It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood
Release date: April 7, 2020
An e-galley was provided by Macmillan via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The first thing you should know about It Sounded Better in My Head is that it's a very quick read. It's primarily a romance, with a little bit of coming-of-age thrown in. It's Australian YA, which I haven't read much of, but I think that made it more interesting. However, in general, the story reminded me of YA from like ten years ago. I don't think it did anything particularly new or groundbreaking, but it was a nice easy read, almost a palate cleanser.
While the synopsis had me thinking the romance parts were going to go a totally different direction, I definitely shipped Natalie with Alex, her actual love interest. The way their bond develops is great. They're both a bit self-conscious about things in their lives, and they try to keep things on the DL at first since Alex is her friend Zach's older brother.
The divorce plotline felt important but also like it didn't get enough focus. Neither did Natalie's friendships. Her friends are there a lot, but I felt like they were just characters written for those roles; they didn't truly feel like her friends at times.
Content warnings: (technically - for American readers) underage drinking, foul language, sex discussions
The Verdict: Good for new-to-YA readers.
Will I be adding this book to my library?: Probably not.