Saturday, February 9, 2013

Paper Chains by Nicola Moriarty

A heart-warming story of love, friendship and forgiveness - and the crazy twists of fate that shape our lives…

Hannah and India are new best friends. Although true friendship means always telling each other the truth, doesn’t it…?

Hannah, you see, is running from her life back in Sydney. Now in London, she’s trying to put the past behind her, and finding this amazing new friend is a positive step forward. If only she could stop punishing herself for what she did.

India knows Hannah is hiding something big, and she’s determined to figure it out. Fast.

Because India has a secret of her own… One that is currently sealed in a love letter that’s making its journey across Europe in the most unconventional way.
Before it reaches its destination, can India help Hannah learn to forgive herself? And will Hannah wake up and realise that India needs rescuing too …?

Free Falling, Nicola Moriarty's debut, was on my absolute favourites last year (and now on my all time favourites list) so I was so stoked that her sophomore novel released so soon after (and, after reading it, my appetite is whet for so much more of her work. Please keep those books coming!)

Paper chains has so much cool going for it:
  • Set in London! And Australia :) and other snippetty travel scenes and flashbacks.
  • Two mysterious girls (ladies) both holding secrets. What is going on?
  • Those gorgeous moments of serendipity that I adore.
  • Chain letters.
  • Prose that you sink Ito, sentiments perfectly captured.
  • Most ever so importantly, characters to care about. To get under your skin. Two gorgeous girls, so different. And all their worlds (including their sexy, at times, estranged men) and family.

It also has bone crushing moments of absolute despair. At times, I felt it was hard to breathe, smothered with the weight of it. Paper Chains tackles some very real, and very depressing issues. But Moriarty would bring flashes of whimsy and the shyest of smiles to lighten the load.

There were moments of silliness and absolute charm. Flashbacks to the cutest and sexiest of meet-cutes (crazily love that Luna park scene). And then there was complete devastation and broken-heartedness of the kind that you are not sure anyone can ever really recover from.

There's a rare moment where I go from being cocooned in a fictional story and soaking it up, to suddenly realizing I have completely placed myself in the story and am crying right alongside the characters. This book didn't just include certain issues, it feels like the author poured her soul and ever fibre of her emotions into bringing Hannah's feelings to the page. It was, at times, unrelenting and eye opening. It kind of ripped me wide open.

Now for the cheesy confession: I don't like to wax poetic about reading being therapeutic or whatever. I honestly read because I happen to love reading, but Paper Chains went above and beyond and I felt so liberated, so affirmed after finishing. From things I didn't even realize I was holding onto. Failures or perceived failures. Secret thoughts and pressures. Doubts and expectations. I just felt like everything is okay, is going to be okay, and life is good. Those final chapters with Hannah were just perfect. And India, just LOVE.

I am sorry to be cryptic but I don't want to spoil anything in any way.

I so thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had the perfect little addictive pull that my favourite reading experiences require. It had so much emotion and heart and just the perfect amount of whimsy. It had characters I am still buzzing about and I will, for sure, be revisiting it again soon and passing my copy onto all my fave reading buddies, who I only pass the absolute best books on to :)

Paper Chains is on my favourites list for 2013 and my favourites list for always.

Paper Chains @ goodreads

Paper Chains was released February 1 in Australia and is available now :)

While we're talking about Nicola Moriarty: What do you think of the new cover for Free-Falling? I have the original blue and purple one (which is gorgeous) but am so tempted by the new pink and yellow cover, it's so sunshiny and just draws my attention.

So many thanks to Random House Australia and Netgalley for my review copy 


  1. Aww, this sounds so cute! It's currently snowing here in the US and this seems like one of those perfect reads to just curl up with. Thanks for putting it on my radar, Nomes! :)

  2. Wow, sounds fantastic. I wish I could get it in the U.S.!

  3. Oh you always make me want to run right and buy the books you review! I love the sound of this, I hope they publish her in the UK soon!

    Nice to see you blogging again, hope all is well :)

  4. *grins*
    I got Paper Chains too and after your review, I can't wait to sink into i.

  5. Wonderful review! I can tell you really loved it, and it made me want to love it as well. I am intrigued by authors who can actually handle weighty topics while still being humorous and cute at the same time! Thank goodness for fishpond; so many of the wonderful YA books coming out right now are Australian!

    I saw that you are also participating in Flannery's Infinite Jest read along, and thought I would introduce myself. My name is Michelle and I blog at I look forward to seeing your thoughts in the weeks ahead!

  6. Ooh! Lovely review. I haven't read Nicola's books yet but they seem amazing. I love her sisters' novels so i'm sure with her it'll be no different!

  7. Luna Park! Dance Academy!! ♥

    I can't wait to read this, Nomes. Book therapy is the best therapy.

    I really like the watercolor cover of Free Falling, but I love the leaves on the new color. Get it! :P


  8. Nomes I love your review, your vagueness has me even more intrigued, and the fact that I know you love Moriarty's books, I know that I will have to get my hands on a copy soon! Beautiful review Nomes! Also I love the new cover to Free-Falling, the colours are simply gorgeous! :)

  9. Nice review Nomes, I like how you didn't give anything away. I read Paper Chains all in one day....I only meant to read a few chapters, but I got so attached to the characters and didn't want to leave them hanging midway through their stories! (plus I was curious about their back-stories, and then if/how it could ever resolve).

    I love the way you get to know the characters just like you get to know real people - for a while you just learn 'surface stuff', where they are at now....and then gradually as you invest more time, you get to know why they are the way they are, and go on a journey of growth with them, getting more and more fond and appreciative of who they are.

    1. yay Deb! I love that you loved this book (but I always knew you would :))

      We have the best tastes in books (must be in our genes!)

      Love you!

      (I read it over two days -- you beat me! I was being much more responsible than you and not giving into reading all day!)

    2. lol, I think I read a lot of it at night when I should have been sleeping...can't remember now if I had any reason for not being able to sleep other than wanting to finish the book!!

      re taste in books, I think it's a bit of nature AND nurture, you have certainly nurtured me along to some great authors and titles. At least 90% of the fiction I have loved enough to buy (rather than just borrow) are authors/titles you introduced me to. Thanks, love you too!


Thanks for the commenty love :)