The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
Updated: Apr 16, 2021
I’ve been reading a lot of heavy books recently and I had to even it out with a feel good, easy breezy read. I’ve been hearing lots of lovely comments about this book and also how welcoming is the cover? By the way, the U.K cover of this book is so delightful! I’ll post a photo of it below this review. I also like the title of this book and wanted to know what it was all about. Thank you to Penguin Books for sending me a free print copy of this book! Very much appreciated. Let’s read on to the plot:
The setting of the book is Fulham, West London in the U.K.
Julian Jessop, an eccentric and lonely artist believes that these days, people aren’t really honest with each other. But what if they were? So what does Julian do? He decides to write in a plain green journal, the honest truth about his own life, and he leaves the book in his local café. The café is run by an incredibly tidy, and organized woman named Monica. Monica furtively adds her own entry, then leaves it in a wine bar across the street. Not long after, others also find the book and add their own entries to it about their deepest and truest selves, and they all soon find each other in Monica’s café in real life.
The Authenticity Project’s cast of characters includes a plethora of people such as Hazard, a charming addict who vows to get sober, Alice, a famous mommy influencer who’s real life is a lot less perfect than her social media life, and many more characters.
This is a story about being brave, and putting your real self out there for the world to see, and finding out it’s not as scary as it seems. It’s a story of a solitary green book that brings together six strangers and leads to some unexpected friendships and much more.
I wanted a feel-good book, and I got a feel-good book. What an absolute treat that this book was. It hit the spot immensely.
It’s a super simple plot, but also quite meaningful and thoughtful. It’s all about these characters who’s lives become intertwined together all thanks to this simple green notebook. Such a brilliant idea! I kind of wish people would do this book in real life, imagine the stories that people would tell, and their real truths!
I loved the setting of this book, it made me miss London so much. Although I haven’t spent a lot of time in Fulham, but I have been there before. I quite liked that the author honed in on this area and the people in this small community. It was very believable too actually.
The characters in the book were all quirky and interesting and I liked how different they all were to each other. You start off the story following one or two characters, then it builds and builds and by the end of the book you get a plethora different perspectives which was really fun! The fact that Pooley builds the characters in slow building layers made the book a lot less confusing! You got to know each character individually and after you knew one, she would add another one and so on and so forth and by the end you’re up to scratch with who’s who and what they’re like. I thought it was brilliant. In terms of character types, you had all kinds of personalities in this book. Your eccentrics, your quirky character, your easy going one, your charming one, it had it all. You also would have your favorites too which was pretty great.
I loved the idea of the story itself, and how it all centered around this simple green book. Living in a city, you definitely never truly get to know your neighbors, or what they’re really feeling and thinking, and the simple idea of leaving an anonymous book in a café for people to write their truths, their struggles, and their desires, ugh it was just so nice. It was a simple story but also very thoughtful and meaningful. It filled my heart with all the warm and fuzzies too.
My negatives with the book is that at times, it was almost a little cliché, or a tad corny. So some people will definitely roll their eyes or glaze over some parts of the story or book. For me, it was what I needed to read and I appreciated the feel good, rom-com aspects of it. After I was done I was like ah, that was pleasant!
This book is all about staying true to who you are, it’s about staying present in the moment, definitely has a YOLO (You Only Live Once) philosophy to it too, and writing the story to your own life and taking control of it! It’s about getting out of your comfort zone as well. It’s a perfect book to read when you need a fun and uplifting, feel-good book. It’s Cozy, it’s enjoyable and it’s delightful.
Here's a quote that I thought was super cute!
From page 91:
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift,"
For my song pick, I knew that I wanted a song by an English artist, I also knew that I wanted it to be a feel good song, and when I think of an uplifting, feel-good song about staying true to yourself, I always think of this absolute banger, ‘Unwritten’ by Natasha Bedingfield. This song is such a feel good, spring in your step, optimistic tune! I feel that it’s perfect for this book as well. Love it.
UK cover of this book is below! How adorable!
Genre: Contemporary Fiction | Romance
Publication Date: December 29. 2020
Pages: 384 Pages
Publisher: Penguin Books
Click the pic to purchase 'The Authenticity Project' on Amazon!