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It Sounded Better in My Head

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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,924 ratings  ·  810 reviews
From debut author Nina Kenwood comes a tender, funny, and compulsively readable novel about first love and its confusions, and all of the awkwardness of teen romance.

When her parents announce their impending divorce, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting, or at least mildly upset. Then Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, hook up, leaving her feeling slightly mif
...more
Hardcover, US, 272 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Flatiron Books (first published August 6th 2019)
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Annie-JoElizabeth I think upper High School teens would relate to this novel a lot, especially the issues around body image and figuring out relationships. There is a b…moreI think upper High School teens would relate to this novel a lot, especially the issues around body image and figuring out relationships. There is a bit of mature content, but not more than the average YA contemporary novel, and it's handled in a positive, empowering way. (less)
Maggie K I agree, content feels like older teen. While swearing isn't extensive, the f-word is used multiple times, and there is a lot of discussion about sex …moreI agree, content feels like older teen. While swearing isn't extensive, the f-word is used multiple times, and there is a lot of discussion about sex and having sex. (less)

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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,924 ratings  ·  810 reviews


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Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is better than I expected. It also sounded so good in my head. I went back and forth between four and five stars and guess what my happy new year spirits controlled my finger and clicked five shiny debut stars.

I didn’t see myself like a book about puberty problems, hormonal changes, acne scars (they actually leave both mental and physical scars on human bodies. I’m talking about 13 year old, curly, chubby, tomboy version of myself whose face covered with tons of them. Yikes!) and bein
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emma
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to emma by: Ashley
Please do not ask me to describe this book.

I am unable to tell you any sort of “plot.” I cannot give you an “idea” of the “narrative.” If you request any sort of summary or synopsis of what goes down in these pages, my brain will explode and none of us will win.

But I can tell you it’s a delight.

Nothing really happens in this at all. There’s no story. There’s very little character development. The romance kind of falls together. Friends bicker but not in any real way.

Overall if you confidently to
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Irena BookDustMagic
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was AH-MAZING!!

I mean it, everything about it was just right! Almost perfect.
From the writing style to the story itself, and it's characters.

I can't believe this is a debut novel!
Sign me up for next Nina Kentwood's novels, because I want to read all of them!
Her writing style is amazing, and from her acknowledgments where she thanked to authors who's books she read in her lifetime, is obvious she reads and loves books a lot.

The story was great. Entertaining and realistic, and just what
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Berit☀️✨
Nina Kenwood’s debut is an absolute gem! Charming and authentic, an entertaining story about first love, figuring out what you want to do with your life, and who you really are. Natalie is an introverted, awkward, smart, and sassy 18-year-old who has just graduated from high school and is about to find out where her future is headed. Natalie has no idea what she really wants to do in the future and this concerns her. Not only that she is extremely self-conscious most of that stemming from having ...more
NZLisaM
**The US Edition is now available to request on #Netgalley**

YA coming-of-age, modern-day, contemporary romance that ticks every box.

Debut Australian author, Nina Kenwood’s moving portrayal of a shy, sheltered teenager on the cusp of adulthood is honest, frank, insightful, inspirational, and charming, with some hilarious moments. Three pages in and I was completely devoted to this captivating book, and Natalie's relatable voice instantly transported me right back to the awkwardness and experience
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sarah xoxo
ok, I know it is only may but I hereby award this book with the following:
➽ most surprising read of 2020
➽ most underrated read of 2020
➽ most relatable read of 2020
➽ best debut of 2020
one of the best books of 2020

YA contemporary is a genre I really enjoy, but rarely love if that makes sense. I have a really fun time reading them, but very few of them reach 5 stars and even less of those make it to the enigmatic list of All Time Favourites. But now I had better reconsider my life, because this b
...more
Emer (A Little Haze)
There was something about this book that spoke to me. I really didn’t expect to feel like I do after reading it. I thought it would be just a cute, fairly standard, contemporary YA.

But for me this book was so much more.

I found myself laying down under a blanket curled in the foetal position crying and reading. It was just that good! And it’s hard to explain exactly why.

I’m not a teenager. And this book is YA... but yet it spoke to me. I related to MC Natalie’s insecurities. I related to her e
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Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Natalie has been blindsided by her parents separation, despite them having slept in separate bedrooms for the past ten months. Vowing to remain friends and speaking in calming tones, it's just another aspect of Natalie's life she no longer has control over.

Growing up, Natalie didn't have it easy, each day her body rallied against her, leaving her self esteem in a shambles and her confidence battered and bruised. Her painful acne outbreaks, heavy periods and wanting the world to open and swallow
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L A i N E Y
Dear Nina Kenwood,

You need to write another book. Trust me you need too. You just do. Please do not hesitate or second-guessing youself about this fact, it’s not up to debate at this point. Not to plagiarize world-renown athletics brand, but just do it.

Because you really need to, okay? You really really need to. And I mean you really really really need to. I don’t know if the piling amount of adverbs works for you or you’re one of those people who finds them obnoxious since we’re not that well-
...more
Zitong Ren
It’s sort of occurred to me that in this current time where most of us are facing lots of uncertainty, I sort of either want to read a book that brings and feels a sense of normalcy, or read super depressing and horrible to make myself feel better that our world isn’t that bad yet. I picked up this book before I guess I was looking for something that would be fairly light-hearted and fun, which it definitely was, and I really enjoyed it. It was fun and there lots of cute moments and fairly inter ...more
Text Publishing
The following book reviews have been shared by Text Publishing – publisher of It Sounded Better in My Head

‘Loved. Loved. Loved it.’
Melina Marchetta

‘I loved this delightful, funny, big-hearted book. Natalie’s wry internal voice really spoke to the awkward-teen me.’
Melissa Keil

‘This book is delicious—beautiful, funny, real and supremely honest. I devoured it.’
Claire Christian

‘An adorably awkward and real romance. It was love at first chapter for me.’
Emily Gale

‘The most gorgeous, tender-hearte
...more
Jacob Proffitt
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, romance
I'm having a hard time writing this review and I don't know why. And now it has been over a week so I'm essentially throwing in the towel and just doing the best I can. I think the cover copy is awful as it doesn't at all convey the spirit of the book. For one, it overplays her past semi-crush on Zach and implies way more resentment than she actually has. For another, it doesn't even hint at how deeply affected Natalie is by a crippling case of anxiety over her looks. It's seriously a center-poi ...more
Emma
Apr 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Full review HERE

I know I'm in the minority when I say that I think this book was just okay, but it's how I truly feel.
I really appreciated how the theme of Natalie's insecurities was dealt with. Bad acne has obviously left her with physical and psychological scars and I think it's important to talk about that.
But what I didn't like was how annoying she was and I also could not take her asking lot
...more
rachel ☾
Trigger warnings for (view spoiler).

Representation: Natalie (mc) has polycistic ovarian syndrome; Lucy (sc) is queer.

◯ Review & rating based on an unfinished review copy.

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Aj the Ravenous Reader
This is unbelievably relatable. Had I read this when I was 18, I would have hugged Natalie in solid camaraderie that she is not alone because I was exactly like her except I didn't have PCOS which understandably ups her anxiety level more. Also, my parents never announced a divorce.

But in all things that mattered, Natalie and I were the same, both introverts, both uncomfortable in our own skin, both socially inept, both hated parties. Even our clothes were the same. Big jumpers, beanies, jackets
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Kate (GirlReading)
This was an utter delight. JUST SO CUTE.

The Good:
- THERE WAS ONLY ONE BED.
- The romance was SO CUTE I literally found myself squealing at 2am but it was also messy and honest and imperfect and I loved that.
- It was incredibly easy to read, allowing me to fly through it in two sittings.
- YES TO PCOS REP!
- I adored the discussion of the deep, both physically and emotionally scarring effects puberty and acne can leave on a person.
- Natalie wasn't perfect. She snipped and could be mean but this mad
...more
madandelion [hiatus 160420]
Okay, so imagine The Edge of Seventeen as a book.
Now read that title.
And look at that cover.
I'm sold.
Emma
I started this book on a whim because I was in desperate need of escapism, and this was absolutely perfect. A new comfort read for sure, this was filled with just the right amount of tropes that made it so enjoyable. It's familiar at times - I mean, we've got dating your best friend's brother, 'there's only one bed', etc etc. Even still, this was truly SUCH a delight to read. I mean sure, it's predictable, but it's also entertaining and funny and wholly relatable. It's a book about experiencin ...more
Alaina
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

It Sounded Better in My Head was honestly a really cute ass book. In it, you will meet Natalie and Alex. Now Natalie is completely and adorably awkward. I instantly loved her and definitely felt her confusion, pain, and excitement in everything she did. Even if she probably did better in school than me.

The only difference between me and her is that I'm a lot more outgoing - still awkward though. When we see her outside of h
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Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
It Sounded Better in My Head is heart-warming, adorable, relatable and exactly what I needed to read.

Having graduated high school, Natalie hears that her parents will be separating and she also starts dating for the first time. She's on the cusp of major change in her life that will be happening whether she likes it or not.

Natalie's voice is immediately relatable, describing her insecurities with having acne and anxious thoughts about her friends, future, parents splitting up and pretty much e
...more
Donna
First time in a long time that I have read a book in one sitting. Such an enjoyable, engaging conversational style of writing. I reckon many girls reading this will easily relate to Natalie. I empathized with her acne agony and felt the cringe worthiness of her social isolation and awkwardness. Was I reading a novel or holding a mirror to my teen self albeit last century?

Great mix of teen characters - joyous, funny and at times quite poignant.
Marianne
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It Sounded Better In My Head is the first novel by Australian author, Nina Kenwood, and winner of the 2018 Text Prize of YA and Children’s Writing. When Natalie’s father announces on Christmas Day that he and her mother are separating, it’s a shock. This news, and their infuriatingly calm manner of imparting it, is almost eclipsed, however, by the fact that they kept this from her for ten months. Her world (already somewhat disordered when her two best friends, Zach and Lucy decided they were in ...more
Sofia Casanova
This is one of my favourite books of 2019! It Sounded Better in My Head is a gorgeous and hilarious YA debut about friendship, longing and how to navigate life after high school. The protagonist Natalie is a quirky big-hearted girl whose parents have announced they’re getting a divorce. Turning to her best friends Zach and Lucy, who have recently become a couple, she’s left feeling awkward and unsure about her life. Why hasn’t it turned out how she expected it to? And when she starts spending mo ...more
fra ☆
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5
i can't believe nina kenwood wrote a book about me and didn't even tell me
Marie
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Trigger warnings: (view spoiler)
Diversity: queer side character, main character with polycistic ovarian syndrom and cystic acne.

I just loved this SO much, I think it's one of the very rare times where I found a book character SO damn relatable and speaking to teenage-me that I just have to recognize that. I adore Natalie, I really liked the friendship, the slow burning relationship and all the messy complex feeli
...more
Amanda
LOVED this! I laughed and I cried, it's excellent.
Tracey (Life and Literature)
This book was adorable, and sweet, and real, and laugh out loud funny, and oh so relatable. Natalie was me as a teen and parts of her are still me now as an adult. LOVED IT!
Nadia King
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Natalie has left school and everything should be going according to plan; her best friend Zach and Lucy are going to be there for her and they will all go to Melbourne University together. Except on Christmas day, Natalie’s parents tell her they’re getting divorced. Natalie reels from the news.

It Sounded Better in My Head by first-time author and long-time bookseller, Nina Kenwood won the 2018 Text Prize. It’s a book about dealing with isolation and how our external appearances can shape our liv
...more
JP
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, favorites
OMG! • I loved this book • About the book • 304 pages • YA Contemporary • Published by Flatiron Books • Release date April 7, 2020 • Debut novel • Great characters • Engaging • Relatable • Adorable in an awkward way • Couldn’t put down • Highly recommend • Please don’t miss this great book • Netgalley by the Publisher • All opinions about this were my own • I gave a totally honest review • ♥️
Adele
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2019
Super charming and funny with a side plate of self-doubt, pragmatism and witty repartee.

Natalie is sure of her opinions, and doubtful of her surroundings. And that makes perfect sense because she's going through a significant change with her best friends dating each other, school's finished, her parents have separated, and she's stepping out of her comfort zone.

There's a party scene where the internal dialogue is bang on for every high school party I ever went to. And the ones I make myself go t
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Nina Kenwood has worked in the book industry for more than ten years. She is currently the marketing manager at Readings bookshop in Melbourne. It Sounded Better in My Head is Nina’s first novel.

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“I'm currently alone in the downstairs bedroom that's closest to the front door, and I'm scared. Why didn't I think of the risks of bed-swapping? I'll be the first person murdered because of Zach and Lucy's horniness.” 7 likes
“Everyone knows you can't really trust any feeling you have at night - and the later the hour, the less trustworthy it is. Anything you feel after 10pm is suspect, anything after midnight should be discounted altogether.” 5 likes
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