An Unexpected Gem | Review: The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

3:38 PM

I went into The Authenticity Project expecting to love it. But, I totally underestimated how much I'd really love it.

by Clare Pooley

The story of a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love

Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes that most people aren't really honest with each other. But what if they were? And so he writes--in a plain, green journal--the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café. It's run by the incredibly tidy and efficient Monica, who furtively adds her own entry and leaves the book in the wine bar across the street. Before long, the others who find the green notebook add the truths about their own deepest selves--and soon find each other In Real Life at Monica's Café.

The Authenticity Project's cast of characters--including Hazard, the charming addict who makes a vow to get sober; Alice, the fabulous mommy Instagrammer whose real life is a lot less perfect than it looks online; and their other new friends--is by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life. It's a story about being brave and putting your real self forward--and finding out that it's not as scary as it seems. In fact, it looks a lot like happiness.

The Authenticity Project is just the tonic for our times that readers are clamoring for--and one they will take to their hearts and read with unabashed pleasure.

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)     
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

It's ALWAYS a pleasant surprise going into a book with some expectations and then the book exceeds said expectations. There's something about The Authenticity Project that charmed the heck out of me. Reading it was very enjoyable and an absolutely wonderful way to wind down this week. Further, it was just plain inspirational. Clare Pooley really hit the spot when it comes to a story that I needed--sometimes, we need fiction to remind us to live our lives and this definitely sparked something within me for that reason.

The Authenticity Project felt like a revitalization to my own mind. It was very much like a new take on the idea behind Post Secret. (Anybody remember those?) In other words: I genuinely loved this story and the message behind it. Live. Your. Life. Authentically.

After-all, we all know we only have one life. Yet, sometimes, it feels like this fact gets lost in a sea of our own thoughts. When I'd decided to read The Authenticity Project I had expected it to be one of those novels that was a great one-time read, filled with cuteness and easy-going storylines that leave an impression. This wasn't the case: The Authenticity Project feels much larger than that and I've got the feeling I'll be revisiting this one in the near-future.

My emotions were already on high when I finally got around to reading this. It was a couple of days after my birthday. I'd just found out that someone I knew in high school was very, very ill and it struck me fairly hard. (As life often does.) Something about The Authenticity Project felt very on-time with my current mood, and the slip of anxiety that kind of hit me suddenly, and definitely served as a reminder.

Ultimately, I went into this novel not knowing how much it would give me a mood boost. Pooley was quick to capture my heart with her magnetic, sweet, and honest, prose. The Authenticity Project was a wonderfully bright spot and truly hit all the right marks for me. It reminded me of many things, and it was just a beautiful read.

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