Review by Sarah McDuling
I really can’t praise this book enough – I absolutely loved it and fell for the main character, Natalie, like a ton of bricks!
It Sounded Better In My Head is deeply tender coming-of age story about first love, friendship, and the all the horrifying awkwardness of navigating young adulthood. Thrumming with wonderfully nuanced and vividly depicted emotion, this book will make your heart soar, while also making you laugh.
Packed full of wry humour and an utterly lovable cast of characters – including one of the most achingly vulnerable and deeply relatable narrators I have encountered in a long time – this book is a delight to read and I am already looking forward to whatever Nina Kenwood writes next!
When her parents announce their impending separation, 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 miffed and decidedly awkward. She'd always imagined she would end up with Zach one day-in the version of her life that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of banter, pining and meaningful looks. Now everything has changed and nothing is quite making sense.
Until an unexpected romance comes along and shakes things up even further.
It Sounded Better in My Head is a tender, funny and joyful novel about longing, confusion, feeling left out and finding out what really matters-from an exciting new voice in Australian YA writing.
About the Author
Nina Kenwood is the marketing manager at Readings bookshop in Melbourne. She has worked in the book industry for ten years, but has been writing, secretly, for much longer. It Sounded Better in My Head is her first novel.
'An adorably awkward and real romance. It was love at first chapter for me.' * Emily Gale *
'This book is delicious-beautiful, funny, real and supremely honest. I devoured it.' * Claire Christian *
'I loved this delightful, funny, big-hearted book. Natalie's wry internal voice really spoke to the awkward-teen me.' * Melissa Keil *
'Nina Kenwood has created nuanced and authentic characters, each caught up in their trajectory towards adulthood...a gorgeous and funny coming-of-age novel that perfectly captures the awkward, liminal nature of adolescence.' * Books+Publishing (starred review) *
'This book is a rare gem; a simple story told with an utterly authentic and humorous voice that portrays with great empathy the insecurities and confusion of young adulthood...an absolute knockout of a novel [that] will win over hearts and minds everywhere!' * Readings *
'[A]n outstanding book that captures perfectly the liminal moment at the end of high school before 'real life' begins - in my opinion, it's the younger, funnier cousin of Sally Rooney's Normal People, and I think Nina is about to become quite famous.' * Alison Huber *
'I loved it! This is a novel to relish and recommend.' * Lynndy Bennett, Gleebooks *
'A beautiful story about teenage love and heartache.' * Natalie Yabuka, Oscar and Friends *
'The best novel about first love and teenage life I have read in a very long time.' * Claire Leyton, Harry Hartog Woden *
'I absolutely looooooooooooved it...I fell for Natalie like a ton of bricks!!' * Sarah McDuling, Booktopia *
'Utter perfection! ' * Emma Leslie, Dymocks Melbourne *
'I absolutely adored this novel.' * Angela Crocombe, Readings Kids *
'I can't wait to sell this wonderful, funny, articulate, compassionate book.' * Beck Hutcheson, Avenue Bookshop *
' You feel like you've made friends by novel's end.' * Paul MacDonald, The Children's Bookshop *
'Every 15+ should be given this next Christmas.' * Genevieve Kruyssen, Where the Wild Things Are *
'A deeply tender coming-of-age story about first love, friendship, and all the horrifying awkwardness of navigating young adulthood. Thrumming with wonderfully nuanced and vividly depicted emotion, this book will make your heart soar, while also making you laugh.' * Booktopia *
'It Sounded Better in My Head should be required reading for teenage females. It should be required reading for everyone...This book is smart, fresh and unique.' * Her Canberra *
'Loved. Loved. Loved it.' * Melina Marchetta *
'The most gorgeous, tender-hearted, funny and beautifully awkward story I've read all year...I loved this book. Just inhaled it.' * Rebecca Sparrow *
'I loved every word of it...Kenwood captures so many late-teenage feelings so perfectly...I really couldn't stop thinking of Sally Rooney's work while I read this book-the clear, conversational prose is absolutely spot on, and every scene is keenly observed...If you only read one YA book this year, make it this one.' * Kill Your Darlings *
'A sweet, funny and relatable account of the dramas of those grappling with late adolescence...Kenwood masters with aplomb the dialogue of her characters.' * Age *
'Hilarious and heartbreaking, It Sounded Better in My Head is a glistening dive into adolescent romance and burgeoning independence...This book is a must-read for every Australian teen.' * Geelong Echo *
'Peppered with sparkling humour and electric dialogue, the portrayal of Natalie's struggles with self-image, future worries and accidental love is heartwarming to read. Kenwood has achieved the almost impossible: the quintessential YA voice.' * Big Issue (starred review) *
'I am all-caps OBSESSED with this achingly insightful, utterly charming, beautiful heart-punch of a book. Instant favorite.' * Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda *
'An appealing and clever exploration of teenage fears and joys.' * Magpies *
'Compared to Sally Rooney and Judy Blume, Kenwood is a major talent and this charismatic, booknerdishly cool novel is an absolute delight. Give it to your favourite teenager or keep it for yourself.' * InDaily *