Member Loginmenu
It Sounded Better in My Head

It Sounded Better in My Head

Nina Kenwood

  • awardWinner, Text Prize for Young adult and Children’s Writing, 2018
  • 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, Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year, Australian Book Industry Awards, 2020
  • awardShortlisted, Book of the Year for Older Children, 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 won the Text Prize for her debut YA novel, It Sounded Better in My Head, which went on to be published in six languages, was a finalist for the American Library Association’s William C Morris Award, as well as being shortlisted for several Australian awards. Her second book, Unnecessary Drama, continued her success both in Australia...

    Read Moreright
    Text publication date:
    30 August 2022
    AU Price:
    NZ Price:
    Reading age:
    Loading Rating
    Praise for Nina Kenwood
    andIt Sounded Better in My Head

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

    ‘I love, love, loved it.’

    ‘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 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.’

    ‘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.‘

    ‘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.’

    ‘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.’

    ‘With candor and affection, It Sounded Better in My Head captures a teenager navigating the final moments of one stage of life and the first moments of the next.’

    ‘An extraordinary coming-of-age story. Kenwood manages to capture the intensity of disagreement between friends, the unavoidable self-doubts that most teenagers can’t help, and the annoying yet silly family banter. A compelling, genuine coming-of-age story that does not hold back from representing multiple issues that teenagers face.’

    ‘Kenwood’s comedic writing immediately charmed me, the characters are truly such a delight.’

    ‘Both [It Sounded Better in My Head and Unnecessary Drama] are sweet and funny and poignant…What’s not to love?’

    ‘Natalie is an unforgettable character…Many students will identity with and understand her journey.’

    Other editions ofIt Sounded Better in My Head
    • It Sounded Better in My Head
      ISBN: 9781925774740
      6 August 2019
      Buy ebook
    • It Sounded Better in My Head
      ISBN: 9781925773910
      6 August 2019