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It Sounded Better In My Head


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From a debut Melbourne writer comes the big-hearted romantic comedy of the year, an addictive and joyful celebration of the awkward teen in all of us. The winner of the 2018 Text Prize, with rights already sold in six territories.

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 *
'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.' * Age *
'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.' * Otago Daily Times *
'This is topnotch YA romance with a lovably neurotic narrator - equally funny and heartwarming.' * Readings *
'[Gives] an authentic and funny voice to the awkward experience of adolescence.' * Australian Book Review *
'A big-hearted romantic comedy' * Courier-Mail *
'A refreshingly realistic take on the hilarious and precarious nature of first love, with superbly candid references to the agonies of acne.' * WA Today *
'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.' * School Library Journal *
'Young people, especially those who know the pain of feeling unattractive in an age of social media, will resonate with this sympathetically told journey.' * Kirkus *
'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.' * Publishers Weekly *

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