienated her from her older sister. Is it truly just an organization that brings lost souls together to help the greater humanity through charitable works
Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
When Lo Denham was just a child, she was in a car accident that killed both of her parents.

Although severely wounded, Lo pulled through, but there were lasting repercussions stemming from that horrific day. It has since shaped the course of her life.

Lo's older sister, Bea, essentially abandoned her after the accident, leaving Lo in the care of their Aunt.

Lo, understandably curious about why her sister would leave, only knows that Bea joined a mysterious group known as The Unity Project.

The Pro
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
I gotta be honest, this was... really disappointing. I was so excited to read this one after Sadie blew me out of the water, but this one really missed the mark for me. I actually read this twice, once via audio and then another time physically because I was really struggling to connect to or process the importance of things that were happening, but ultimately I came out of it both times feeling like the story was a little... undercooked? This wasn't terrible, but it didn't work for me the way I ...more
Melissa ~ Bantering Books
Be sure to visit Bantering Books to read all my latest reviews.

Flip. Flop.

That’s what my feelings for The Project did. They flipped, they flopped, and then flipped again as I read Courtney Summers’ latest Young Adult thriller.

And they flip-flopped dramatically. From like to strong dislike to really like to even love by novel’s end, albeit fleeting.

It’s a lot of flipping and flopping, I know. Stay with me. This is all heading somewhere.

Nineteen-year-old Lo Denham knows how to take care of hersel
Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it

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.

lo is nineteen, working as an executive assistant at a fledgling magazine whose founder’s mission to expose the truth at any cost is one she deeply admires and hopes to someday contribute to in a more meaningful way than fetching coffee. the truth she would most like to expose is that of the unity project; a religious group in upstate new york dedicated to social betterment th
Sumit RK
Apr 06, 2021 rated it liked it

“You wanted the truth. Or are you afraid of it now?”

The Project is a story about love and grief, about betrayal and sacrifice. It’s a story about a girl determined to save her sister at all costs.

Lo Denham is an aspiring journo. After her parent’s death in a tragic car accident, her sister Bea joins a secretive cult called The Unity Project, leaving Lo to fend for herself. Desperate not to lose the only family she has left, Lo has spent the last six years trying to reconnect with Bea, only to b
krista ☽✧
'' It's that people get so confortable in the prisons they make for themselves , they instinctively reject what will set them free....''

"If you tell a story , something real , something true , you get to be alive in other people. and writing feels like the most, the greatest chance i wil ever have at being alive. ''

This revieuw is spoiler free for major things that happen , major spoilers can be found at the end of my revieuw in the spoiler section that is marked with spoiler tags

5 freak
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
First off, I love the cover. Initially, I thought this would be a perfect horror book/novel cover, but it does fit brilliantly with this book as well. What did not fit this book was me. Were my expectations too high after reading Sadie? Perhaps. Was it me or the book? I am not sure.

After their parents died, Lo's sister, Bea joined The Unity Project, leaving Lo to be raised by their great aunt. Lo has been trying to prove for years that there is more to this group and its leader than meets the e
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
19 years old Lo is alone. After her aunt died, she has no one left in this world except for the sister she hasn’t seen in years. Shortly after the accident that killed their parents, Bea left and joined the Unity Project. She hasn’t contacted Lo since. The Project claims that Bea doesn’t want to contact Lo no matter how much she tries. Working at a renowned magazine, Lo is set to uncover the secrets of the Project and reach her sister. But the Project has a very good image and, on the surface, d ...more
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Elle by: Courtney
This should come as no surprise to anyone. I am in love with my Lord and Savior Courtney Summers. Sadie absolutely wrecked me. So when me and Natalie (@bookreadreceipts) had the chance to co-host the Mystery Book Club over on Instagram, there was really no other choice for us but The Project.

All of us on our way to join Courtney’s cult!!

Lo Denham used to have a sister, but Bea left her behind. Lo used to have parents too, but they’re gone as well. Lo used to have a family, and probably even used
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
2.5 stars

Courtney Summers is my absolute favorite author and I don’t say this lightly. But this time her signature moves weren’t there.

I was super excited for this book because a) Courtney never disappoints me, b) I have always wanted to read a book about a cult, c) I was ready to have my heart broken and to completely identify with the main character as I always do with Courtney’s girls. So yeah, imagine my frustration when none of those happened. I think the author was going for something dif
Dec 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
Throwing in the towel @ 60%.

I just can't suffer through this for one more minute. A lot of preaching and completely lacking in any suspense. Cults and religion are not my jam at all.

~ 4 stars ~

Buddy-read with Krizzie and Lucy!

“What is about to be offered to you has never been offered to anyone before.”

This book was mind-blowing and despite having read it two days ago, I still think about it because it was just one of those books.

The Project is a Young Adult mystery-thriller book that takes place in upstate New York. The Unity project -a religious group- has won over most people of upstate New York and have taken many under their wing, including Bea, Lo’s older siste
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2021-releases
☆ 4 / 5 ☆

“All I wanted was to claw my way back to my sister, but the whole time she was so surrounded by new love, she buried her old family and built a new one on top of its bones.”

This book was so unsettling and compelling, it was so hard to put down and not get sucked into it for the whole day and ignore everything else I had to do.

The Project follows the perspectives of two sisters: Bea and Lo. When she was 13 Lo was in a terrible car accident that left her scarred, traumatised, and alon
grief pours from this book like an open wound. i feel, quite frankly, emotionally flayed by the project.

my main takeaway is this: sometime between when i read sadie last year and now, i have come to deeply appreciate courtney summers’ prose.

despite all the hype, i was lukewarm about sadie. i was interested in its subject matter but somehow left wanting with the execution. with the project, things were exactly reversed. i'm no fan of cult-related storylines; they frustrate and enrage and terrify
Jessica | JustReadingJess
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I enjoyed The Project. I find books about cults fascinating especially when the reader gets inside cult member’s heads. The Project is told in present day from the perspective of Lo and the past in the perspective of Bea. I enjoyed discovering how the sisters reacted to different situations and how they felt about each other. The reader knows how Bea feels and what she is thinking before she joins The Unity Project. Her opinions change throughout the book. Lo has spent years trying to figure out ...more
“You wanted the truth. Or are you afraid of it now?”

The Project was my first Courtney Summers book but it certainly won't be my last! I have heard universal praise for her novel Sadie, so was excited to see this book was available on Netgalley. All I knew was that The Project had a focus on cults and sisters and I was in.

We follow two sisters who follow different lives, but somehow each becomes involved in some way with a religious organisation called The Unity Project, and its leader Lev Warr
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
I will come back to review this book and add TWs (a LOT of them) when I pick my jaw off the floor. But what you need to know is that THE PROJECT is haunting and morbidly fascinating.
Ugh... the weak female protagonist has returned.

Shortest Summary Ever: Lo, the victim of a serious accident that killed her parents has now lost her sister Bea to the Unity Project, a cult/religious group led by Lev Warren. She’s fought for years to uncover their deceptions so she can simply see her sister. Now Lo is working at an up-and-coming magazine, hoping to be taken seriously as a writer, when a man reveals he blames the Project for the death of his son. And Lo realizes she was a witness
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
Courtney Summers is an author who isn't afraid to write "ugly" and take risks. I wish there was more YA out there doing what she's doing. She understands that real teens don't want to be condescended to. I started reading her work when I was a teen and I've never looked back. Love her.

Also this book is about cults, so there's that.
Katie B
My expectations for this book were pretty high given how much I liked the author's previous book, Sadie. Both books involve storylines with two sisters. While Sadie was a gripping and haunting read with characters I felt invested in, this book missed the mark and was more of an average read rather than something special.

After surviving a car crash that killed her parents, Lo Denham goes to live with her aunt. Her sister, Bea, is old enough to take care of Lo, but instead joins The Unity Project
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was ok
*A few lines which I love:

"When an event this senseless happens it's natural, it's very human, to want to assign meaning and reason, even at the expense of the truth, just so we can sit with it a little easier at the end of the day."

"I don't know how to put good things back in the world, when I feel like I've been part of so much wrong with it."

🤦 Another disappointing read of 2021.

You can opt for some other book if you're looking for a book which would keep you guessing.

This one is pretty quite
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Courtney Summers is the bestselling author of several novels. Her work has been released to critical acclaim and multiple starred reviews, received numerous awards and honors--including the Edgar Award, the John Spray Mystery Award, the Cybils Award, the Odyssey Award, the Audie Award--and has enjoyed the recognition of many library, state, 'Best Of' and Readers' Choice lists. Courtney has reviewe ...more

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If you're a fan of the mystery and thriller genre and young adult books, recent months have brought a bevy of great reads to your shelves! We...
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“You wanted the truth. Or are you afraid of it now?” 6 likes
“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.” 2 likes
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