The Authenticity Project | Clare Pooley | Review

“Everyone lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth instead? The one thing that defines you, that makes everything else about you fall into place.”






“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.


Firstly I want to say thank you to Dark Room Tours and Bantam Press for sending me a  copy of this book and for allowing me to be part of this blog tour, I am forever grateful or this opportunity.

I really liked the idea of The Authenticity Project, it certainly isn’t my normal genre that I read however something about the synopsis appealed to me and the cover drew me in further leading me to make the decision that I needed to read this book soon!

I absolutely loved the plot. The idea feels so unique and exciting. I love the message that it sends: you only live once, make the most of it. I really enjoyed the writing style that Clare Pooley adopts. It makes for a very easy and quick read which you will fly through in very few sittings. The layout of this book also made for an easier enjoyable read. The chapters are split into different characters meaning that whilst you are reading the same story you get it from different character perspectives which I really enjoy. A lot of the time when a book is written from one perspective it can get a bit boring, and other characters end up being under developed. This is definitely not the case with The Authenticity Project.

The characters. I don’t really know what to say about the characters. I really did want to love them but I just didn’t. Julian I found frustrating and a bit of an arse. Monica was infuriating to the point I shouted at the book a few times. Hazard, he was alright but I definitely thought the relationship was forced and a bit rushed. I did feel sorry for Riley, I liked him and he deserved more. Alice just didn’t understand how lucky she was. Obviously there are more characters but these are the main perspectives that we get. I feel like a little bit more could have been done to make me like them because I just found them irritating.

But here is where it gets confusing. I felt no emotional connection to the characters, but I cried at the end. The ending hit me real hard. Now I don’t want to give spoilers away, but surely if I felt no emotional connection to the characters then this would not have affected me in the way that it did?

The Authenticity Project was a solid three stars throughout, the plot and the execution I really enjoyed just the characters didn’t quite live up to what I wanted them to be. However, right at the ending it hit me emotionally which books very rarely do and therefore ended up being a 3.5 stars for me. I feel like you should definitely pick this book up and give it a go, it is one that I would recommend.

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