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

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  778 ratings  ·  216 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
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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 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  778 ratings  ·  216 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
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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 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
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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,
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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.

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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 ...more
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
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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.
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!
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
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Adele
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, ya
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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Amanda
LOVED this! I laughed and I cried, it's excellent.
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.
It’s tricky navigating the chaos of family, friends & budding romance and this novel depicts the lot with honesty and a big heart.
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
Trisha
Completely related to Natalie. Loved it all.
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
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Emily
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, the-ya-circle
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
✿
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!
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: Natalie’s parents are getting divorced, her two best friends are hooking up, she’s 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
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Simone
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 great to
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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.
Emily Wrayburn
Review posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind 10 January 2019:

This book was certainly sweet and I loved how painfully realistic it was at times. But some pacing issues and the lack of characterisation from anyone other than the main character left me feeling like there could have been more.

Natalie’s life is diverging from the Plan. Her parents announce their separation on Christmas Day, her two best friends have started dating so she feels like a third wheel, and she’s just finished high-school
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K.
Trigger warnings: parental separation, mentions of cheating, alcohol abuse, vomit.

Well, this was thoroughly delightful. The time between finishing high school and university placements coming out is a very weird time in any Australian teen's life, especially when you've got Christmas and New Year jammed in the middle of it. You don't know what the future holds and where you fit in because you feel like everything is up in the air. And when Natalie's parents add in an announcement that they're
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Kristy (sometimes_i_read_books)
It Sounded Better in my Head is one of the best YA novels I’ve ever read, big call but so deserving!

When her parents announce their impending separation, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting or at least mildly upset. And now her two best friends have fallen in love. Where does she fit? Nothing is quite going according to plan.

This book is funny, charming and so relatable. I found myself laughing out loud often and had all the big feelings for Natalie as she navigates teenage life. I
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Charlotte
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
It Sounded Better in My Head is the terrific debut novel from Nina Kenwood.
I love that it is set firmly in Victoria, Australia. Natalie is a very relatable character who I connected to easily. It is an honest portrayal of what it's like as a young adult just finishing high school.
Nina Kenwood writing a book full of emotion, and real life situations.
Bonus points for the Hunger Games reference.
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
Review to come closer to release. I loved it.
Danielle {halfdesertedstreets}
So darn cute. And I related to Natalie so hard.

Reread: all of the laughs and all of the feels.
Aneets
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really, really loved this. I read a lot of YA novels and a lot of the time they don't ring true to my own teenage experience because acne was such a big part of it. A strange thing to praise a book for but I LOVED that horrid acne & how that made the protagonist feel was a part of her journey in this. It also had a cute romance and family dramas galore, but the way that something like acne can shape your self image really spoke to me 20+ years later. Really well written and will make sure ...more
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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.
“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.” 2 likes
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