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The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

The Authenticity Project (edition 2020)

by Clare Pooley (Author)

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223734,332 (3.25)None
"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 green exercise book that he labels The Authenticity Project, before leaving it behind in Monica's Café. When Monica discovers Julian's abandoned notebook, not only does she add her own story to the book, she is determined to find a way to help Julian feel less lonely. And so it goes with the others who find the green notebook that will soon contain their deepest selves. It will also knit the group together In Real Life at Monica's Cafe, where they'll discover the thrill and sometime-risk of being completely honest--and, for some, find unexpected love. With a cast of characters who are by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life, The Authenticity Project is a novel readers will take to their hearts and read with unabashed pleasure"--… (more)
Title:The Authenticity Project
Authors:Clare Pooley (Author)
Info:PAMELA DORMAN BOOKS (2020), 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley



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Monica owns a coffee shop, and one day she finds a small journal left in the cafe. When she looks inside to find information to connect her to the owner, she instead finds a challenge to be authentic - to write into the journal the thing that defines her, and then pass it on. As the journal makes its way through a small group of people, it has unanticipated ramifications.

I thought this was an interesting premise, and enjoyed getting to know the characters - some more fully realized than others. With such a diverse cast of characters, everyone should be able to relate so some aspect of one of them. Full of fun and irony, this book was an engaging light-hearted read. ( )
  csfoster | Jan 24, 2020 |
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. ( )
  fastforward | Jan 17, 2020 |
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.

Hope I get this, it sounds good.
  Gmomaj | Nov 8, 2019 |
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