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The Glamorous (Double) Life of Isabel Bookbinder (Isabel Bookbinder #1)

2.92  ·  Rating Details ·  710 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
Isabel Bookbinder is a twenty-seven-year-old assistant at the Saturday Mercury newspaper in London. She has a disinterested boyfriend, a mother who loves clothes that match, and a father who always expects her to do better.

Although Isabel may spend most of her time measuring newspaper column inches, she's well on her way to becoming a bestselling author. She's already pe
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Atria Books (first published May 22nd 2008)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 02, 2010 Lisa rated it did not like it
If there was a way to give negative stars to a book, this would be the one.

I don't want to stereotype, but why do so many British writers of chick lit think it's amusing to create heroines who are blithely stupid, self-destructive, lazy, clueless and unmotivated and then send them on their way, misunderstanding, mis-managing, and just plain messing up everything they touch?

I don't find it endearing, and I certainly didn't want to root for the titular character... I only found myself hoping aga
Sarah Ford
Jan 17, 2011 Sarah Ford rated it did not like it
This book is so formulaic in a shameless rip-off of Sophie Kinsella way. Sophie may have a plot and character template from which she hardly ever deviates, but at least her heroines are likeable. I am trying to like Isabel. The reader always wants to like the main character, I think, but so far, I agree with Myles. She is an idiot.

Two days later: Frontrunner for Worst Book I Ever Read "award". Isabel is so irritatingly obtuse. The author was clearly going for cute humor in Isabel's naïveté, but
Aug 15, 2010 Kourtney rated it it was ok
Of course I enjoyed this book - after all I enjoyed the Confessions of a Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella the first time around. This is a very poor imitation that only received 3 stars from me because it made me laugh. Add a dash of the "lying to the father because I never measured up" from the Little Lady Agency series and BLAMMO you got this story. No need to read on if you have read these series before.

Isabel Bookbinder (1) lies to her father about what she does and is constantly trying
Jan 17, 2010 Chloe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Isabel Bookbinder is a wannabe author and works for her local paper measuring the column inches on the weeks stories. Isabel decides she is going to be abest-selling author, but is annoyed when her best friend gets an agent before she does.

So Isabel decides to work with one of the countries best selling authors as a PA to get her foot on the ladder but things don’t quite go to plan, and Isabel realises she hasn’t actually written a word of this “best-selling” novel she is convinced she can write
Aug 30, 2009 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2009
The Glamorous (Double) Life of Isabel Bookbinder is Holly McQueen’s debut novel. It tells the story of Isabel Bookbinder, an aspiring novelist. Trouble is, Isabel has a very different view as to how novels are written then how they are actually are written. Will this aspiring author ever be published?

Before reading Isabel Bookbinder I read the reviews on Amazon which weren’t favourable but wanted to form my own opinion of the book so decided to give it a read. I completely disagree with those on
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
This was trying desperately hard to be another Bridget Jones. It failed. The main character, Isabel, is indescribably naive. She has very little idea of the world around her and is lying to her parents about her career. She wants to write a book, but has no idea where to start. She's too busy creating fantasies about her launch party and being interviewed on morning television to actually WRITE anything.

Isabel irritated me to no end. There were numerous occasions when I wanted to reach into the
Jan 26, 2010 Kristin rated it did not like it
I hated the book. The main character was beyond annoying. I wanted to reach through the book and strangle her. It was like the author was trying to make another Becky Bloomwood (of the Shopaholic series) and FAILED. I barely laughed while reading the book. I will not read anything again by this author. It was that horrible. I only completed the book because I hate not finishing books.
J.H. Moncrieff
Jan 10, 2016 J.H. Moncrieff rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book the first time I read it...I believe it was called Confessions of a Shopaholic.

It's ironic that a book about a novel getting stolen from under the rightful author's nose is a near carbon copy of another author's work. Down to the "funny" letters that begin each chapter, the hopeless, constantly screwing up heroine, the serious-man love interest, the continual inventory of an imaginary wardrobe and spending of money that the heroine can't afford - this is Sophie Kinsel
Jun 24, 2009 C rated it did not like it
A review of this book compared it to Bridget Jones and the Shopaholic series, so I picked it up thinking it would be an entertaining, light-hearted read; it was definitely a “light” read but not very enjoyable. I continued to read it thinking it would get better, but I could never bring myself to empathize with the plight of the main character Isabel. Her few redeeming qualities could not override her almost total self absorption in her fantasy life as a famous author, and the attempted humor gr ...more
Candice Walsh
Jul 24, 2013 Candice Walsh rated it liked it
I think everyone's taking the chick-lit genre a bit too seriously.

Isabel is absolutely an atrocious character, and heavens above I hope nobody in the world like her actually exists...but well, I'm pretty sure that's what the author was going for. I guess Isabel is endearing in a stupid kind of way.

I actually really enjoyed this read. The storyline, formulaic as it is, totally hooked me from the beginning.

My one MAJOR qualm, however, is the mean to tell me Isabel gets herself into
Jul 21, 2008 Marisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to stick needles in their eyes
Was in London and thought it might be good to pick up a Brit chick lit that I could lightly breeze through to pass the time. Given, I finished this book, but it was awful. Awful story line. Awful characters. And practically copied every other (much better) chick lit book that came previously (Bridget Jones, Shopaholic, even Devil Wears Prada).

To give a synopsis, this particular lead lass is set to write her debut novel. She's burdened with procrastination, distracting fantasies and an awful penc
Venessa (PebbleCafe)
On the cover is an endorsement from The Mail on Sunday (4 stars) stating that "If you like Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic books and you miss Bridge Jones, then meet Isabel."

The Mail on Sunday got the Shopaholic part right. From the start Isabel is definitely delusional (like Rebecca Bloomwood) and after awhile she became rather annoying (again, like Rebecca Bloomwood).

In the end Isabel becomes somewhat redeemable, wait for it... like Rebecca Bloomwood! What a surprise! The premise was very promis
Sep 06, 2011 Valerie rated it liked it
A review quote on the cover compares the book to Sophie Kinsella or Helen Fielding. I see the similarities, but it's a cheap knock-off of two really fabulous chick lit authors. The humor felt forced and the plot was just alright, but the characters are well done and, in the end, it's a cute, easy read. I will say that whereas Becca Bloomwood's antics in Kinsella's Shopaholic series are far-fetched but hilarious; I found Isabel's to be pretty tedious. Overall enjoyed the book, but I've had better ...more
Apr 27, 2011 Kmcclanathan rated it did not like it
I bought it and the sequel because they were on clearance, glad I didn't pay full price. I found myself actually SKIPPING part of the book which is really not like me at all. Tryong way to hard to be a Bridget Jones or a Shopaholic. The ditzy British girl act is over played. I mean, if this is your lifes dream, to be a novelist, wouldn't you actually try and write a book instead of doing everything in your power to not do the work? It's weird. I haven't read the second installment yet, but I wil ...more
Mar 24, 2010 Sarah rated it did not like it
I actually couldn't finish this book. At every turn, the heroine shoots herself in the foot--often confirming she's going to do it before she does--and I felt no sympathy for her. The other characters with some depth--her childhood friend and her co-workers--were too infrequently on scene. This author should have spent less time fantasizing about crazy things her lead character could do to draw attention, and more time developing an actual, interesting lead character.
May 25, 2009 Deb rated it did not like it
Had high hopes for this book, really disliked it. Almost put it down, but was a glutton for punishment and wanted to see how it ended. I found the main character Isabel very annoying and a liar. The cover said "...if you miss Bridget Jones...", well Bridget Jones has nothing to fear, this twit can't hold a candle to her. And by the way, if one more adult called her Iz Whiz, i was truly going to vomit! Waste of my precious reading time!
Feb 17, 2010 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
Main character was too annoying to really care what happens to her. Plus, the author needed to do some fact checking on where places like Ljubljana are (Slovenia not Slovakia).
Aug 13, 2012 Carolyn rated it did not like it
Isabel is an idiot and compulsive liar. She behaves like a 17 yr old not a 27yr old. None of the beginning of the book issues are resolved at the end. It was a complete waste of time.
Dec 21, 2010 Curlywurly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, modern
Don't bother
Jade Wright
Feb 07, 2015 Jade Wright rated it it was ok
This could quite possibly be (OK, most certainly is...) THE most annoying fictional character that I have ever 'met.'
The storyline is actually pretty great! But Isabel Bookbinder infuriated me throughout all 400+ pages. There is absolutely no one in the world that unfortunate - and absolutely no one that has that little sense of the world.
And the procrastination!!!! Urgh!!!! As a novelist myself - I get some of what the author is trying to portray - but what angers me is that it's like Isabel d
May 11, 2011 Agi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
The next parts of Isabel are already ordered and on the way to me:)
It would be 5 stars even but there were moments that I just couldn't stand Isabel's naivety, her Faith in some people although it was obvious those people are not too good, fact that she didn't let other to tell what they have to say and thus getting in more problems. I think I haven't met such an accident - prone heroine before and although it was very nice to read, there were moments that it was obvious that she's going to get
Jul 26, 2015 Yoana rated it liked it
This is definitely not nearly as good as Sophie Kinsella, but it had its moments. You can see by the writer style that she admires Kinsella's writing style and borrows it quite a few times. But she lacks Kinsella's talent with humor. The book had its moment where it did make me laugh but I wasn't that engrossed. I found the main character quite annoying at times, and wasn't a fan of the ending. I also feel the writer took too long to get to the climax of the story and then didn't fully draw out ...more
Skye Yeo
Jun 07, 2015 Skye Yeo rated it it was amazing
I LOVED the book. Really LOVED it. Honest. This is a 100% honest review. Yes, I do agree that Isabel reminded me of Sophie Kinsella's Becky when I read the book (both of them do get themselves into totally shit messes) but Isabel is funny and humorous and many parts of the book made me laugh. I disagree with the hate that the book is getting just because Holly McQueen writes in a style similar to Sophie Kinsella. I think it's perfectly alright. Also, it's not as if Holly McQueen is entirely unor ...more
Apr 02, 2014 Jess rated it did not like it
I was so disappointed by this book! Isabel is a vapid, idiotic character with absolutely no redeeming features. And then it turns out she is being MANIPULATED! Heavens above, what an unexpected twist for this character seriously lacking in common sense...

I needed to get that rant out... I actually am proud of myself for completing this book. I must say I am not normally this scathing of books, but this was truly terrible. Character development was lacking (or not there at all), the character lea
Jun 20, 2010 Joy rated it liked it
I thought it was cute, but for a girl who is so unable to even sit down and write, or even look at her old story, I felt that too much good fortune came to her. Things worked out too quickly- and why would the romantic interest even be interested in her? There's no clear objective and it doesn't seem like anything is solved in the end- it's just, well it's a good thing I didn't work very hard!... It's a shame because there seems to be so much potential for Isabel, but she never lives up to it. S ...more
Nov 14, 2010 Sonia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Credo che nelle pause tra una Kinsella e l'altra, le estimatrici del filone I love shoppng cerchino un surrogato dello stesso a meno che non si dedichino alla rilettura di tutti i volumi...
e così nascono anche le scrittrici che vogliono riempire i vuoti lasciati dalla Sophie, dedicandosi a storie che potrebbe aver scritto lei.
Questa storia è carina, ma non ha la forza degli Shopaholic e mi rendo conto che accade proprio come nel libro: tutto dipende dal nome che firma il libro. Se al posto di H
Jun 12, 2015 Irene rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sembra la brutta copia di I love shopping. Isabel Bookbinder sembra essere la gemella ancora più stupida di Becky Bloomwood, o almeno così ho pensato leggendo le prime pagine. Isabel è ambiziosa, pensa in grande, ha un'immaginazione formidabile ma non fa assolutamente nulla. E' la classica persona che vuole conquistare il mondo e pretende che tutto accada mentre sta seduta sul divano di casa. Una scansafatiche e di un'ingenuità quasi assurda. In più il finale è esattamente uguale all'inizio, non ...more
Megan Jordan
Jun 19, 2015 Megan Jordan rated it it was ok
Have you ever picked up a book because you liked the look of the cover? This was what drew me to this book, and I normally love Brit lit but this one left me a little disappointed. Cheeky and quirky characters are fantastic, but Isabel was too idiotic and irritating for me to care much about her. I struggled to get to the end, but wanted to see what how it would all get tied up. The introduction of the lawyer/brother was buried and I had to look back to see if I had missed a mention of him earli ...more
Jan 12, 2012 Pythia rated it it was ok
Shelves: uhm, chick-lit
Di solito non mi faccio influenzare troppo da una copertina: so che è semplicemente un involucro, e che non sempre l'estetica rispecchia il contenuto. Quando ho visto questo libro, però, me ne sono innamorata all'istante: copertina rigida, con angoli smussati, colori allegri che ricordano le vecchie rilegature. Ho letto il primo capitolo su un settimanale e, anche se sembra la solita commedia degli equivoci, ho deciso di regalarmelo: solo per la confezione.
Lettura piacevole e divertente, anche s
Tineke Dijkstra
Aug 20, 2011 Tineke Dijkstra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like obvious endings
Shelves: owned, read-in-2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Holly McQueen has wanted to be a writer ever since discovering that the nuns at her junior school would let her off maths homework if she wrote a story instead. After unexpected detours via law, magazine journalism, and even musical theatre, she began writing her first novel in 2006. Holly lives with her husband in London. She still avoids math.
More about Holly McQueen...

Other Books in the Series

Isabel Bookbinder (4 books)
  • The Fabulously Fashionable Life of Isabel Bookbinder (Isabel Bookbinder #2)
  • Confetti Confidential (Isabel Bookbinder #3)
  • The Adventures of Isabel Bookbinder: A Collection: The Glamorous (Double) Life of Isabel Bookbinder, Fabulously Fashionable, and Confetti Confidential

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