Review: Out of Love by Hazel Hayes

Title: Out of Love

Author: Hazel Hayes

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Unbound

The Blurb

A novel for anyone who has loved and lost, and lived to tell the tale.

As a young woman packs up her ex-boyfriend’s belongings and prepares to see him one last time, she wonders where it all went wrong, and whether it was ever right to begin with. Burdened with a broken heart, she asks herself the age-old question . . . is love really worth it?

Out of Love is a bittersweet romance told in reverse. Beginning at the end of a relationship, each chapter takes us further back in time, weaving together an already unravelled tapestry, from tragic break-up to magical first kiss. In this dazzling debut Hazel Hayes performs a post-mortem on love, tenderly but unapologetically exploring every angle, from the heights of joy to the depths of grief, and all the madness and mundanity in between. This is a modern story with the heart of a classic: truthful, tragic and ultimately full of hope.

The Review

When a book has floored me, like truly floored me I usually start my reviews with ‘Every so often a book comes along…’ and I was tempted to start this review the same way but Out of Love by Hazel Hayes needs much much more. It has been nearly 24 hours since I finished reading it and I am still sitting in a state of shock. A post book malaise. A ‘where do I go from here’ness. It was just that bloody good.

It is a relationship book which is the kind of story I like driven by a fantastically flawed protagonist. The story of Lena and Theo is their relationship in reverse. Now, I’m generally a purist when it comes to stories. I like a beginning, a middle and an end and when writers deviate from this or deviate from grammar rules I get very stressed out. However, I loved the narrative choice of Out of Love. It is told in reverse and little nuggets of information is scattered throughout that become relevant earlier on which is in later chapters. Sound confusing? It should be but it just isn’t. Holmes’s magnificent writing makes it work. I am genuinely so very impressed with it.

It is also so very enjoyable when a story opens up new things for you, it could be a reference to another book or music. You get that with Out of Love. It is also one of those books that has those rare ‘profound-drop your-book-and-stare-at-the-wall moments littered throughout. I just loved it.

I can honestly say that Out of Love is going to be one of my books of the year. It will be going on my for-keeps shelf and I am pretty sure it will make its way into the hands of my friends for birthdays and Christmas.

God, I just bloody loved it!

Out of Love by Hazel Hayes is available now.

For more information regarding Hazel Hayes (@TheHazelHayes) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Unbound (@Unbounders) please visit

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