Monday, April 5, 2021

Courtney Summers: The Project

Courtney Summers brings readers into the world of The Unity Project and one woman's mission to find her sister:

Lo feels like she has been alone most of her life. After her parents died in a car accident, her sister Bea abandoned her to go be part of the Unity Project which Lo is 100% sure is a cult. Lo has spent those years after her sister disappeared trying to contact her, just even to talk, have some sense of family, but she has never heard from Bea. When a prospect presents itself for Lo to see the inner workings of the Unity Project Lo knows she cannot pass up this chance to reunite with her sister and finally have the family that she has dreamed of. However, it's hard to reunite with someone who does not want to be found and as Lo delves deeper into the Unity Project and gets to know the leader Les even more she has more and more questions, and she can only hope that one of the answers will lead her to Bea.

This is the second book that I have read by Summers and I enjoyed that this book is completely different from Sadie. I think that the cult idea/aspect that is not written about as much in modern fiction so I very much enjoyed that Summers was going for something that not a lot of people are reading about these days. However, I did find that the book was quite slow until the last 20% of the book where things really started to pick up. I also found a few events predictable and at times the time shift was confusing.

I would not put this in the horror genre as the book is being advertised as, I would say more of a psychological mystery not even a thriller as I never felt the chills or suspense that I expect from that genre. Really what you are reading towards in the book is the whether the Unity Project is good or not. I think that is where Summers excels in this book is having you question if the Unity Project is a cult but also whether they have done anything wrong or not. One thing you can be sure of is that The Unity project seem to be there when someone is in their moment of Need, very cultish I guess?

I really enjoyed the two POV within this book however, the time frame does jump around and it not linear in Bea's POV at all. There are year gaps sometimes that go back and fourth when it is her POV and this was confusing at times. Thankfully Lo's POV was pretty steady, I think if both jumped around like that, you would lose readers really quick. With the dual POV you do get to see how similar the sisters really are, even though they did not grow up together. What I find really interesting about Lo is even though she did not grow up within The Unity Project, how naive she is about simple things in the world, from her workplace to how a car works to even what a cult is at times. There were times when I really questioned Lo's thought process as it could not all be chalked up to age.

I think where Bea ends up is really predictable, I was able to see it coming after we learn about Bea from Lo's POV, even before people start telling her that Bea does not want anything to do with Lo. I will say I did not see that ending coming, but at the same time seemed like a bit of a cop-out. I mean what actually happened there?

This was a good read as I liked the cult aspect, it was well written and I really enjoyed how the story was told, but it wasn't quite what I thought it would be and lack the overall suspense I wanted from this book. I think that her novel Sadie was better and for me personally Sadie had me on the edge of my seat throughout, as we need to find out what happened to her. I look forward to seeing what Summers comes out with next. One thing is for sure, she has a great ability for storytelling and as far as I can tell is keeping it formula free.

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