Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

Annie on My Mind

This groundbreaking book is the story of two teenage girls whose friendship blossoms into love and who, despite pressures from family and school that threaten their relationship, promise to be true to each other and their feelings. The book has been banned from many school libraries and publicly burned in Kansas City. Of the author and the book, the Margaret A. Edwards Awa...

Title:Annie on My Mind
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0374404143
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:234 pages

Annie on My Mind Reviews

  • Sara
    May 28, 2007

    i didn't read this book until i was in my mid-twenties, though it is a book written for a teen audience. it was published in 1982, but i never even heard about it until i was in a queer women's book club in dc. we decided to read this as one of our selections (as well as "are you there, god? it's me, margaret.") it is truly a beautiful story and perfect for teens struggling with their sexuality. the author, nancy garden, doesn't shy away from many of the difficulties of being queer, but it's hea

    i didn't read this book until i was in my mid-twenties, though it is a book written for a teen audience. it was published in 1982, but i never even heard about it until i was in a queer women's book club in dc. we decided to read this as one of our selections (as well as "are you there, god? it's me, margaret.") it is truly a beautiful story and perfect for teens struggling with their sexuality. the author, nancy garden, doesn't shy away from many of the difficulties of being queer, but it's heart is really in the relationship of the two main characters. you can't help but root for them. i think we all remember, no mater what your sexual orientation is, how difficult high school can be. this book captures that but also reminds us that without those experiences, we wouldn't be the rockin' women we are today.

  • Skyler
    May 21, 2009

    I'm not sure I'm qualified to write much of a review on this book, as I was never an adolescent lesbian. But I will say that it was incredibly easy to relate to--even for an adolescent hetero male--and the situation is touching, if not incredibly sad.

    Liza is a teenager who finds a companion in a fellow museum-goer one star-struck day. Cautious and excited, she pursues her romance, despite the fact that many around her do not seem to understand. Through the help of a teacher, she finds guidance i

    I'm not sure I'm qualified to write much of a review on this book, as I was never an adolescent lesbian. But I will say that it was incredibly easy to relate to--even for an adolescent hetero male--and the situation is touching, if not incredibly sad.

    Liza is a teenager who finds a companion in a fellow museum-goer one star-struck day. Cautious and excited, she pursues her romance, despite the fact that many around her do not seem to understand. Through the help of a teacher, she finds guidance in her love, but one thing leads to another, and when Liza and her girlfriend are caught between the sheets at the lesbian teacher's house, wheels are set in motion by society that end in somewhat maddening circumstances.

    The beauty of this book is its focus on the teenage crush and how it develops into love. I remember having these thoughts and emotions myself, being so curious and eager, and being scared out of my mind. The fact that the relationship subject surrounds a lesbian couple, only emphasizes that orientation has nothing to do with it. People are people, and we cannot help who we are attracted to. When love grabs us, it grabs hard, especially when we're young, and we seem to always make the craziest decisions in its vise.

    Some claim the book is shallow, but I think its target audience would disagree. The fact that the emphasis is on healing, instead of hurting, is something to be lauded. The world has seen the tragedy of homosexuality, and it's ready to see how love can go beyond that.

  • Sarah Verminski
    Oct 04, 2009

    Annie On My Mind will always have a special place in my heart, it was the first lesbian themed book I ever read. You may not understand the enormity of this, but just try to understand being 14 and every book you read involves a romance between a man and a woman. Every movie, every TV show, everyone I know is straight, nobody knows I'm gay, I barely understand it myself, and I pick up this book and suddenly it's like I can breathe. Suddenly I don't feel so alone, there's an actual published book

    Annie On My Mind will always have a special place in my heart, it was the first lesbian themed book I ever read. You may not understand the enormity of this, but just try to understand being 14 and every book you read involves a romance between a man and a woman. Every movie, every TV show, everyone I know is straight, nobody knows I'm gay, I barely understand it myself, and I pick up this book and suddenly it's like I can breathe. Suddenly I don't feel so alone, there's an actual published book I can relate to. It was amazing and freeing, and I'll always be greatful to Nancy Garden for giving me that gift.

  • Rose
    Sep 05, 2012

    I'm still trying to form thoughts on my reactions to "Annie on My Mind", but the one thing I can say was that this was a wonderful novel and I'm wondering why it took me so long to read it. Beautifully written, the relationship between Annie and Liza is quite resonant, not just in how it develops, but how it endures. I loved the ending, and I was happy to be able to listen to some reflective thoughts on Nancy Garden's life and personal experiences following the story.

    I'm still trying to form thoughts on my reactions to "Annie on My Mind", but the one thing I can say was that this was a wonderful novel and I'm wondering why it took me so long to read it. Beautifully written, the relationship between Annie and Liza is quite resonant, not just in how it develops, but how it endures. I loved the ending, and I was happy to be able to listen to some reflective thoughts on Nancy Garden's life and personal experiences following the story.

    "Annie on My Mind" was written approximately 30 years ago as of the year I'm writing this review (2012), and it feels as relevant today as it was in the time it was written (1982). I selected this read in honor of "Banned Books Week" and I have to say it's one of the most powerful novels I've had the pleasure of reading, not just in the GLBT spectrum but notably among young adult novels that show a sense of power, growth, and resonance in an individual spectrum as well as in the face of adversity. It shapes itself around a developing relationship between two young women and how that relationship fosters into love despite the contrasting social attitudes. I think one of the things about this novel that struck me, even considering the simple structure of the overarching plot and contrasting elements that might strike a familiar chord in terms of the antagonism the protagonists face, was that it provides a sharp eye into Liza's coming to terms with herself and sentiments. Her experiences are intimate without necessarily being overt, and there's a passion behind her coming to terms with how much she cares for Annie, even as she struggles to define what it is, what it means, and how to find legs to stand on with it.

    Liza's a senior class president attending a prominent private school that seems to be waning in terms of its prominence and funding. She meets Annie who, in contrast, attends a public school. The book focuses on how their feelings emerge and the awkwardness that entails with trying to come to terms with those sentiments - and I found that very realistic in the progression of the novel. Yet they keep their relationship secret as they recognize the social stigmas surrounding them, but eventually their relationship is blown wide open in an incident that threatens to tear them, and their worlds, apart - particularly from Liza's viewpoint considering her distinct identification in the matter.

    I commend how Garden treats the unfolding plot with sensitivity and ultimately in a way that makes the reader want to see how the relationship between the girls endures and what comes of it. I rooted for Liza and Annie and the two teachers who are also caught in the crossfire of that turn in the story, and I felt for Liza even as she faces direct challenges against who she is and how she mentally, sometimes externally, knocks down those prejudices - though it's also balanced with some of her qualms and moments of uncertainty. Granted, I think this novel set a tone for many books that follow it in the same spectrum of exploring dimensions of sexual orientation and relationships. I wonder, perhaps, that this novel could've even delved deeper into exploring the complexity of those prejudices and knocking them down, but I think for the story that was told, it does very well.

    One of the most important themes I've found in young adult literature is the establishment of identity. It's even a prominent theme among adults - finding your path to happiness, finding your heart, finding what makes you - well - you and being comfortable with that. "Annie on My Mind" builds upon that thematic with its protagonists well, though I admit that there are parts that I think could've been further delved into in retrospect. Still, I can see why many liked this novel and why it has such an impact. I definitely felt, appreciated, and would indubitably recommend it.

    Overall score: 4.5/5

  • Thomas
    Jun 17, 2013

    Can we talk about how

    was published in 1982?

    ? Almost 20 y

    Can we talk about how

    was published in 1982?

    ? Almost 20 years before Ellen came out on the Oprah Winfrey Show? 12 years before "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was signed into law by the Clinton Administration? This book blows me away, mainly because it contains an honest exploration of emotions teens still face today - and it was published 13 years before I was born.

    The story focuses on Liza, a budding architect who aspires to attend MIT, and her growing relationship with Annie, an aspiring singer who wants to go to Berkeley. They meet at a museum and have a sword fight of sorts before partaking in other uncouth shenanigans - but beneath their antics lies the foundation of a meaningful, trusting friendship. However, their bond intensifies at a rapid pace, and they soon must figure out their feelings for one another before external factors their them apart.

    Nancy Garden's writing felt so honest in

    . Sure, a kid nowadays probably would have a smartphone to look up the definition of homosexuality and a laptop to find gay role models, but Liza's confusion and her budding relationship with Annie all came across as affecting and sincere. Liza's uncertainty about sex with Annie and her confusion about the expectations of those around her made me connect with her and her struggles throughout the story.

    shows how much worse it was for gay teens 30 years ago - without the out-and-proud celebrities and the eye-opening technology of today - but it also ends on a note of inspiration and hope. Garden did not render Liza and Annie into martyrs; she gave them dreams and desires, just like everyone else. By doing so, Garden made her characters people.

    Not a perfect book by any means - more like a 3.5. I wanted more development from Liza's family, from Garden's writing (which felt a little clunky at times), and from Liza and Annie's relationship as a whole. But,

    's significance as the first lgbtq novel transcends any possible rating, and even though Nancy Garden passed away last month, her impact on people within the lgbtq community will last forever.

  • Elyse
    Oct 24, 2015

    Update: For those who are looking for 'wonderful' audiobooks --a 'great story' which will hold your interest from start to finish ---THIS IS IT!!! Its still one of my favorite audiobooks...

    ECHO is 'exceptional'!!

    I've been thinking about audiobooks --and I saw a member notice this book a few minutes ago--and I just can't say enough good things about it. I 'STILL' have Iris to thank!!!

    I can't imagine 'anyone' not liking it!

    Thank you **Iris** for this Audible book. I can't thank Iris enough! (an

    Update: For those who are looking for 'wonderful' audiobooks --a 'great story' which will hold your interest from start to finish ---THIS IS IT!!! Its still one of my favorite audiobooks...

    ECHO is 'exceptional'!!

    I've been thinking about audiobooks --and I saw a member notice this book a few minutes ago--and I just can't say enough good things about it. I 'STILL' have Iris to thank!!!

    I can't imagine 'anyone' not liking it!

    Thank you **Iris** for this Audible book. I can't thank Iris enough! (an entire new experience in 'reading/listening' has opened for me). .....shhhhhh, I think 'forever'!

    Many of you know I had two surgeries on my ankle this year --(a complete ankle replacement). I spent 2 months in bed - (not allowed to walk). During that time I read -and was peaceful. I read all day --how bad could it be?! :)

    The second stage: walking with crutches and physical therapy 'wasn't' fun. (cut into my reading time to boot).

    The third stage was the worse: I didn't feel I was getting better. My new ankle 'itself' was already great & flexible - no pain --but I had 'more' pain in the right side of my foot than 'ever'. I kept seeing the doctor. He kept giving me bone scans, back x-rays, shots, etc. Its 'still' a puzzle. (I still have the pain -less -but not gone)

    Stage 4: I'm walking (not hiking hilly trails, but more than just to my car for a quick run-into a store)

    This morning I had my longest walk to date since my surgery. 5.5 miles.

    Thank You you Iris...and my new toy...*audible*!!! :) I'm hooked now. I can't wait to go walking again --and find another book to listen to as I 'practice' walking with my new ankle.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH, IRIS! (I wouldn't have taken the leap had you not put this in my hands).

    Thank you to the author, Nancy Garden! The author was a brave woman who wrote this book. The conversation at the end of the book -with the author- is terrific, fascinating -interesting! Its amazing the loops and hoops this book went through.

    The girls in this story are bright...creative -and in love!

    The story might be written a little different 'today' ....(but maybe not much) --I don't want to give anything away: its just DAMD GOOD!!!!

    The voices are PERFECT -REAL -AUTHENTIC! (I was choked a few times). Ever feel like crying -but trying not to cry? (it was like that for me a couple of times).

    I HIGHLY recommend to EVERYONE! (if you don't believe me --ask Iris)! :)

    Sooooooooooo lovely!!!

    5+++ stars!!!

  • Les Read
    Jan 13, 2016

    Annie on My Mind is a beautiful love story about a friendship that blooms into love for two young women who are from different sides of the track. Liza attends a private high school and comes from a white-collar family, and Annie attends a public school and comes from a lower-income part of town. They're both bright and accomplished teenagers: Liza, who is applying for MIT to study architecture and Annie, a talented singer who dreams of being accepted into the music program at UC Berkeley. The c

    Annie on My Mind is a beautiful love story about a friendship that blooms into love for two young women who are from different sides of the track. Liza attends a private high school and comes from a white-collar family, and Annie attends a public school and comes from a lower-income part of town. They're both bright and accomplished teenagers: Liza, who is applying for MIT to study architecture and Annie, a talented singer who dreams of being accepted into the music program at UC Berkeley. The connection that they feel is immediate, and it grows as they spend more time with each other.

    This is a deeply introspective and well-written coming-of-age novel. Truly an extraordinary work from both a historical and literary standpoint. Dare, I say, its significance to American culture rivals Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird? Annie on My Mind was published in 1982. I read this novel for the first time as a high school student in 1999, then again as an adult in 2016. Over the years, the story has not lost its beauty, its meaning, or even its relevance in today's society. Looking at current statistics of teenagers who have become homeless after coming out to their families, you'll agree that this book still has a very important place in our library shelves. Even as our society continues to progress, Annie on My Mind will be our reminder of where we were before, where we are today, and where we need to be tomorrow.

  • Anja V
    Feb 19, 2017

    There's one simple reason why I put off reading

    for so long

    There's one simple reason why I put off reading

    for so long and that is because I knew what to expect. Annie was written in 1982, and with most books written in that time involving a same-sex couple, it focuses on the shame the couple feels about their homosexuality, their struggle to accept themselves and of course the negative reaction from the public they face because of their relationship. Reading about all of that is rather difficult for me, as I feel really strongly about it. Homophobia makes me absolutely furious (duh), and whenever I read about it, I have to pause the book from time to time to calm myself down.

    The reason why I still continue to read these books is simple: As furious as they make me, they also make me grateful. Grateful to see that even though our society is still not perfect, we've made incredible progress and still continue to do every day. Grateful for all the people who fought so that people like me today can live freely and happily. Gratefull to see that more and more people agree, love is love, easy as that.

    Don't get me wrong though.

    does address homophobia and such, but first and foremost, it's a story about two young girls falling for each other. It's about how the world seems to look different, and about how scary and exciting it can be. It's about the power and the intensity of your first love.

    There's a reason why this book is considered a classic and why even after so many years, people continue to read it. If you are interested in queer themed books, Annie is a must read for you.


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