Member Loginmenu
Your basket is empty
It Sounded Better in My Head

It Sounded Better in My Head

Nina Kenwood

  • awardShortlisted, Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, 2020
  • awardShortlisted, Young Adult, Indie Book Awards, 2020
  • awardShortlisted, Best Designed Young Adult Cover, Australian Book Design Awards, 2020
  • awardShortlisted, Book of the Year for Older Children, Australian Book Industry Awards, 2020
  • awardShortlisted, Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year, Australian Book Industry Awards, 2020
  • awardShortlisted, Griffith University Young Adult Book Award, Queensland Literary Awards, 2020
  • awardShortlisted, Russell Prize for Humour Writing, 2021
  • awardLonglisted, Booktopia Favourite Australian Book, 2020
  • awardLonglisted, Children's Book of the Year, Bookseller's Choice, Australian Booksellers Association, 2020
  • awardLonglisted, Young Adult, Indie Book Awards, Leading Edge, 2020
  • awardCommended, CBCA Notable Books: Older Readers, 2020
  • When her parents announce their impending separation, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting or at least mildly upset. And now that Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, have fallen in love, she’s feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward.

    Where does she fit in now? And what has happened to the version of her life that played out like a TV show—with just the right amount of banter, pining and meaningful looks?

    Nothing is going according to plan.

    But then 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.

    Readings’ Teen Advisory Board reviews It Sounded Better in My Head

    Listen to Nina Kenwood’s Spotify playlist: It Sounded Better in My Head(phones)


    3RRR: Backstory (0:14:00) 
    Booktopia Q&A 
    Booktopia: The best books we read in May 
    First Time podcast 
    Her Canberra 
    IN Daily: Diary of a Bookseller: Stories to delight, enthral and terrify 
    Inside a Dog 
    Kill Your Darlings: Shelf Reflection 
    Kill Your Darlings: Books Roundup  
    Kill Your Darlings (article)
    Love Oz YA: Author Q&A 
    Readings: staff reviews  
    Readings: Teen classics paired with their contemporary YA soulmates 

    Nina Kenwood
    About the Author

    Nina Kenwood is an award-winning author living in Melbourne. Her debut YA novel It Sounded Better in My Head won the Text Prize and was a finalist for the American Library Association’s William C. Morris Award, as well as being shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Queensland Literary Awards, Russell Prize for Humour Writing, Indie...

    Read Moreright
    Text publication date:
    6 August 2019
    AU Price:
    NZ Price:
    Reading age:
    Loading Rating
    Praise for Nina Kenwood
    andIt Sounded Better in My Head

    ‘An adorably awkward and real romance. It was love at first chapter for me.’

    ‘This book is delicious—beautiful, funny, real and supremely honest. I devoured it.’

    ‘I loved this delightful, funny, big-hearted book. Natalie’s wry internal voice really spoke to the awkward-teen me.’

    ‘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.’

    ‘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!’

    ‘[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.’

    ‘I loved it! This is a novel to relish and recommend.’

    ‘A beautiful story about teenage love and heartache.’

    ‘The best novel about first love and teenage life I have read in a very long time.’

    ‘I absolutely looooooooooooved it…I fell for Natalie like a ton of bricks!!’

    ‘Utter perfection! ♥ ♥ ♥’

    ‘I absolutely adored this novel.’

    ‘I can’t wait to sell this wonderful, funny, articulate, compassionate book.’

    ‘ You feel like you’ve made friends by novel’s end.’

    ‘Every 15+ should be given this next Christmas.’

    ‘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.’

    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.’

    ‘Loved. Loved. Loved it.’

    ‘The most gorgeous, tender-hearted, funny and beautifully awkward story I’ve read all year…I loved this book. Just inhaled it.’

    ‘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.’

    ‘A sweet, funny and relatable account of the dramas of those grappling with late adolescence…Kenwood masters with aplomb the dialogue of her characters.’

    ‘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.‘

    ‘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.‘

    ‘I am all-caps OBSESSED with this achingly insightful, utterly charming, beautiful heart-punch of a book. Instant favorite.’

    ‘An appealing and clever exploration of teenage fears and joys.’

    ‘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.’

    ‘Kenwood does “awkward” beautifully, and captures so many funny, tender and painfully excruciating moments…Smart, entertaining and painfully real, Kenwood’s prize-winning novel delivers on all fronts.’

    ‘Kenwood’s book is a fantastically fun read. You will find yourself laughing, rolling your eyes and cheering for Natalie, all at the same time.’

    ‘This is topnotch YA romance with a lovably neurotic narrator – equally funny and heartwarming.’

    ‘[Gives] an authentic and funny voice to the awkward experience of adolescence.‘

    ‘A big-hearted romantic comedy’

    ‘A refreshingly realistic take on the hilarious and precarious nature of first love, with superbly candid references to the agonies of acne.’

    ‘An authentic coming-of-age story that perfectly captures the awkwardness and self-doubt many young adults feel. Teens will see aspects of themselves mirrored in Kenwood’s debut.’

    ‘Young people, especially those who know the pain of feeling unattractive in an age of social media, will resonate with this sympathetically told journey.’

    ‘Natalie conveys the difficulties not only of puberty but of moving past internalized negativity in a voice that’s sharp, funny, and self-aware, making it even more satisfying for readers to see her realize that she can be the star of her life, not just the sidekick.’

    ‘The novel perfectly captures the terror of being in-between, caught both in the liminal space between adolescence and adulthood, and in that befuddling period where a friendship might be turning into something more. A perfect pick for fans of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2014) who are looking for their next quirky romantic heroine.’

    Other editions ofIt Sounded Better in My Head
    • It Sounded Better in My Head
      ISBN: 9781925774740
      6 August 2019
      Buy ebook