It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood
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!