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Home » Authors, Did Not Finish, Doll Noa, Reviewers, Reviews, Wendy Holden

DNF Review: Marrying Up by Wendy Holden

Submitted by on July 25, 2012 – 4:00 am3 Comments

Author: Wendy Holden
Title: Marrying Up
Release: July 2012
Reviewer: Noa
Source: Publisher, Netgalley
Purchase: | Book Depository

Schemeing social climber Alexa may be humbly born, but she’s a class-hopping cruise missile aimed at the very top of the gold-digging tree. Only a title, a mansion, and family tiara will do. Befriending clueless aristocrat Florrie means the grandest doors swing open and the prince of her dreams is in sight. But has Florrie’s mother, the formidable Lady Annabel, figured out Alexa’s scheme? Beautiful but penniless student Polly, meanwhile, is in love. But Max, the handsome young vet she’s found, might not be as ordinary as he seems.
Eye-widening snobbery and more than naked ambition abound in this deliciously satirical novel of the upwardly mobile.

I love reading chick-lit, they’re the perfect escape from real life, an easy summer read, they’re feel good books. Well, usually….

I have previously read Wendy Holden books and they really were a mixed bag. Some were a lot of fun, others were just a bit silly. Marrying Up was just…boring.

It started out well enough, the story focuses on Polly and Alexa – two girls who grew up in the same village, though never as friends. Alexa was the popular girl, the one who was going to achieve great things. Polly had a squint and was very much a bookworm.

Now, they are both university graduates. No, wait – Polly has a degree in Archeology from Oxbridge and has fixed her squint, Alexa has dropped out.

Why? because Alexa’s goal in life is to become the biggest ever success in social climbing. Every step she has ever taken in life was in order to land herself a posh husband, sadly all those parties and expenses mean she is now penniless, friendless and degreeless. Polly on the other hand has a promising future ahead of her.

And as soon as Alexa hears where Polly graduated from – she wants to become BFFs for access to Polly’s circle of friends. But then she lands an even better opportunity – becoming airhead-aristocrat Florrie’s ‘friend’ (i.e – slave, but anything goes if it keeps you upwardly mobile)

Meanwhile Polly meets Max, a sweet veterinary student and things are looking up for her. But Max is hiding a bit of a secret – he’s a prince, a real one, of an impoverished Monaco-esque country. And when his parents figure out that one way to fill the country’s coffers is through a royal wedding – Max is called back home, leaving Polly without a clue about the ‘why’ of it all.

As for Alexa, embarrassing herself in every way she can – seriously, what starts out as fun, becomes cringe-worthy. I mean, her character has no redeeming qualities and I still felt bad for her.

I was also getting very tired of Holden’s parodied view of the British aristocracy. Putting in a few funny double barreled names is funny, but making each of the characters completely ludicrous just became a bit much.

I kept putting this book down because I was just bored with it…Then when I picked it up again I would keep skipping pages just to see if anything changed or moved forward – nothing did.

The story just kept getting more ridiculous, and the only sympathetic characters were Max and Polly – and even they became a bit annoying. It was all very immature.

So, why am I calling this a DNF (Did Not Finish) review? Because I did not read every page of this book. I just could not. I know how it ends, I just took a few short cuts to get there.

I can’t recommend this book, but I can recommend other fun chick-lits: Almost anything by Jill Mansell and Katie Fforde – those are full-proof feel good reads.


Noa first fell in love with books when she discovered 100 acre wood and its inhabitants. To this day, the last pages of “The House at Pooh Corner” make her cry. In a good way. From“Calvin and Hobbes” to “The Iliad and the Odyssey” and lets not forget “Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes”. Biographies, mysteries, history books and romances all have a place on her bookshelves. Who needs furniture? This 29 year old singleton’s dream is to invent the zero-calorie chocolate. But until that day arrives, she tries to create sweet confections with whatever chocolate she can find. An MA in conflict studies (need a mediator?) means Noa loves a good debate, especially when she wins. If she were in charge, books would be free for everyone.
Doll Noa
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  • Doll Kitt says:

    You’re having a bad run of books lately, my dear Noa. :-/

    Reply to this comment »
    • Doll Noa says:

      I know… :( Not fun. Even though, the two I read last weekend were awesome. Reviews to follow :D

      Reply to this comment »
  • Karen says:

    Bummer. I love chick -lit but I find that a few get too silly for me.

    I used to force myself to finish them but now I just skim like you did just to find out what the heck happened.

    Reply to this comment »