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The Project 
By Courtney Summers

​​The Project is a compelling and riveting reading experience.  It’s a story of sisterhood, but it’s so much more than that.  It’s emotional, gut wrenching, and utterly heartbreaking.  This author slowly, quietly, and effectively ripped my heart out with every turn of the page.

Bea and Lo’s lives were forever changed by the horrendous car accident that claimed their parents’ lives and left Lo hanging on for dear life.  As their mother always reinforced, sisters share a sacred bond, and losing her parents and seeing her sister wounded was almost more than Bea could bear.  She felt lost, alone, bereft, helpless…and in walked Lev Warren, the leader of The Unity Project, to make his pitch and save the day.

This may sound a bit odd, but I’ve always had a fascination with cults.  They cater to the most vulnerable, lonely, frightened, lost souls and offer them the promise of family and community.  In The Unity Project, they offered all of this as well as redemption.

Lo, an aspiring journalist, was lonely, angry, afraid, and in the shadow of the accident that had left her maimed and orphaned.  She didn’t only lose her parents; she also lost her beloved Bea, and she would stop at nothing to get her back.  Lo was on a mission to get to Bea and expose The Unity Project for what it truly was.

Lev Warren was everything that one would expect from a cult leader.  He was charismatic, convincing, warm, welcoming, committed to doing God’s work and making the world a better place.  He preyed on the vulnerable, offering redemption to anyone who wished to join in his life’s work.  He was, after all, God’s chosen Redeemer.  How could you blame people for falling for Lev’s promises?  They needed to believe in something, to feel worthy, and Lev filled the void.

After several attempts and failures to go to The Unity Project’s property to confront Lev and find Bea, Lo finally got the opportunity to go and interview Lev.  Her investigation brought her into the fold of the organization and its members, however, it also put her in the direct pull of Lev’s magnetism and made her question whether she could have been wrong about The Unity Project all along.

The story jumps back and forth to different years in the sisters’ lives, giving the reader a window into how everything transpired.  This style worked well for this story, allowing me to get to know the characters better, to understand them and their motivations, and to feel the emotions right along with each of them.

The Project had my pulse racing and my suspicious nature on high alert.  It is an intriguing, fast-paced, thrilling story that had me holding my breath in anticipation. 

*4.5 Stars


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