Review: It Sounded Better in My Head, Nina Kenwood

There are no spoilers in this review.

It Sounded Better in My Head, Nina Kenwood

Publishing on April 7th, 2020 by Flatiron Books.

Buy It Sounded Better in my Head on AmazonBook DepositoryIndiebound More buying links.

From debut author Nina Kenwood comes a tender, funny, and compulsively readable novel about first love and its confusions, and all of the awkwardness of teen romance.

When her parents announce their impending divorce, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting, or at least mildly upset. Then Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, hook up, leaving her feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward. She’d always imagined she would end up with Zach one day―in the version of her life that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of banter, pining, and meaningful looks. Now everything has changed, and nothing is quite making sense. Until an unexpected romance comes along and shakes things up even further.

It Sounded Better in My Head is a compulsively readable love letter to teenage romance in all of its awkward glory, perfect for fans To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Emergency Contact.

☂️ TRIGGER WARNINGS: click here to see them.

drinking, body-shaming, bullying, talk about cheating, throwing up.

☂️ DIVERSITY: queer side character, main character with polycistic ovarian syndrom and cystic acne.



  • It Sounded Better in My Head is one of my favorite books of all times okay. I didn’t expect to fall in love with it like I did and I’m so, so, so glad this book exists.
  • This story is one of the most relatable I’ve ever, ever encountered in young adult books and I’ve read a lot of them. The main character, Natalie, and her struggles, are so realistic, I felt so seen for one of the very first times in my entire life. Natalie is an 18-years-old with difficult teenage years behind her: solitary, very anxious and self-conscious about herself and her own body and her own image, dealing with a lot of acne problems, puberty and typical teenager problems with a realistic teenager voice. Moreover, she doesn’t like to drink, she doesn’t like to party and she’s just an introvert spending a lot of time with her parents and close-knit group of friends and…. it just felt so relatable to teenage-me okay. I just loved Natalie so, so much.
  • It Sounded Better In My Head leaves such a big space for friendships: Natalie, Lucy and Zach are this close-knit group, sharing everything and always hanging out together. I loved their connection, I loved their relationship and how it grew thorough the story, just as well.

  • The romance was everything. Slow-burning, it developed rightly all over the story, with the exact right amount of awkward conversations and moments you can expect from this kind of romance, the messy conversations, exciting first times and first emotions coming with falling in love for the first time.
  • I loved the presence of family in this story, too. The story starts with Natalie finding out about her parents’ divorce and, as the chapters go on, we see her dealing with the aftermath of her parents’ separation. I liked seeing the genuine relationship between her and both of her parents, from their protectiveness to Natalie’s reluctance to listening to them, sometimes. It was lovely.
  • It Sounded Better in My Head also deals with this strange time between high school and college, as the main characters await their acceptance into the college of their choices, as they wonder what they want to be, where they want to go and who that means leaving behind, sometimes, too.



It Sounded Better In My Head was one of the best reading surprises of 2020 so far. I loved the main character’s voice, I loved how this book captures teenage years in all of their awkward glory, from the friendships to the first time romances, to the family and its complications. Relatable, awkward, funny, endearing and heartwarming, this book is one I’d definitely recommend everyone to read.

Final rating:  It’s a hurricane!

A million thanks to MacMillan International & Flatiron Books for sending me an ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.

Did you read It Sounded Better in My Head? Do you want to?

What’s the most relatable book you’ve read lately? Let me know in comments!





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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

43 thoughts on “Review: It Sounded Better in My Head, Nina Kenwood

  1. OMG, MARIE!! One of your favorite books of all time??? That’s a HUGE endorsment and when I am in the mood to get another contemporary book sometime soon, I will definitely keep an eye out for this one. I think I could definitely relate to Natalie as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES! I really hope you will give this a chance, I think you’d really enjoy it as well. It had been a long time since I encountered such a relatable main character. She felt like teenage me a bit. I loved it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad that you enjoyed this book! I’ve never heard of it before, but it sounds charming. I especially appreciate how you said the book was able to capture an authentic teenage voice. One of my greatest pet peeves with YA novels that have great stories is that their teens’ dialogue or text messages sound like adults trying to imitate teenagers rather than teenage voices themselves. Off of the top of my head, I couldn’t think of the most relatable book I read recently, but one of the most non-relatable (haha) was Anna K by Jenny Lee just because the characters I described as being rich and frivolous partygoers XD. lovely review ! :))

    claire @ clairefy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AH I’m so, so happy I could put this book on your radar, Claire ❤
      I so agree with you. I LOVE young adult books so much, but it had been a while since I had read one with such a relatable, teenager voice shining like that. I loved it so much!
      Ahah I can imagine not relating to Anna K. …. AT ALL. But I'm here for all the drama ahha 🙂
      Thank you so, so much! ❤


  3. wow, this book sounds lovely!! 😍 the slowburn romance and family themes are definitely intriguing me, haha. it sounds like you really enjoyed it, so i’m definitely adding it to my TBR! amazing review ❤ stay safe xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m SO glad you enjoyed it, just a couple of days ago I was wondering if this book would be something I would enjoy and this is my sign!! I”ll add it to my TBR. Incredible Review, beautiful ❤️✨ and I hope you’re safe and secure, I send you my best energy and all my love in these difficult times in the world 🥰🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t read many contemporaries but this review has me thinking I might just like to add this to the TBR. I mean, Nathalie’s awkwardness and personality sound a lot like mine, it’s scary LOL. I’d love to read something relatable and real. Thanks for sharing. It’s the best feeling when you can name a book a favorite so I’m happy for you! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahh now I can’t wait to read this book too!! It sounds really relatable and if you love it this much, I probably will love it too. Great review, you made me really excited to read it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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