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

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  544 ratings  ·  159 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 mi
ebook, 304 pages
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by Flatiron Books
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**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 experiences of my own teen y/>YA
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-hearted, funny and beauti/>‘The/>‘An/>/>‘This/>‘I/>‘Loved.
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
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.

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 t ...more
Nadia King
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 s
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!
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
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.
LOVED this! I laughed and I cried, it's excellent.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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"

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 h
Completely related to Natalie. Loved it all.
Silvia (roomforbooks)
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

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.
✔ 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 an
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my that was a quick read!!! What I found most interesting about this book was just how dramatically times have changed. To see how youth today interact compared to the days I was in senior high school was quite eye opening - significant contrast! This book is a charming contemporary YA that explores issues teenage girls face such as body image and being self-conscious of your appearance - friendships, romance and significant changes to family dynamics that do impact the youth.

“Anything you f
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 s
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
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

It is one of the best novels I have read that illustrates the fear, apprehension and impending change that every teenager feels when they finish high school. Natalie not only has to deal with these changes but her parents announce that they are getting a divorce and she has her first encounters with romance (and continually compares the encounters to the scenarios in the Bachelor).

I adore Natalie, her narration is awkward, hilarious and sometimes bordering on obsessive - bu
Jaclyn Crupi
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 This was delightful but I stumbled with it when at the end two eighteen year olds without jobs, and one of them with a family in financial stress, moved out of home (with the parents in financial stress paying their daughter’s rent). I wish I didn’t fixate so much on how characters afford the lives they lead in fiction but I do. It’s the Jane Austen reader in me. I don’t want to take away too much from how lovely this book was to read – sweet, romantic, compelling – but I do wish Australian ...more
Kerran Olson
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, dymocks-ya-club
4.5* I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and it's probably one of the best YA books I've read in a long time. Natalie is a really relatable and well rounded character, and even though a lot of her inner dialogue is focused on her insecurities and worries, she doesn't come across as whiny or annoying at all to me. The relationships in the book feel pretty realistic and develop at a good pace, and I really liked the other characters and how they played off Natalie. Definitely recommend as a cute conte ...more
Danielle {halfdesertedstreets}
So darn cute. And I related to Natalie so hard.

Reread: all of the laughs and all of the feels.
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, adolescent
Loved this book. Great exploration of feelings, great humour and characters.
3.5 Stars
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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.” 0 likes
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