If you told me a book punched as hard as Courtney Summer’s Sadie, I would pick it up immediately, but while I enjoyed her latest book, a cult-book The Project about sisters, I didn’t find it as punch-y. I enjoyed it, sure,but the back and forth timeline wasn’t as well delineated in the ARC I was reading, and there was some character stuff I was unsure about. It’s a fine book–I’d say a 3.75 star read but it’ll be interesting to see how it does with a wider readership!
The Project (the Unity Project) is a religious group (aka: cult?) led by Lev, a enigmatic man (age unclear to me? Probably 30s?) but this story is about the different experiences two sisters–Bea and Lo–have with the group. It’s told in two different timelines, one for each sister, and jumps around a bit from the early 2000s to the 2010s to 2018. After a car crash kills their parents, and Lo almost dies with them, Bea struggles with the idea of losing her sister and instead loses herself in the Unity Project and Lev. Years later, after no contact, Lo puts on her investigative journalist hat to try and go to the Unity Project, find her sister, and get to the truth. But what happens goes a bit off course, because Lev is charming, the Project is powerful and full of secrets, and the Project escapee that Lo saw kill himself may have been trying to get a message to her she’ll wish she had gotten.
It’s very clear that this book is about the power of sisters, the power (good and bad) of religion, and draws you in to that story, but I was just a little underwhelmed compared to Sadie. I didn’t care about either Lo or Bea that much, we didn’t get to see maby normal members of the Project (just higher-ups) so I felt disjointed, and overall, I wanted more. I would have liked to see more Lo at the Unity Project and less Bea in the past being sad about missing her so that the reveal about Bea would pack a greater punch, ya know? I think this is a cool idea, it just wasn’t an outstanding read for me.
The Project is on sale everywhere February 2, 2021