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It Sounded Better in My Head
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It Sounded Better in My Head

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  1,081 ratings  ·  311 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 cant 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
...more
Hardcover, US, 272 pages
Expected publication: 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…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)

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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,081 ratings  ·  311 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 didnt see myself like a book about puberty problems, hormonal changes, acne scars (they actually leave both mental and physical scars on human bodies. Im talking about 13 year old, curly, chubby, tomboy version of myself whose face covered with tons of them. Yikes!) and being
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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 Kenwoods 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 experiences
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Berit☀️✨
Nina Kenwoods 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
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. Natalies wry internal voice really spoke to the awkward-teen me.
Melissa Keil

This book is deliciousbeautiful, 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-hearted, funny and
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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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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.

Blog Goodreads Twitter Instagram
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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 Childrens Writing. When Natalies father announces on Christmas Day that he and her mother are separating, its 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
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
...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 theyre getting a divorce. Turning to her best friends Zach and Lucy, who have recently become a couple, shes left feeling awkward and unsure about her life. Why hasnt it turned out how she expected it to? And when she starts spending more ...more
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, Natalies parents tell her theyre 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. Its a book about dealing with isolation and how our external appearances can shape our lives.
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Ambriehl Khalil
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, young-adult
⭐ [4/5 Stars] ⭐

YA used to be my favourite genre and I still really love it but I have to be in the right mood for it. This was a standard contemporary YA. No frills. Just simple and very coming of age, which is fine. I usually steer away from books based in my country mainly because I like, live here? And If Im reading about something I dont want to imagine its set in the place I currently am? For example, this was set in Melbourne. I live in Melbourne. Anyway, this isnt an issue Im just stating
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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
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Samantha
Just made the 3.5 stars
Amanda
LOVED this! I laughed and I cried, it's excellent.
Clare Snow
I think I could love this book.
"Tonight, everything is still possible."

The end of highschool, waiting for university offers, the rest of her life planned out with her two best friends, until:
- Divorcing parents
- Hot guys handing out party invites
- Natalie's besties in love with Each. Other.

Good thing I read this in two days, and it's set in the summer after highschool, and Natalie and her besties holiday at the beach, and February's prompt for Australian YA Bloggers & Readers 2020 Challenge
...more
mahana
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rep-pcos
rep: mc with polycystic ovarian syndrome (pcos)


this is another case of the "if you aren't represented in this story you probably won't understand how important it was to me and made me sob uncontrollably, while the romance was so cute that i was crying 5 seconds after recovering from said sobfest"

rtc!
Emma
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A pitch-perfect contemporary YA.
This fantastic portrayal of the excruciating awkwardness and insecurity of young adulthood is filled with moments to inspire snort-laughter, tears and wry recognition.
Its tricky navigating the chaos of family, friends & budding romance and this novel depicts the lot with honesty and a big heart.
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ila ✨
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-read
[actual rating: 4.5 stars] "at thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, going to school was hard. Friday night would arrive and i would be filled with such relief. i would unclench and lie on my bed and breathe deeply and reassure myself: i don't have to go outside or see anyone other than my parents for the next two whole days". it took me a few hours (five? six?) to finish It Sounded Better in My Head, and i spent approximately half of them crying (a bit hysterically) and the other half laughing (often ...more
Arielle ⭐ Cursebreaker ⭐
3.5

Okay guys, I decided after finishing this book that I need to be more...true to myself(?) with ARC ratings this year. I sometimes tend to rate higher than what I actually feel and I don't think that's fair to anyone really. However, with this book specifically, I think it's truly a case of "it's not you, it's me." This book had a lot of parts that gave me butterflies and made my heart race and other parts that were so....truthful, that I had a lot of appreciation for it. However, it just
...more
Lainy122
I'm not going to lie, when my bookclub told me that we were doing two YA contemporaries in a row, I mentally did a toddler temper tantrum. My tolerance for contemporary fiction is quite low in general, particularly for teen fiction (I didn't care about high school drama when I was IN high school, and I care significantly less now), so I went into this book expecting to tolerate it at best.
Imagine my surprise when ten pages in, I actually laughed OUT LOUD. I never do this! I think to myself how
...more
Trisha
Completely related to Natalie. Loved it all.
Emily
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-ya-circle, 2019
This was a good book to read on a very cold night and whilst flying home. The only downfall for me was the fact that I expected more. For me it wrapped up too quickly. Overall though it was a really good debut novel and good pick for the YA Circle's August book of the month.
Paula  Phillips
Nov 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I wasn't 100% sure what to expect when I picked up this book with its cheerful cover - I had the yellow cover which is the AUS/NZ edition. This blue cover is the US edition. As I started reading it, I was in two minds as it felt a bit young but as I got reading it I was drawn into the world of the main female character Natalie. It is coming up to Christmas and she has just had a giant bombshell thrown on her that her parents are divorcing and her Dad is moving out. To make matters worst, this ...more
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
This was such an incredibly quick read - I couldn't put it down. It was compulsively readable and just so much fun. It's filled with genuine friendships and awkward dates and I couldn't have been happier. I really enjoyed seeing Natalie and her friendships with Zach and Lucy. Natalie is such a resilient character that you can't help but cheer for her - she's grow from her awkward puberty phase and is still emotionally scarred from the physical changes, and while the fears and insecurities effect ...more
Ixxati
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Okay this is a good story because I can't stop smiling after finishing this book. I got acne, scars and don't feel comfortable in my own body. Those things make me feel insecure until now. So yeah I can relate to Natalie the main character. It's rare to find a book that talk about this problem (acne) because I feel like some people don't understand me.

"My body was a shameful disaster I was too embarrassed to go outside unless I absolutely had to. No, it was worse than that I was too embarrassed
...more
Sarah Fairbairn
It Sounded Better in My Head is a new #LoveOzYA Contemporary YA Romance that is adorable, entertaining, relatable and warmed my heart. And while it may be a romance, there is also a heavy focus on friendship which is always a winner for me.

The story begins: Natalies parents are getting divorced, her two best friends are hooking up, shes just finished high school Her whole world is changing at a rapid speed and she struggling to keep up.
Cue a kiss from a cute boy, who in her mind is way out of
...more
Sim ✨(wholesimreads)
✔ 26. a book that's published in 2019

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5 stars

I loved this debut novel written by Nina, a local bookseller-now-author from Melbourne, published through winning the Text Prize. It was a heartwarming coming-of-age I would've loved reading as a teenager. I can't tell you how many times I had a quiet chuckle to myself! I also felt so *seen* through the protagonist's cyclical overthinking and anxiety; the struggles and triumphs of the character felt incredibly authentic and nuanced. It was so
...more
Silvia (roomforbooks)
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
4.5

I absolutely loved this book, it made cry and laugh (but most of all cry). It was extremely relatable, it spoke to my insecurities on a very personal level. I felt like the author was writing about me and it broke my heart but it also made me feel less alone. It reminded me why I love reading.
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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 Ninas first novel. ...more

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