Annie on My Mind
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Annie on My Mind

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  18,049 ratings  ·  868 reviews
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. This book is so truthful and honest, it has been banned from many school libraries and even publicly burned in Kansas City.

Of the author and th...more
Paperback, Aerial fiction, 233 pages
Published 1992 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published 1982)
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John GreenBoy Meets Boy by David LevithanCity of Bones by Cassandra ClareAnnie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
Best YA Fiction with GLBTQQI themes / characters
5th out of 664 books — 1,810 voters
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah WatersFingersmith by Sarah WatersAnnie on My Mind by Nancy GardenKeeping You a Secret by Julie Anne PetersFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Best Lesbian Fiction
3rd out of 953 books — 1,118 voters


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Community Reviews

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Sarah Verminski
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...more
Skyler
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...more
Thomas
It was like a war inside me; I couldn't even recognize all the sides. There was one that said, "No, this is wrong; you know it's wrong and bad and sinful," and there was another that said, "Nothing has ever felt so right and natural and true and good," and another that just wanted to stop thinking altogether and fling my arms around Annie and hold her forever. There were other sides, too, but I couldn't sort them out.

Can we talk about how Annie On My Mind was published in 1982? 1982? Almost 20 y...more
Andrew
No surprise that this is a challenged book, as it's a lesbian coming-of-age tale set (and published) in the early eighties. The bulk of the relationship is well-developed, tender, and affecting, although the author shies away from writing legitimate and involving scenes when it comes to the girls' sexual experiences. It's sad to see an author resort to such prudish "...I moved closer to annie and soon felt glad. Later, as we lay together..." depictions of moments that could have truly taken the...more
Sara
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...more
Cheryl in CC NV
Oh for pete's sake. I was going to say that this book is somewhat dated, a little contrived, but overall lovely and still valuable to those who still feel a bit squeamish about lesbian love.

But then I read the gr community reviews. Such bigotry, such hate... I'm appalled that there are still people, apparently people with access to the English language and to books, who don't recognize that love is what matters, and that it's none of their business what happens in other people's bedrooms.

So,...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

Nancy Garden's ANNIE ON MY MIND, originally published in 1982, was recently re-released. (It includes an interview with the author herself.)

The book represents an early example of realistic young adult fiction depicting a lesbian relationship between two high school seniors. It is still a fitting portrayal for today's teens.

Liza and Annie meet in a New York museum and develop a fast friendship. Both seem to realize there is somet...more
Lisa
First impression: UGH. I'd heard about the use of archaic words, but man a-live.

Thankfully that went away after a while.

More importantly, Annie bothered me. A lot. Who breaks into spontaneous Shakespearean character? Annoying Shakesperean character? I didn't get what it was about her that entranced Liza.

But then everything changed. I realized the metaphor behind the Shakespeare, and eventually the two of them (Annie in particular) stopped doing it. They gradually became, as Annie said, "real."...more
Rose
Initial thoughts: 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.

Full revie...more
Caris
Okay, it’s about as cheesy a plot as can possibly exist, but I had to remind myself that this is a young adult romance written in the early eighties. I can’t help but experience the feeling that no matter how bad some of the writing is, you don’t go into another person’s house and make fun of her drapes.

It reminds me a lot of the books I read when I was in junior high, like R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series. Like a silly hairstyle, the words in this book are representative of an era. This kind of...more
Brenda Agaro (the wandering ant)
I know this is a predictable and outdated novel. I've read negative reviews and complaints about it before (some from aspiring LGBTQ writers, and I respect their opinions.) Yes, I am aware of its flaws despite the rating I gave it.

But it still remains as one of my favorites. Why? Because when I first read it (I was fourteen then), it brought me hope. During a time in my life where I was confused of my feelings, and thought myself as "abnormal", this book showed me that I wasn't alone. That even...more
Heidi
Had to read for controversial/banned books lesson for YA lit. class. Review: Dated (1982) book about a girl in high school who falls in love with another girl. Aside from being confused about their sexual orientation, the girls are not very good at practicing restrain or self-control. Personally, a disturbing subject and more so because of the point of view.

I am forever grateful for my friends in BYU 32nd ward who were with me throughout the day helping me get through this book. It was a serious...more
Lauren DeStefano
I read this back in middle school, I think, or early high school. Once in a while I liked to buy a book that wasn't on the school curriculum. I came across my worn and torn paperback a while ago while unpacking from a move, and was pleasantly surprised that the writing and the characters were as compelling as I remembered.

It's a great book for LGBT awareness, yes, but also just a wonderful story.
Ann
My favorite part about this book is that 90 percent is simply a love story between two teenagers. Liza and Annie are both very different people, from Annie’s love of plants and music to Liza’s passion for architecture. But they find they have lots of things in common, such as cats, and their interests contrast nicely, drawing them closer to together. They are friends who gradually realize there is more between them than friendship, and fairly soon their only problem is finding a place where they...more
Amy
This book is a love story about a teen who finds her soul mate and finds out she is gay at the same time. It deals not only her internal struggle with this realization, but the sometimes misguided effort of those around her to deal with it. It seems very cutting edge for it's time. Written in the early 1980s, it is a pretty realistic account of how the world reacted to gays at the time without losing the love story and focusing too much on gay discrimination.

I think this book would appeal to tee...more
Christina Wilder
Review also appears on The Book Lantern: http://www.thebooklantern.co.uk/2013/...

I am embarrassingly behind on reading most of the books that often grace the banned/challenged list. One that’s often caught my eye was Annie On My Mind, which continues to receive vitriol for its portrayal of two young women who fall in love with each other.

Young Adult as a genre has come a long way. Sure, there are the major setbacks of romanticizing abuse and cringe-worthy "teenspeak", but while there's the oblig...more
Aragorn
Love is more than just the carnal desire--it is more than lust. It is more than the passion of the moment. As the saying goes, love knows no bounds. It does not see the colour of skin. It does not see gender. It does not see age. It does not see blood or wealth. Love simply is. It is the force that binds us all together. Love does not judge--why must we?

"Annie on My Mind" is the story of a seventeen-year-old girl named Liza Winthrop who becomes enchanted with Annie Kenyon, a seventeen-year-old f...more
Riley
Compelling story about understanding of the different people in our society today that has existed all throughout history of man-kind. The book is a great source of comfort for the LGBT community especially for teens who are coming to or may be just curious about another side of the story many communities block out or are in denial of. The story is shown through the eyes of what people have labelled as "freak" and how that affects people around them. There are many different types of love and in...more
Geraldine Soh
To me, no words can describe how was the book. Probably, there are, but, somehow, I felt that words like beautiful, amazing, inspiring are just understatements about the book. I guess, the book is 'fascinating' and 'magical'; just like what Liza felt about Annie.

The way Nancy Garden writes or describes about the story or places or the characters or even how they feel, is so vivid and real. I don't know why but it literally made my heart ache every time the book talks about Liza and Annie.

And the...more
Diana
"I read somewhere the other day that love is good as long as it's honest and unselfish and hurts no one" (161).

Once again another book recommended by my English teacher and read it in three days. Today I finished the novel and I must admit that I truly cried. Not a tear, but a sob. I really connected to this novel because it relates to things I'm going through currently. I learned so much from this novel that it's unbelievable. I learned new things about life and society; but most importantly a...more
Arlene
Annie on my Mind, by Nancy Garden, is one of those reads that serves to up your sensitivity and awareness level on topics that society hasn't always accepted quite so easily. This book was written in the 1980's and is about the internal and emotional struggle a teenage girl goes through as she discovers she is a lesbian. I've read books that push the boundaries and others that truly dive into and explore controversial subjects, and some I've categorized as exceptional reads. This book is more si...more
flannery
A very sweet book I'd recommend for everyone! This is less about homosexuality than the complications that arise from falling in love with the "wrong" person, and the romance in here is very tenderly, very sympathetically portrayed, and despite those weird affectations in dialogue and mannerism that seem recurring in all 70s/80s YA fiction (who talks like this??) is realistic. I relate more to GLBT lit for kids than regular lit for kids because it deals with stuff outside the typical straight la...more
Katie(babs)
If you haven’t read Annie on My Mind, you must! This is a book I want to have babies with and one of the first GBLT YA’s I’ve ever read.

Annie on my Mind is a tender and beautifully written romance between two teenage girls. The narrator Liza lives in an upscale neighborhood and attends private school. One day while Liza is at the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC) she’s meets Annie. Annie is the daughter of Italian immigrants and doesn’t come from a privileged family like Liza does. But th...more
rachel
I thought this was pretty antiquated and read much like the "problem novels" that one of the blurbs on the back said it's not like. The voices of Liza and Annie read older than 17 sometimes, and younger than 17 at others. The whole thing has sort of a timeless quality. I can see how people admire it, but I found it hard to like in a scrappy human sort of way.

Still, it's cool to be able to look on the public reaction to homosexuality in the 80's and think it's antiquated in the first place.
Agnese
Maybe I'm too picky or I've read too many amazing books, but I just can't give this book more than 2,5. 3 is too much for it.
Maybe it's because it's more for teens than people my age and I'm too old. Maybe 1980s it was great and so, but definitely not anymore. It's too slow and naive, I just couldn't believe it, I was longing for this book to end.
I really feel bad about giving this book 2, but I can't help myself. I know it's not the book, it's me... Sorry
Lizz
Just reread this for the gazillionth time. Because it's a beautiful romance and my first teen gay book! I remember being SHOCKED and yet relieved when I saw this on the shelf. "Happy Endings Are All Alike" passed me by (Jewish day schools did not generally carry such a title on their shelves) and so I bought this book the second I saw it at our mall's Waldenbooks.

Every time I reread this, I focus on something new. The friendship, the romance, the physical part, the unfairness, Liza's struggle. T...more
Sunny
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
5/10. Boring, boring, boring. This may have been shocking in 1982 when it was written, but I felt the story was dull and predictable. You could care about the characters, and it was well written, but the plot was just not interesting at all.

I will summarize: Liza, a private school girl from a "nice" neighborhood, meets Annie, a public school girl from the skids, at a museum. They become fast friends, despite living in different worlds, and soon discover that they...more
Sam
Jan 22, 2013 Sam rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
Note to book ban’ers: putting a book on a banned list will ensure it is read. I doubt I would have found this book otherwise. And I’m not alone. According to the comments it is even on university reading lists such as BYU.

So what is so dangerous about this book? Let’s see, two teens fall in love, average prose, and side characters that are merely caricatures to advance the plot. Well that wasn’t enough to get Breaking Dawn banned. What else you got? No blueprints for making weapons of mass dest...more
Ashley Heroldt
Annie on my mind was a very easy book to relate to if you are having trouble with any kind of relationship. You don't have to be gay or a lesbian to appreciate the struggles that the two girls in this book went through. Along with being able to relate to, it was a very easy and a fast read. I found that it was very hard to put down leading me to finish the book in one day.

Liza is your normal every day girl. She is a good student, student council president and a respectable daughter. Than one d...more
Mike
I've been into LGBT fiction for a while. I'm not sure why, but for some reason, it's practically the only contemporary I can stand. And obviously, this is an important book in the genre, it being the first. This is the book that got publicly burnt in Kansas City and banned from more schools than you could imagine for having a lesbian couple in it. So naturally, I had to read it - if it's banned, it's for me. And I have to say that I quite enjoyed it. Sure, it's dated, but I'm sort of thankful -...more
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AfterEllen.com Bo...: Annie on My Mind: Chapters 9-End. 12 48 Aug 07, 2014 12:28PM  
AfterEllen.com Bo...: Annie on My Mind: Chapters 1-8. 6 54 Jul 31, 2014 10:46AM  
YA LGBT Books: * Nancy Garden Memorial Read - Annie On My Mind *spoilers* 6 33 Jul 24, 2014 11:45AM  
CSULB 545 Class 1: Seminal Classic - YA 1 15 Feb 08, 2014 08:39AM  
Rainbow 4 33 Sep 20, 2013 08:43PM  
The Ultimate Teen...: Annie On My Mind - Nancy Garden 7 16 Aug 18, 2013 07:32AM  
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A versatile writer, Nancy Garden has published books for children as well as for teens, nonfiction as well as fiction. But her novel Annie on My Mind, the story of two high school girls who fall in love with each other, has brought her more attention than she wanted when it was burned in front of the Kansas City School Board building in 1993 and banned from school library shelves in Olathe, Kansas...more
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“There’s a Greek legend—no, it’s in something Plato wrote—about how true lovers are really two halves of the same person. It says that people wander around searching for their other half, and when they find him or her, they are finally whole and perfect. The thing that gets me is that the story says that originally all people were really pairs of people, joined back to back, and that some of the pairs were man and man, some woman and woman, and others man and woman. What happened was that all of these double people went to war with the gods, and the gods, to punish them, split them all in two. That’s why some lovers are heterosexual and some are homosexual, female and female, or male and male.” 96 likes
“The thing about mountains is that you have to keep on climbing them, and that it's always hard, but there's a view from top every time when you finally get there.” 70 likes
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