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  • ★★★★★-5

Review: The Project by Courtney Summers (Spoiler-Alert)

~ Thank you to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for providing me with an early copy in exchange for an honest review! Release date: Feb 2 ~

For that brief period when everything ugly is covered under that sparkle of something so new, the world almost feels like it's living up to its potential.

This was so ugly to read but I couldn't stop. If someone came up to me and said they hated every word of this book I'd honestly almost agree with them. But for some reason, I'm giving it 5 stars?

This book definitely isn't for everyone. It's frustrating, and I quite literally screamed at my Kindle throughout most of it. Yet, I was unequivocally enthralled.

It's told in a dual POV, one about Bea who joined The Unity Project several years ago while Lo, her sister was in recovery from a bad car accident. The other POV is Lo, several years later, trying to investigate the organization that stole her sister from her.

This is a story of vulnerability, and while I never fell for it like Bea and Lo, I still found it fascinating. I've seen some criticism that readers weren't tricked into trusting Lev, but I feel like that's entirely the point. In fact, I'd be surprised to hear that anyone was tricked along with Bea and Lo! Personally, I believe this story is meant to demonstrate how people fall into schemes like this. We see Bea and Lo get abandoned by everything in their lives, so when Lev is the only thing left, of course they cling to him.

I was enraged to see Bea and Lo so easily convinced by this clearly sick individual. I highlighted and wrote notes over dozens of passages expressing endless frustration and disbelief that they couldn't see the countless red flags being presented to them, but other quotes made me understand how this happened to them.

Foster saying he didn't believe the op-ed because it claimed members were being abused, and while he was being mutilated by Lev, he didn't know that was abuse.

Lo admitting, 'I'm afraid I'll give away what's left of myself to feel less alone. I already did it once.'

As the book went on I couldn't get one question out of my head: How did we get to this point?

That's what I think this book manages to do perfectly. You get so sucked in that even when you, as the reader, know that Lev is a monster, you still can't identify when Lo's mind gets changed. It's a perfect illustration of how she can't either.

Courtney Summers truly blew me away with this one, and now I absolutely need to get more into her backlist.


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