It Sounded Better in My Head

Nina Kenwood

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

Nina Kenwood

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.   


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.

Natalie has just finished year twelve and is enjoying one final summer with her best friends Zach and Lucy before they all go to university. But on Christmas Day her parents announce they are separating and she is absolutely devastated. Then there is the surprise invitation to her very first party, a terrifying game of spin the bottle, and an unexpected mutual attraction with Zach’s older brother. In a matter of days, Natalie’s entire world has been radically turned upside down.

Written in a confessional first person, Natalie’s inner voice says all those many things we may think but can never say. She is simultaneously utterly hilarious and incredibly vulnerable. The dialogue is whip-smart and witty, the characters are beautifully described, and the depiction of Natalie’s relationships with her parents and her best friends feels authentic and compassionate. The reader can’t help but be immediately sucked into the vortex of Natalie’s world and passionately concerned with her numerous predicaments.

It Sounded Better in My Head is an absolute knockout of a novel. It’s a book that really gets what it is to be on the cusp of adulthood, simultaneously having the world at your feet whilst being utterly confused. It won the 2018 Text Prize, and it will also win over hearts and minds everywhere. It’s a triumph!

Angela Crocombe is the manager of Readings Kids.

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