This review was originally published on TOHS The Lancer
Natalie’s life is nowhere near perfect. But when she hears that her parents have secretly been planning a divorce for the past ten months, what used to be the one stable part of her life is now falling apart. And with her rampant anxiety and depression, it’s hard for her to see how any of this could be what her mom wants her to think of as a “good thing.”
Set during the summer after high school graduation, Natalie learns that finding your feet is a lot less running and a lot more stumbling. In this unapologetically awkward story, she, along with her two best friends Zach and Lucy, must navigate the toils and tribulations of parties, relationships, drama, parents, and of course the ever-looming question of what college they got accepted to.
Although it takes place during the summer, Natalie frequently recalls past stories of embarrassment, harassment, and pity, mostly tied to her glaring acne scars and harsh stretch marks. She knows her friends love her no matter what, but with her last relationship having been years ago, she finds it hard to think that anyone else her age does too. But when Alex (one of Zach’s three brothers) and Owen, two wild friends who never talked to Natalie, Zach, and Lucy, suddenly start being oddly friendly, Natalie’s already-flipped life gets flipped on its head again.
Overall, “It Sounded Better in My Head” is a charming story with a modern twist on the classic teen romance drama. It is brutally honest, delightedly funny, and effortlessly in-tune to the thoughts and feelings for a 21st-century highschooler. It doesn’t try too hard to appeal to kids with cringey references, out-of-date slang, and sad attempts at being cool. Instead, it reads easily and simply feels like a friend talking to you. It is a bit on the more mature side of young adult books, but without it, there wouldn’t be that honest candidness that is so refreshing to find in these for teens, about teens, by adults books. For anyone looking for a right-in-the-feels kind of book, this is a quick and easy read you won’t want to put down.