Book Review: The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

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Want to know if The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley is worth your time? Here’s my full review to help you decide.

The Authenticity Project Review

I didn’t have much expectation for this book honestly. I just wanted a simple fluff read to get me out of my reading slump.

And The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley is not what I expected it to be. Whilst it does have its fluff moments it also deals with a lot of serious issues.

The writing style of the book is written in multiple POVs split between the main characters; Julian Jessop, Monica, Hazard, Riley, Alice, Mary, and Lizzie. Each POV lasts about a few pages which is great as this wouldn’t drag the pacing of the plot down and instead leaves you wanting more.

I personally am not a big fan of different POVs in a book as it’s quite tricky to pull off without having the characters either sound alike or some of the characters make you uninterested.

But with The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley, that’s not the case. All the POV of the main characters is distinct so that you will not get confused as to whose POV it is.

All of the characters felt real as they all had serious flaws as well as strengths within them and whilst the plot is not plausible whatsoever, the characters with their own issues most definitely feel like people I know in real life.

For example, Monica who outwardly looks like she has her life together is secretly worried she is running out of time to settle down and start a family.

Not only that, she is ashamed to admit she wants to settle down and start a family due to her upbringing that she should aspire to be more than just a mother and housewife which brings the dichotomy of as much as we want to have it both ways it is not physically feasible to do both and still be great at it.

As they say, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

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Then, we have Alice who hides her struggle of being a new mother as opposed to the supposedly “perfect” life she has curated for her social media. The more she struggles in her real-life being a mom the more she retreats into her social media life and this is so relatable.

How many of us are obsessed with our social media as it is used more for escapism than anything. I feel bad for Alice because it truly takes a village to raise a child and she cannot do it alone and having a husband who barely helps isn’t helping either.

I say she has to leave her husband Max! People say try couples therapy, I say save your money. If the man can barely do the bare minimum for you he is not worth your time regardless if you already married the man.

Then, we have my favorite character, Hazard. I like his whole characterization being that of a man who is trying to be better and is actually doing the work to be better. I don’t agree with the whole DIY detox he puts himself on (he is an addict of all things BTW) as that doesn’t address the core problem of why he became an addict.

Lastly, our first main character is the enigmatic and charismatic artist, Julian Jessop. Reading about his loneliness does make one think of their own loneliness in life and how life would be as they grow older.

It must be difficult for Julian to grow old and see you are literally not the person you once were even though inside you feel like you are the same person.

The Authenticity Project was quite an easy read for me style-wise. The prose wasn’t too flowery and neither was it too straightforward that it became boring. It was just nice.

And again I must say this book was not what I expected it to be because of the plot twist at the end! MY GOD I WAS SHOOK!


But! It suits Julian’s character and what he would’ve done.

Overall, I really enjoyed the vibe of The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley and how the author balances discussing real-life issues yet still able to make the book feel lighthearted and wholesome.

I recommend this book for its wholesome story about friendship, love, and how nothing is ever too late.

The Authenticity Project Synopsis

Author: Clare Pooley

Published: 29 December 2020

Publisher: Penguin Books

Rating: 4/5

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.

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