Michael Boyd's Reviews > Annie on My Mind

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
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Dec 03, 13

bookshelves: eng-412
Read in September, 2011

I actually really enjoyed this book! This is the story of two young women who fall in love and have to negotiate the pitfalls and obstacles of young/teenage love in addition to the fact that they must face and accept that they are/may be gay. Liza meets Annie at a museum in downtown New York and is taken instantly by her. She knows she feels something special but isn't sure how to label or define what it is she feels. As the two young women begin to learn more about each other and become fast friends their feelings both begin to develop on a deeper level. Annie, the Italian daughter of an immigrant family is more aware of herself and suspects that she is gay before Liza does. Liza is the perfect student of an upper middle class family who attends private school and is her class president. How could she possibly be falling for another young woman? But she does fall completely for Annie and doesn't try to even deny her true feelings. As the young women grow deeper in their feelings and attractions they must overcome their shy apprehension with how they will be looked at and labeled as well as overcoming their fears about loving each other physically. However, as they go down their path to learning about each other and realizing they are truly in love with each other circumstances conspire against them and Liza is outed prematurely to her parents and schoolmates all at once and before she is ready to come out on her own. This is quite a huge blow to a young teenage woman and she grows despondant and confused by everything happening to her, even to the detriment of her relationship with Annie. Eventually though, love triumphs in the end and the two girls realize they are meant for each other.

I think this is still a very relevant and important book for young LBGT teens to have, read and understand that they aren't freaks or ostracized by everyone. The nice thing about this book is how natural, sweet and innocent the girl's love really is for each other. There is nothing degrading, dirty or wrong with them. It's that love that really wins over the reader as seeing the girls as their true honest selves really makes one understand and cheer for them. It's really nice to read such a story with a happy ending and where love really does triumph over ignorance and fear. I think we have come a long way since the book was written and it's nice to see that society has more acceptance for the LGBT community than it did in the late 70s and early 80s. I think it's truly an important book for young gay teens and still is today.
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