Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 911
captivating YA psychological thriller
Overall rating
Writing Style
THE PROJECT is an intense and captivating YA psychological thriller. After Lo was critically injured in the car crash that took her parents' lives, she lost her older sister, Bea, to The Unity Project. The Unity Project is a somewhat mysterious organization that recruits people to essentially do missionary work, helping those less fortunate. However, there is something sinister about it and Lev Warren, the leader, who has been compared to a cult leader.

When Lo witnesses a death linked to The Unity Project and then encounters the boy's father at her magazine offices, she decides that this may be the way to find her sister, get answers, and also breakout as a journalist. Although she has only been working as an assistant, she wants to be a writer for the news magazine where she works. When she is offered an exclusive look and interview, she knows that this may be her chance. However, The Project is not an easy one to examine from afar.

What I loved: The book is told from Bea's points-of-view in the past and Lo's in the present, and I was completely captivated by both. It takes a little time to get into the hang of who is who at first, but it was soon smoothly read. Lev and the other individuals at The Project really come charismatically to life, and it was easy to see how Bea and others could get involved with such an organization. Although it seems too good to be true on the surface, digging deeper is more difficult than you would imagine, and I loved the way the sinister feeling lurks throughout the story. This book really shows how individuals could get involved with cults and feel stuck within them as well as the manipulative manner in which they are controlled. This was quite an intense ride.

I will add warnings for dubious consent, psychological and physical abuse, and inappropriate power dynamics in relationships. This was a challenging but completely captivating read.

Final verdict: Masterfully woven and highly compelling, THE PROJECT is a YA psychological thriller that will leave the reader guessing and second guessing until the end. This is an unputdownable book in the vein of SADIE, THEY WISH THEY WERE US, and I KILLED ZOE SPANOS.
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