Saturday 5 October 2019

It Sounded Better in my Head

It Sounded Better in my Head by Nina Kenwood (Text) PB RRP $19.99 ISBN 9781925773910

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Winner of the 2018 Text Prize, this is the bookseller author’s debut novel which is about awkward, introverted eighteen-year-old Natalie who is in the summer between high school and university and has just discovered to her great consternation that her parents are separating.  Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting, or at least mildly upset.  As well, after years of suffering from and treating acne, she is still unsure of her physicality and struggling with fitting in with peers. She has two best friends, Zach and Lucy, who have hooked up. Natalie is attracted to Zach’s older brother Alex with whom she finds herself unexpectedly sharing a bed for two nights – and struggling to cope. When Alex kisses her, she is shocked (although she fancies him) but she responds and then questions his motives.

This is a tender, amusing and feel-good coming-of-age novel about a girl who feels that she doesn’t fit in. The scene where she questions her own body, especially her private parts, is funny but accurately captures how a scarcely adult girl might think. 

Overall, It Sounded Better in my Head is a satisfying read which is recommended for YA and new adult readers.

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