The Authenticity Project Falls Short

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? Not on the internet, but with those real people around you?”

The Authenticity Project – Clare Pooley

My Rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.

In Summary of The Authenticity Project

All because of a green notebook titled “The Authenticity Project”, six complete strangers intersect and become unlikely friends. It all begins when Julian – an elderly, lonely artist – questions the morality of people in the world around him. He decides to test this by writing his story in a notebook and leaving it for the next person to find and read – Monica. This pattern continues between several other characters that all become connected through the one notebook. As their lives become intertwined, secrets are revealed and authenticity of the characters’ called into question. How does one reconcile with those they care about when there may be more to someone’s personality and past than what’s on the surface?

Fresh writing style that is clear and easy to readCharacters feel distant despite attempts to provide characterization
Interesting, unexpected plot twist near the end!Eventually, too many character perspectives are added that don’t seem necessary
Cute, heartwarming messageSome of the relationships formed seem too unlikely
Short chaptersSome characters are better at holding readers’ attentions than others

“One day, in the not too distant future, his head would finally slip under the water and he’d leave barely a ripple behind. Through that book, at least one person would see him – properly.”

The Review

Looking for a lighthearted, easy read filled with quirky characters in a realistic setting? Then this one is worth picking up.

However, this felt like a surface-level read that just didn’t stick with me.

I know, I know… this is an unpopular opinion. I can see why people love this book. The bite-sized chapters quicken the read and the heartwarming message warms the soul. But for me? I had too many issues with the characters for this book to be enjoyable.

Books with several character perspectives offer readers with the opportunity to hopefully connect with at least one character. In The Authenticity Project, the characters represent a wide variety of life experiences and perspectives – type-A restaurant owner, struggling alcoholic, lonely elderly man, and carefree Australian (to name a few). However, the relationships that form between these people seem unlikely with or without the connection of the notebook, and they are not equally well-developed despite the attempt to accomplish this. Additionally, the author continues to add more characters in the mix into the second half; these characters don’t seem vital enough to the plot to make into their own narrative voices.

There are too many voices trying to accomplish too many things. Yes, this is a popular style for realistic, contemporary fiction right now, but it kept me from enjoying the theme to the full extent.

It is an enjoyable book, and I hope that it provides a meaningful experience for readers that pick it up. Unfortunately for me, I feel like I missed out on getting that full experience.

The Authenticity Project Book Information

  • Published: 2020
  • ISBN:  9781984878632
  • Format: Paperback
  • Length: Approx. 384 pages

Learn About & Support the Author – Clare Pooley


2 responses to “The Authenticity Project Falls Short”

  1. You were so much more generous with your rating than me! I was really disappointed with this book. Such a shame because the concept is very sweet!

    Liked by 1 person

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