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Holly's Inbox

(Holly's Inbox #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  6,721 ratings  ·  418 reviews
Ever wanted a peek at someone else's emails?

Meet Holly Denham. It's her first day as a receptionist at a City investment bank and, with no cooperate front-of-house experience, Holly is struggling to keep up. Add to this her mad friends, dysfunctional family and gossipy colleagues, and Holly's inbox is a daily source of drama, laughter, scandal and even romance. But Holly's
Paperback, 736 pages
Published 2007 by Headline Review (first published May 1st 2006)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,721 ratings  ·  418 reviews

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Lisa Dunckley
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a lighthearted, fun and funny read. Perfect “beach read” type book! The entire book is written through emails, mostly short. There is no introduction, or “scene setting”, which goes to show you that that may not be as crucial as most writers feel, lol. You are pretty much thrown in to the story, and it takes a few pages before you figure out who the characters are and what their situations are.

Surprisingly for a book where all the action and the story are revealed through emails, the ch
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Frankly speaking, these days I'm totally into funny, hilarious, light-read kind of books, first, they are cheap and easily available and of course, you can finish reading this type of book just in a day! Another hilarious and funny one that I finished reading is Holly's Inbox by Holly Denham. So if you're feeling gloomy these days, this book is surely going to lift your mood up and will certainly make you feel happier and lighter.

But one disadvantage, this book is way too long, more than 700 pa
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Type: {Beach Read: fluffy, mindless, easy to read}
Rating: {An Unputdownable: Couldn’t eat or sleep until I finished this book}

Why You’re Reading It:

You love British Chick-Lit
You need a vacation from heavier books
You need a good book to read by the pool
Funny, light, entertaining stories with a good splash of romance charm you
What I Thought:

I read and loved Holly’s Inbox by Holly Denham. I ate it up. Swallowed it whole. It is 665 pages and I downed it. It’s that good. And it’s written in e-mail fo
Odette Brethouwer
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inbezit, 2016
This book was SO MUCH FUN to read! Love it, and so glad there is a second book! This is book is for lovers over Bridget Jones, it has a bit of that feel.

This whole book is only her e-mails. This would not be interesting nowadays, but this book is 9 years old. it is from the time we used e-mails to chat, in stead of WhatsApp or Facebook or whatever. Nowadays, this book would be her WhatsApp. So, you get all her chatting with her colleague, friends and family. And she chats a lot.

You do know every
Mar 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book! I've added a new shelf to my library to fit books like this and calling it "IT" Chick Lit to encompass all the chick lit novels written in email format. With a tagline like 'ever wanted to peak inside someone else's email?', readers know you're in for gossip and a good time and Holly's Inbox does not disappoint! At 672 pages, Holly Denham's debut novel may seem a bit overwhelming but with the email format and quick pace, this novel is literally a breeze, fit to be finished in jus ...more
Zoe Hall
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-stars
Goodreads' 2 star review means 'it was okay', and that's what I thought of this book. It was just 'okay'. Too many pages, too many unnecessary emails and too much going on. In my opinion this book could have been over in half the pages. The book started off great but gradually began to falter as I quickly realised I found the characters confusing and the constant changing between email contacts made me feel really disengaged with the story, having to keep checking who was who.

I really wanted to
Jun 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2009
When I discovered this book at Barnes & Noble, I immediately added it to my TBR List. I was quite surprised to learn my library owned a copy and was first on the wait list. I couldn't wait to begin reading Holly's e-mails.

I was looking forward to reading this as I read so many glowing reviews. I have to admit, around page 200 or so, I lost interest in Holly and her friends. I really wanted to know Holly's back-story with Toby. It took awhile for Holly to disclose to Trisha, her co-worker.

I do ha
Oct 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of girly books.
I came across this book in the library and being a sucker for swirly text, the jacket appealed to me.

Meet Holly Denham, a receptionist who has managed to blag her job by embellishing her C.V. This book documents her relationships and conversations with her friends, family and colleagues, via her email in-box.

While the format of this book may not be original, the characters never bore you, and I found myself cringing along with Holly. I will certainley be checking the inbox on the web in the co
Lisa (A Life Bound By Books)
I can say that this book was better then I thought it was going to be. Actually WAY better then I thought it was going to be. And talk about funny. I was laughing so hard reading this that my eyes teared up to a point where I couldn't see to keep reading. The more I laughed the more the people around me laughed. I hope there's more to come as it appears from how the book ended.

If your looking for something that will crack you up and is a fast paced read, you really need to get this book.

For more
Aug 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone in need of a light, entertaining read
Shelves: 2008-reads, chick-lit
This has got to be the funniest book I've read in a loooooooooong time. Honestly, I could not stop laughing. There was not a boring page. It is utterly absurd and emotional and completely messes with your head. By the end, everyone is not who you thought they were in the beginning.

Really, it was great. I loved it.
Jun 30, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: miadb
Don't be turned off by this book's size - it's an incredibly quick read. I read the majority of it sitting by a pool in about 3 hours. Cute, entertaining (I must admit I giggled out loud...and more so as the book went on), but I must say the lack of character description made it so I wasn't left wanting more at the end.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I want to read the sequel, but it's not available in the states and bookdepository is out-of-stock. Bah.

It's like a soap opera of e-mails that you can't look away from. :)
Ana  Lelis
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a chick lit about Holly's life. Her romances, friends, job, boss, family. You can always find something you can relate to. I'm curious to know what will happen in the sequel. A very fun and light book.
Mar 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2011
To: Chick Lit Reviews
From: Leah
Subject: Holly’s Inbox

Dear Readers,

Have you met Holly? She works as a receptionist for a big firm in London, despite the fact she has little experience. Her entire life is conducted through her inbox, offering an insight not many books are able to pull off. As she navigates her new waters, making new friends, getting back in touch with old ones, we get to see what it’s really like to work for a big firm. Throw in a couple of secrets Holly’s keeping and life is abou
Becky R.
Jul 13, 2010 rated it liked it
As a fan of books such as Bridget Jones Diary, Meg Cabot's The Boy Next Door and Boy Meets Girl, I had already read a variety of books that use the email, or epistolary format in telling the story. While I like the playful way that this style shows the development of a relationship, there does seem to be some advantage to the author jumping in from time to time to guide the story. In the case of Holly's Inbox, all we get for the story comes directly from emails. Over half of the novel (which alt ...more
Nov 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, chick-lit
Holly is a new receptionist at a huge, bustling bank. She’s totally lost and in over her head, but things start looking up when she makes friends with some of her coworkers, finds old friends there, and even starts dating a handsome VP. Mixed in with e-mails with all of them are messages with her crazy family and best friends, a gay man and a… “promiscuous” girl. Soon, though, things begin falling apart for Holly at her new job when she gets dumped, gets back-stabbed, and an old flame joins the ...more
Nov 12, 2015 rated it liked it
I needed that. If you're looking for some light reading, this is your book. I have to admit, I wasn't too thrilled at first, and I still find some parts a bit problematic, but the characters grew on me, and the book flows really well.

I love epistolary books, so this one was right up my alley. I loved getting to know the characters through their emails, and all the snark definitely improved my reading experience. There's one character who's just a B from Apartment 23, and I would have liked to u
Elizabeth Ray
Nov 18, 2013 rated it liked it
I was really excited to read this book, but it didn't quite meet my expectations. This book was about Holly, who started a new job at a finance/banking company and it's a look at her inbox at this new job. I love books in the format of emails back and forth, but this book had more gaps and things you had to "fill in" for yourself between emails than most others I have read in this format.

There was also a lot you didn't find out about the main character until halfway or even further in the book.
Jun 10, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2009-list
When I told a friend that the format of this story was that it was told through emails, he said that sound awful and then I pointed out that I chose to read the book after reading about it in Entertainment Weekly. So I read this bloated novel that started out as a cute idea, Have you ever wanted to peek into someone else's inbox?

Unfortunately it just went on too long for me. I kept reading so I could see how it turned out but it was over 600 pages later that I finally felt satisfied with this t
Jun 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Just saw a review of this in Entertainment Weekly. They call it the next Bridget Jones but the interesting thing is "Holly Denham" is really a man! Sounds like fun :)

Well, it really was fun! I loved this book! First of all, it's so different since the whole thing is told through emails. It's quite long but it's a quick, easy read; actually hard to put down. It really is the new Bridget Jones! I love British characters. If you like chick-lit, I highly recommend Holly's Inbox.
Liz Powell
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it
I can appreciate a light and fluffy beach read, but this one doesn't even make the cut in that category. It's long and rambling, filled with dumb innuendo and pithy exchanges. And I find the whole premise of using your work email exclusively for so much inappropriate communication pretty unrealistic. I would have given it one star, but the story finally picked up in the last quarter of the book, and it ended stronger than it began. Holly Denham could have benefited from a much harsher editor.
Literary  Chanteuse
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
Certainly unique with it's email format and British wit this is a really fun read.
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-paperback
fun, cheeky and impulsive. A good read to just sit and have fun.
Feb 17, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bookclub, read-dno
Wow, this book was terrible. Nearly 700 pages with a plot line that could be told in 30.
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was a great read. The reader is thrown into the story of Holly as she begins her job at a high end bank in London. It doesn’t take long to figure out who everyone is or what’s happening in the story. The story is told entirely through Holly’s emails. I thought it was an interesting way to write a book and it kept me wanting more of it the entire time. I do suggest reading the “Dear Reader” at the beginning of the book because it sets the scene and gives some context before yo ...more
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure why I stuck with this one. Credit where credit is due, the author managed character development and plot in an all email form and that in itself was a neat change of pace. I didn't care for the storyline and I didn't find it to be funny. Consider it personal preference - not my cup of tea but not horrible. But what was the point of the Pregnant Pam character??
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This too was super fun as the second book — though I must say it was kinda flat a great deal of the time. I still love Holly and her ammmmazing friends ❤️❤️

Reading the series is so good in terms of getting a hang of emailing techniques. Wanna know how to pass zingers without talking trash? Learn from the best ;)
Ashima Jain
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a one of a kind novel. A light hearted page turner with a narrative that is completely written by way of emails - 700+ pages of email communication that tell Holly's story.
And to think I chanced upon this book in a books by weight sale and nearly didn't pick it up. What a delightful read!
Debbie D
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-book
The premise was good but after about a third of the way into the book, the email format was annoying. Frankly, the email format slowed me down with my reading speed and I found myself having to look at who was emailing who to stay on track. Also became rapidly tired of her partying, sleeping around female friend.
May 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
DNF. I thought I would like the idea of nothing but emails for the content of the book, but I didn't. The main character could have been great - very Bridget Jones. I think the storyline has potential, I just didn't like the disjointed email format.
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Holly Denham is a fictional author created by Bill Hutton-Surie.


1. How did the idea for Holly come about?

The character Holly isn't based on anyone in particular, however I think a lot of her quirkiness has come from my wife - she's very quirky. The idea for the site came one day when we had to trawl through an ex-employee's work email account. The woman in question was singl

Other books in the series

Holly's Inbox (2 books)
  • Holly's Inbox : Scandal in the City (Holly's Inbox #2)

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