Brian Lynch's Reviews > Annie on My Mind

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
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's review
Sep 20, 2011

it was amazing

Everyone remembers the first time they fell in love. The way it makes you feel both thrilled to be alive, and mortified of your every imperfection. Your first love is special; it sets the bar for every future relationship. You never forget your first.

And this is what makes “Annie on my Mind” such an exceptional book: It captures the essence of falling in love for the first time brilliantly. The angst and splendor of a first relationship is depicted in a gut-wrenchingly beautiful way. It’s arguably one of the most honest and universally relatable love stories ever told.

Which makes the fact that the couple in question are gay all the more powerful.

“Annie on my Mind” is the story of Liza Winthrop, a bright and ambitious girl with a bright future ahead of her. One day while walking through a museum she happens across a young girl named Annie Kenyon singing. The two become fast friends, and before long their friendship evolves into romantic love. Despite the stigma of their situation, the girls continue their relationship in secret until a series of events forces them to reveal it to the world.

The traditional love story is easily one of the oldest themes in literature. It has been handled in numerous ways by countless authors. Some inspire the soul, while others open old wounds. So it may seem odd for me to say that a book written in 1982 is the greatest love story I have ever read. But that is exactly what “Annie on my Mind” is.

The characters are instantly likeable and real. Liza is an earnest over-achiever, with a kind heart. Annie is the free-spirit with sadness behind her eyes. The author paints such a vivid portrait of these two that the reader cannot help but root for them, and share in their joy and sorrow.

“Annie on my Mind” is a powerful chronicle of young love. It not only captures the essence of falling in love for the first time, it does so in a unique and painfully honest way. While the book is a strong example of positive gay protagonists, Liza and Annie’s story transcends gender, and stands as one of literature’s great love stories.

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