The Authenticity Project

The Authenticity Project

"A story about a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love--think Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine meets Love, Actually. "Everybody lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth?" This is the question that Julian Jessop, an eccentric, seventy-nine-year-old artist, poses within a pale...

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Title:The Authenticity Project
Author:Clare Pooley
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Authenticity Project Reviews

  • Susan

    This book was absolutely charming. Each character has their story to tell and their own authentic selves to share which they do through a notebook. Each time a story is told the notebook is then left for someone else to find and because people are essentially good, each new person feels like they should help the person before. This results in a chain of good deeds that brings them together and changes their lives. Each new writer propels the plot forward as they read the previous stories and

    This book was absolutely charming. Each character has their story to tell and their own authentic selves to share which they do through a notebook. Each time a story is told the notebook is then left for someone else to find and because people are essentially good, each new person feels like they should help the person before. This results in a chain of good deeds that brings them together and changes their lives. Each new writer propels the plot forward as they read the previous stories and take action. There are a lot of characters but they are all so different that it was never confusing, even when their stories all connect. I quickly grew attached to many of them and even characters I didn’t particularly like at first grew on me as I got to know them.

    Things can't be all sunshine and puppies though so you know conflict and drama are coming to tear it all apart. I was a bit sad to see the friendships built in the first part of the book break down. You would think that with everyone baring their souls in the notebook that they wouldn’t be hiding too many secrets from each other but this is absolutely what happens and anguish ensues. In the end everyone has some sort of a conclusion to their story and it is for the most part positive and happy, but also bittersweet. I became emotionally attached to these characters and I admit I was a bit teary.

    This is a story with a great big heart and a lot of humour. It’s a feel good read that will make you wonder about the stories of those around you and maybe encourage a little more kindness and understanding as everyone has their own authentic selves hidden inside and it may not be the image you see.

    Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and Viking for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.

  • Fictionophile

    To read my entire review of this novel visit:

    This story affirms how we all think that the grass is greener that everyone elses lives are better than our own and how very misleading appearances can be. Also, how, by telling the bald truth, several disparate and flawed characters come together in friendship. A feel-good read that confirms that happiness is possible but it sometimes requires more effort than a lot of people are willing to expend. Or

    To read my entire review of this novel visit:

    This story affirms how we all think that the grass is greener – that everyone else’s lives are better than our own – and how very misleading appearances can be. Also, how, by telling the bald truth, several disparate and flawed characters come together in friendship. A ‘feel-good’ read that confirms that happiness is possible but it sometimes requires more effort than a lot of people are willing to expend. Or sometimes perhaps, it is just ‘kismet’.

    This might seem like a light story, but it has several important messages. Didactic fiction wrapped up in empathy and humour, this is a story about hopes, dreams, addictions, parenthood, social media, friendship, and community.

    I loved these characters and this story. With astounding clarity and transparency, Clare Pooley has written her own truth via a fictional story that will be sure to touch the hearts of its readers. Highly recommended!

  • ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ

    I couldnt put The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley down this weekend. I was completely drawn to the idea of strangers meeting, and becoming friends, via a notebook. It was such an interesting concept and I loved reading the authors take on it. I will admit, I was slightly worried this would be a bit saccharine based on the synopsis, but I still wanted to give the novel a chance. As the book gets rolling, I was still unsure of

    I couldn’t put The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley down this weekend. I was completely drawn to the idea of strangers meeting, and becoming friends, via a notebook. It was such an interesting concept and I loved reading the author’s take on it. I will admit, I was slightly worried this would be a bit saccharine based on the synopsis, but I still wanted to give the novel a chance. As the book gets rolling, I was still unsure of how things would progress. The story kept me glued to the pages practically all day Saturday and early Sunday, just to answer the question, “Will they or won't they?”

    Instead, as I became more immersed in the story, I found it wasn’t the kind of novel I was expecting at all. Clare Pooley’s writing and storytelling created a unique experience for me. I was hanging on every word, waiting for a big moment, dying to see how a few secondary characters’ perspectives would come into play. I was worried the ending might be anticlimactic after what felt like an hours-long drum-roll. Then BAM! Everything I’d been waiting for suddenly made sense in a true mix of magic and misery. I was crossing my fingers and toes for the characters, hoping things could be resolved in the best possible way.

    I truly appreciated everything Clare Pooley did with this novel. It covered the romance aspect in a way that was both believable and intriguing, almost making the whole story feel like true life. I loved the dynamics of Julian, our main character’s marriage, with his wife, Mary. It felt like a realistic picture of what marriage is like, rather than a fluffy or deeply depressing depiction as we see in many novels. It towed the in-between, showing the ups and downs couples face in real life.

    I loved how the author showed the life of addicts, new mom's, singleton's and seniors in a different light, they are real people living real hard lives...no matter what they show to the outside world. In the end, this story moved me tears and makes my heart flutter thinking about it now. It wasn’t the perfect read I was expecting, but it was definitely a story I was glad to get lost in. I will certainly be reading more of Clare Pooley’s books in the future as this was a rare five star read.

    #TheAuthenticityProject #NetGalley

  • Susan's Reviews

    What a quaint story, but beware: things are a not always as they seem! I liked the interesting plot twist with Julian. He got his comeuppance for his philandering and selfish ways, but also a second chance at life - redemption is probably a better word for this part of the story line.

    The narrative meandered a bit, and I wondered whether the author was playing at misdirection, like a magician, but I could also foresee the potential ending of this story right in the first few chapters, so I

    What a quaint story, but beware: things are a not always as they seem! I liked the interesting plot twist with Julian. He got his comeuppance for his philandering and selfish ways, but also a second chance at life - redemption is probably a better word for this part of the story line.

    The narrative meandered a bit, and I wondered whether the author was playing at misdirection, like a magician, but I could also foresee the potential ending of this story right in the first few chapters, so I suppose a bit of misdirection was necessary in order to keep things interesting. I loved how new characters kept being added to the mix, and how their contribution to The Authenticity Project enriched this story. Just a really great read!

    I received an ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Melissa

    Wow.

    Wow!!!

    I'm speechless. This book is a beautiful reminder that you have only one life, and to live it plainly. That whatever happens, you need to choose yourself first. Don't live a lie, and don't lie to yourself either. If you're lonely, get out of your comfort zone, and go meet new people. If you're sad, find the reason why and try to change the situation to be happy. Try not to judge so quickly everyone: nothing is what is seems. You are not perfect: why does anyone have to be?

    This book

    Wow.

    Wow!!!

    I'm speechless. This book is a beautiful reminder that you have only one life, and to live it plainly. That whatever happens, you need to choose yourself first. Don't live a lie, and don't lie to yourself either. If you're lonely, get out of your comfort zone, and go meet new people. If you're sad, find the reason why and try to change the situation to be happy. Try not to judge so quickly everyone: nothing is what is seems. You are not perfect: why does anyone have to be?

    This book will create waves, I'm so sure of it. It wouldn't surprise me that it would be made into a movie, too.

    It's amazing. Read it.

    Many thanks to the Penguin Random House Canada for the complimentary e-copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  • Melissa

    3.5 stars rounded up

    Solidly good read, endearing characters that I couldn't help but root for positive outcomes. I felt like a couple of them had unfinished arcs, but overall I liked the way most of their stories concluded. I think readers will find characters they will identify with, because there's a wide variety of problems and concerns they are facing. I liked the themes of authenticity and how we even have to learn how to be authentic with ourselves.

    Sweet book and worth reading.

    I

    3.5 stars rounded up

    Solidly good read, endearing characters that I couldn't help but root for positive outcomes. I felt like a couple of them had unfinished arcs, but overall I liked the way most of their stories concluded. I think readers will find characters they will identify with, because there's a wide variety of problems and concerns they are facing. I liked the themes of authenticity and how we even have to learn how to be authentic with ourselves.

    Sweet book and worth reading.

    I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  • Katie B

    3.5 stars

    This was a breath of fresh air. A unique premise and some characters that you couldn't help but root for. The only real criticism I have is I thought the second half wasn't quite as good as the first half of the book. In my opinion there were a core group of characters and there were a few that didn't seem completely necessary. However, the story bounces back and does have some interesting things happen in the end.

    So The Authenticity Project, what is it? Well, Julian is an elderly man

    3.5 stars

    This was a breath of fresh air. A unique premise and some characters that you couldn't help but root for. The only real criticism I have is I thought the second half wasn't quite as good as the first half of the book. In my opinion there were a core group of characters and there were a few that didn't seem completely necessary. However, the story bounces back and does have some interesting things happen in the end.

    So The Authenticity Project, what is it? Well, Julian is an elderly man who has kept to himself for a very long time. He thinks people aren't honest with one another so he decides to write the truth about himself in a green notebook and he leaves it in a local cafe for someone to find. The owner of the cafe, Monica, comes across the notebook and decides to write about some of the things she is most vulnerable about in her life and then she leaves the notebook in a bar so another person can have their chance to spill their guts. And eventually some of the people who have written in the notebook get a chance to meet, and you'll just have to read the book to find out what happens next.

    The plot might seem a bit far-fetched but it does work for the most part in the story. You just kinda have to go with the idea that some people aren't concerned about their privacy and make it fairly easy for the next reader of the notebook to figure out their identity. And sometimes in life it is good to take chances because it can lead you in a more positive direction. I think most of us at the core are decent human beings who enjoy helping others and I loved seeing that play out in this book with all of these strangers coming together and looking out for one another.

    The story alternates between the different characters who write in the notebook. I liked the first 4 core characters but the other characters introduced afterwards didn't do much for me. Everything ties in together eventually but the story becomes a bit muddled in the second half. A sense of community is certainly part of the story but when you have too many side plots due to too many characters, it's usually best to scale back a bit.

    Overall, I did enjoy this one and recommend it to anyone looking to read something that has heart and also restores your faith in humanity just a tad.

    I won a free copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

  • Brooke — brooklynnnnereads

    I loved how realistic and raw this story is. Each character has their own imperfections and they are each relatable in their own way, no matter the age difference.

    Not only does this story show the reality of humanity, it shows the ripple effect that each person can have on each other. Actions can have a larger impact than what anyone may expect.

    With that ripple effect, I loved how this novel interwove and connected each character and their story to each other.

    It was a meaningful story of

    I loved how realistic and raw this story is. Each character has their own imperfections and they are each relatable in their own way, no matter the age difference.

    Not only does this story show the reality of humanity, it shows the ripple effect that each person can have on each other. Actions can have a larger impact than what anyone may expect.

    With that ripple effect, I loved how this novel interwove and connected each character and their story to each other.

    It was a meaningful story of humanity and the connections that we can create. The ending was impactful and equally beautiful for the story that was told.

    ***Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review***

  • Esil

    3.25 stars

    I thought I needed a light read after reading a few intense novels, but The Authenticity Project, while enjoyable, was a bit too light. The concept was clever. 75 year old Julian, a lonely aging artist, writes about his loneliness in a notebook titled The Authenticity Project which he then leaves in Monicas cafe. Monica then writes about her desperation for a family, and then passes the notebook on to another stranger. Slowly, all these strangers become connected, and the reader

    3.25 stars

    I thought I needed a light read after reading a few intense novels, but The Authenticity Project, while enjoyable, was a bit too light. The concept was clever. 75 year old Julian, a lonely aging artist, writes about his loneliness in a notebook titled The Authenticity Project which he then leaves in Monica’s cafe. Monica then writes about her desperation for a family, and then passes the notebook on to another stranger. Slowly, all these strangers become connected, and the reader realizes that authenticity is more complicated than it seems. It all had the feel of a Sophie Kinsella novel, with imperfect characters on a road to understanding their truer selves. I actually like the occasional dose of Sophie Kinsella, and I liked parts of The Authenticity Project, but overall it was just a bit too predictable and the characters were a bit to stereotypical for my tastes. Thanks to Netgalley and Edelweiss for giving me access to advance copies.

  • Carolyn McBride

    DNF

    I don't have many books that I couldn't finish, but there have been a few. This one now rests among their number.

    Halfway through the book, I could no longer force myself to wade through page after page of sad people stuck in torturous, pointless lives. Perhaps this was uplifting for some, but not me.

    There are too many other books out there that move me to force myself to read something I don't enjoy.

    My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. My apologies to the author.

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