"In this compelling and absorbing YA novel, two sisters make the most painful of choices based on their love for one another."—Shelf Awareness
From Courtney Summers, the New York Times bestselling author of the 2019 Edgar Award Winner and breakout hit Sadie, comes a sensational follow-up—another pulls-no-punches thriller about an aspiring young journalist determined to save her sister from a cult.
"The Unity Project saved my life."
Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died, Lo's sister, Bea, joined The Unity Project, leaving Lo in the care of their great aunt. Thanks to its extensive charitable work and community outreach, The Unity Project has won the hearts and minds of most in the Upstate New York region, but Lo knows there's more to the group than meets the eye. She's spent the last six years of her life trying—and failing—to prove it.
"The Unity Project murdered my son."
When a man shows up at the magazine Lo works for claiming The Unity Project killed his son, Lo sees the perfect opportunity to expose the group and reunite with Bea once and for all. When her investigation puts her in the direct path of its charismatic and mysterious leader, Lev Warren, he proposes a deal: if she can prove the worst of her suspicions about The Unity Project, she may expose them. If she can't, she must finally leave them alone.
But as Lo delves deeper into The Project, the lives of its members, and spends more time with Lev, it upends everything she thought she knew about her sister, herself, cults, and the world around her—to the point she can no longer tell what's real or true. Lo never thought she could afford to believe in Lev Warren . . . but now she doesn't know if she can afford not to.
Welcome to The Unity Project.
"This book is brave and raw and exciting and wise--wise about girls and women, weakness and strength, and the bittersweet beauty of being human."—Melissa Albert, New York Times bestselling author of The Hazel Wood Series
"This is a beautifully-written, compelling book about the lengths to which someone will go in order not to lose their sense of belonging. It’s full of twists and turns, keeping its readers guessing until the very end. The characterization is masterfully done and so empathetic that the reader will find it almost impossible not to sympathize with the characters even if they are seemingly going down the wrong path. It’s a tour de force, unflinchingly posing uncomfortable questions and forcing its readers to dig deep into themselves in order to find the answers."—The Nerd Daily
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This thriller reminds us that the scariest cults of all are those that don’t look like cults. Six years ago, the Denham sisters lost their parents in a terrible accident. Scarred and traumatized, 13-year-old Lo stayed with an aunt while 19-year-old Bea threw herself into an idealistic community organization called the Unity Project. Now an adult, Lo has come to suspect that the charismatic leader of that widely respected group may have a sinister—or even murderous—ulterior motive. Courtney Summers’ breathless thriller uses dual timelines (one in the present and one that starts soon after the accident) to smartly illustrate the sisters’ diverging paths and the horrifying, step-by-step process of Bea becoming a true believer. Fast-paced enough to devour in a single night, The Project is a deliciously creepy and unsettling read.
Nineteen-year-old Lo Denham's name isn't short for lonely, but it could be: after her parents died in a car accident that scarred Lo and left her near death, her adored older sister Bea joined the Unity Project, an insular Upstate New York religious group that's constantly fighting accusations of culthood. Lo longs to be a writer, but though she's landed a job at a Vice-like magazine, also upstate, she's stuck as its editor's assistant. When she witnesses a suicide that turns out to have links to the Unity Project, she embarks on an investigation of the secretive, seemingly well-meaning group and her sister's whereabouts. By turns driven, vulnerable, and impulsive, Lo gets closer and closer to the Project's charismatic, damaged leader, risking everything to find the truth. Alternating Lo and Bea's viewpoints and moving around in time, Summers (Sadie) makes effective use of each character's limited knowledge, creating a twisty plot that's full of hooks. Ages 13 up. \n