December 20, 2009

Holly's Inbox

Holly's Inbox by Holly Denham
Fiction - Epistolary
2009 Sourcebooks Casablanca
Finished on 11/29/09
Rating: 2.5/5 (Fair)
Received book from author

Product Description:

Dear Holly, Are you sure you know what you're getting into...?

It's Holly Denham's first day as a receptionist at a busy corporate bank, and frankly, it's obvious she can't quite keep up.

Take a peek at her email and you'll see why: what with her crazy friends, dysfunctional family, and gossipy go-workers, Holly's inbox is a daily source of drama. Laughter, friendship, and romantic interludes keep her going, until one day, Holly's secret past begins to catch up with her...

Written entirely in emails, this compulsively readable UK smash hit will keep you laughing and turning the pages all the way to its surprising and deeply satisfying ending.

I began reading Holly's Inbox back in October during Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon. I thought it would be the perfect book to dive into between Joe Hill's short stories and Jeanne Laskas' memoir. As it turned out, I found myself getting a little antsy and bored with this brain-candy of a read. I went back to it a few days later and read it on and off during November. I love epistolary works and found the emails easy to follow, but the story got a bit tiresome and I found I needed to take a break and read something a little meatier. I enjoy the occasional chicklit novel, but maybe 665 pages is overkill. As others have mentioned, the s*xual content became an annoyance and distraction and I feel the book could have been just as entertaining without some of the coarse s*xual references.

Joy, Bookfool, and Bermudaonion have all written glowing reviews of this book. I hope you'll pop over to their blogs and see what they have to say about Holly's Inbox. I'm obviously in the minority and feel badly since the author, Bill Surie, was so kind to send me a copy of his book.

About the Author

Holly Denham is the pen name for Bill Surie the owner of a placement service for receptionists and secretaries in London. He started the Holly's Inbox website as a place to serialize his first novel. The website became an overnight sensation and his second novel is now in the works.


  1. I have a copy of this one too but haven't had a chance to read it yet. I'm waiting for the right mood to strike. I am sorry it was disappointing to you. I've been warned about the sexual content so hopefully it won't bother me too much since I know about it going in.

  2. Sorry this didn't work for you. I read it while we were at the beach and it was just what I needed at the time.

  3. I have been looking for a sure-fire good Christmas story. I suppose I will keep looking.

  4. I'll be in the minority with you. I tried reading and couldn't finish. Just didn't care for it at all.

  5. I thought it was a fun read but I do agree with you on the sheer size of it and sexual stuff was a bit overboard.

  6. Well, I'm glad I said No Thank You! to this one!

  7. I had really mixed feelings on it. It was quick but I didn't like how it ended and I really didn't like that it was supposed to be "Real" (Author's name the same as the characters.) Also, someone spoiled it for me early on and it let some of the fun out of it for me.

  8. Literary Feline - I recommend saving this for a hot summer day while lazing by a pool or while at the beach. It's pure brain candy and would make for a nice summer read.

    Bermudaonion - I think this would be a good beach read. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

    Debbie - Definitely not a good Christmas story. But, perhaps a fun, light summer story. Don't dismiss it entirely. It sounds like I'm in the minority on this one.

    Melanie - Thanks for joining me! I think I would've liked it better if it weren't quite so long. I enjoy epistolaries, but the short, snappy emails got to be a bit tedious to read.

    Staci - Glad you enjoyed it! I don't feel quite so guilty about my review, knowing that there are a lot of readers out there who did enjoy the book.

    Tara - :)

    Lisa - Yeah, that whole device (?) of leading the reader to believe it was real was a bit odd. Might have worked for the original blog, but not so much for a published book.


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