The Project led me in confused but left me loving the confusion

The+cover+art+for+Courtney+Summers%27+new+book+The+Project%2C+taken+from+Goodreads.

Goodreads

The cover art for Courtney Summers’ new book The Project, taken from Goodreads.

When I first picked up my copy of The Project by Courtney Summers, I was overwhelmed. I immediately felt like I had picked up the third book in a series or missed one episode of a show that explained the whole plot. 

The Project tells the story of Gloria “Lo” Denham and her journey to reconnect with her sister, Bea. Lo and Bea’s parents died in a tragic car accident in 2011 when Lo was in the car with her parents. When she woke up in the ICU, Lo found herself with dead parents and a sister that abandoned her to join a well-respected community organization—The Unity Project, widely viewed as a benevolent organization dedicated to the well-being of others. The Unity Project is run by a man named Lev Warren, and he is a man of many mysteries. 

A rumor has spread around the city that Lev Warren brought a girl back to life. Outsiders of The Unity Project believe the members worship him for this very reason and believe he was sent by God to spread his messages. Lev, on the other hand, believes the members don’t worship him but follow him. Because The Unity Project is seemingly formed around Christian principles, it frequently attracts new members. It all seems too good to be true, and that’s because it is.

When she woke up in the ICU, Lo found herself with dead parents and a sister that abandoned her to join a well-respected community organization—The Unity Project, widely viewed as a benevolent organization dedicated to the well-being of others.

But some community members, like Arthur Lewis, believe The Unity Project has ulterior motives. Arthur believes that Lev and The Unity Project killed his son Jeremy. At one point, Lo overhears Arthur speaking about this to her boss, Paul Tindale, at the newspaper where she works. Paul berates Arthur and causes him to leave the office. Lo doesn’t waste time in getting more information. Lo and Arthur soon form a small alliance because they both believe The Unity Project is what took their family members from them.

The Project is full of twists and turns as Lo goes to the end of the world to get her sister back. 

I am not sure I have ever been more confused yet excited by a book. The Project involves frequent time jumps, and I occasionally skipped over the year, which left me more confused than I should’ve been. The time jumps would also alternate from Bea’s perspective of her time within The Unity Project to Lo’s journey of trying to find her sister. This became very confusing when Bea was thinking of her sister after I had previously read that she had no communication with her. Soon enough, I caught on to the time changes and became less confused.

When I bought The Project, I never expected to read a book that came with so many events in only one book, rather than a series. The book takes place over the course of a few months to a year; but with so many flashbacks, it seemed much longer. There always seemed to be a new, important event happening every couple of pages. 

There were so many things happening that I could barely keep up. Lo’s life and motives changed multiple times throughout the book as she learned more about Bea in practically every conversation she had. I learned about Bea’s past along with Lo, but I also learned about some of Bea and Lo’s past from flashbacks to Bea’s perspective.

What started as an “I need a new book” conversation with my mom turned into an obsession. I deprived myself of sleep just to read more. The constant events kept my short attention span intrigued.

In the end, I am extremely happy that The Project made its way off of my to-be-read list and into my hands.