Sometimes a good old fashioned love story is just enough to get by as an easy read for most people. In this case, Hazel Hayes (best known as a YouTuber) pens her hand for her debut book, Out of Love.

In this case, we have a love story, but a bittersweet romance told at the beginning of the end of a relationship.

I had never heard of Hayes before, as I was initially captured by the thought of reading another Irish novel, some of my favourites so far being Exciting Times, Conversations with Friends and of course, Normal People.

One thing that I found bizarre is that despite it being in first person, our Irish heroine did not have a name. I’m not sure what Hayes’ intentions were for this: maybe so others can relate more to this if they have experienced a similar break-up, maybe as a retelling of their own story. However, her boyfriend Theo refers to her as an ‘angel’ at times throughout. Make of that what you will.

Like the ending of any relationship, there is always the why or how? That becomes clear as each chapter takes a step closer towards the beginning of their relationship, encountering their difficulties, in particular his mother Jocelyn.

I would hate to experience an awful in-law situation. Jocelyn sounds like a callous, manipulative b*tch who likes to have things her own way, even her own son all to herself. I was so uncomfortable reading about them moving into Theo’s late grandmother’s house, now under the control of Jocelyn, only for her to be letting herself in. What would you do in that situation? Ugh. ‘angel’ even moved from Ireland to London to be with him!

I’m not quite sure what it was about this book, but I just couldn’t put it down! The text is quite small, yet I raced through it: one night, I was up reading until 1.30am! I put this down to knowing relationships start on a happy basis full of joy, excitement and passion (that’s what I think any healthy relationship would be, right?), so I was looking forward to finding out how they met and what makes them click – as well as deceit.

Something has happened and someone has cheated – who? Again, shook.

I cannot stress enough how much I LOVED this book. As we know, it heads towards the start of the relationship, hence a bittersweet ending.

She also draws upon mental health and angel’s therapy sessions, including making yourself believe you are something you are not, because ‘thinking something doesn’t make it real’.

You may think you’re a banana, but that isn’t real.
You may think you’re a waste of space, but that isn’t real.
You may think you’re unworthy, but that isn’t real.

(Note to self, Liz.) With me?

Praise for Hazel Hayes and another well-loved Irish Novel!

Are there any that you would recommend?

rating – 5/5
genre – romance, fiction, Irish novel, psychological fiction

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