The Best Of Times

The first book I will review is called ‘The Best Of Times’ by Penny Vincenzi. This book is massive. I mean, massive. I was given it by my Nan at Christmas and I stupidly bet everyone that it would only take me a week to read. It’s February 10th and I’ve just finished it. Feel free to judge but if you want a social life and be able to finish a book in a short space of time, this is not the one for you. The blurb of this book says everything you need to know, really. It starts with a crash on the M4 and follows the lives of the characters involved for about a year after that. I haven’t read anything like this before so it was nice to try something new! It wouldn’t call it a thriller or a drama, but an account of everyday (albeit probably slightly exaggerated for dramatic effect) lives of real people experiencing the aftermath of a mass car crash. Don’t worry, it’s not depressing, it’s just truthful. I have to admit, I did at times find it slightly boring, but only because I have the attention span of a gnat and want action 24/7. To me, sometimes it was the kind of book that you lie in bed looking at KNOWING you have to read it because you started it but also knowing that you’re only 200 pages into an 880 read… But if you like a detailed book that offers the everyday lives of everyday people, this is the best book I can suggest!

The blurb reads: A hot summer’s day. A crowded motorway. A split second that changes everything.

I give this book 2/5 for how put-down-able it was. This seems low, but I think it was to do with the sheer size of it. My hands got tired just holding the book up, so maybe that’s why I wasn’t always up for an all-in-one reading session. However, the stories were lovely and I was swept away several times into the lives of Vincenzi’s characters.

This book gets 3/5 for characters. Vincenzi has written so many different plots that it keeps you entertained and you don’t have the chance to get bored with any one character. I really enjoyed the way she intertwined the characters plots too, very Love Actually. There seems to be a character for every reader to connect with (I connected with William because I fancied his pants off).

I give it 4/5 for originality. I can’t say that I’ve ever read a book based on a car crash that actually ended happily (not a spoiler, I just didn’t feel particularly depressed at the end of it). Vincenzi has won mega points for creating everyday characters, but not making the plots as boring as everyday life can be!

Overall, I give ‘The Best Of Times’ by Penny Vincenzi 3/5! I really enjoyed reading this book, even if I did have sore wrists from the weight of the thing. It was slightly too long for my liking and I found myself feeling like it was never going to end a few more times than I would have liked but I’m impatient, so.

The next book I’m going to be reviewing is ‘Don’t Tell The Groom’ by Anna Bell.

For the vlog on this review, check out my YouTube channel at:



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