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Annie on My Mind

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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 Award committee said, “Using a fluid, readable style, Garden opens a window through which readers can find courage to be true to themselves.”

234 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published July 1, 1982

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About the author

Nancy Garden

41 books411 followers
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, as well as other school districts. A group of high school students and their parents in Olathe had to sue the school board in federal district court in order to get the book back on the library shelves. Today the book is as controversial as ever, in spite of its being viewed by many as one of the most important books written for teens in the past forty years. In 2003 the American Library Association gave the Margaret A. Edwards Award to Nancy Garden for lifetime achievement.

In Remembrance: Nancy Garden

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5 stars
20,253 (40%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,170 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Verminski.
81 reviews42 followers
December 5, 2013
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.
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
532 reviews34.5k followers
July 24, 2018
”Have you ever felt really close to someone? So close that you can’t understand why you and the other person have two separate bodies, two separate skins?”

Oh my! This book hit me with so many different feels I didn’t even understand what was happening to me. I mean I knew ”Annie on My Mind” is an f/f romance and that it wasn’t only banned from school libraries but also publicly burned at some point. I knew this book was published about 36 years ago and that Nancy Garden is a lesbian. I knew all this and it intrigued me enough to give the book a decent shot.

What I certainly didn’t know, was how deeply this book would actually touch me. T_T
There is something honest about Garden’s writing style, some truth that’s in her words and wants to be heard. There is love in her writing, true love, the kind of love you only find once in a lifetime. And there is a rare ability to capture ordinary moments and to make them special somehow.

Annie held my hand, stroking it softly. “Don’t talk,” she said. “I won’t let you float away. You can’t go far with me holding on to you. I’ll keep you here, love, shh.”

I think what surprised me the most, was how relatable this story was. I mean this is a book that’s been published 36 years ago, yet there still were so many moments my head and my heart could relate to. I found myself in some of those lines and I also found other people I know, which is probably the reason why Nancy Garden wrote the book in the first place. She wanted us to identify with her characters and to understand them better and if you ask me she did a more than just decent job! ;-)

”There’s no need for us to pretend to be other people any more, ever again, is there, Liza?” Annie said softly. My eyes stung suddenly, and Annie touched the bottom lids with her finger, asking, “Why tears?”
I kissed her finger. “Because I’m happy,” I said. “Because your saying that right now makes me happier than almost anything else could. No – there’s no need to pretend.”

Liza and Annie. *sighs* Those two girls! They broke my heart. I loved them both and I could understand their fear to be discovered, their need to hide who they truly were, how they felt about each other. Was it horrible how their love was discovered? Boy, you bet your behind it was! But I think in some way it was also good. I mean it helped them to find themselves and what they wanted to be.

”We didn’t really talk much about being gay; most of the time we just talked about ourselves. We were what seemed important then, not some label.”

”She put her hand on mine, barely touching it. “It’s all right with me,” she whispered, “if it is with you.”
“I – I don’t know,” I said.
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 said it was happening too fast, 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.

Jeez! Liza’s struggle felt so real and relatable!!! How often did I use the word “relatable” already? Must have been at least three times by now, but it’s true! Damn! This book! See, I can’t even write a decent review because I understand the main characters way too well. Nancy Garden might be no Oscar Wilde or Shakespeare but damn does she know how to convey her characters feelings! *lol* Which automatically brings me to the next topic! More than 30 years and teens and people all over the world still struggle with the same problems Liza and Annie had to face! Of course there changed a lot by now and our society is more open minded, to come out to your family and friends is still quite an issue though.

”What struck me the most, though, was that in that whole long article, the word “love” wasn’t used even once. That made me mad; it was as if whoever wrote the article didn’t know that gay people actually love each other. The encyclopedia writers ought to talk to me, I thought as I went back to bed; I could tell them something about love.”

Liza I feel you!!! This passage! I couldn’t agree more! Love, it’s all about love and no label, no lifestyle, it’s NOT a choice!!! You don’t choose to be gay! You are! It’s natural and normal, it’s who you are and how you feel and it’s not something that needs to be cured, it's nothing to be ashamed of! Did I already mention that I hated Mrs. Poindexter? I hated her with a fierce passion! This woman!! Her and Ms. Baxter! And Sally for that matter! They were all so wrong! There were moments I was so angry I had to put down the book in order to resist the temptation to throw it against a wall. XD

”But I have no choice, and someday you may even thank me. I sincerely hope so, not because I want thanks, but because I want to think that you will be – be healed, regain your moral sense, whatever is necessary to set you right again.”

”Gay,” Sally said softly. “Oh, Liza, what a sad word! What a terribly sad word. Ms. Baxter said that to me and she’s right. Even with drugs and liquor and other problems like that, most of the words are more honestly negative – stoned, drunk out of one’s mind …”

ARGH! All those prejudices! I can’t even! Makes me angry all over again. I hated how they all reacted to Liza’s and Annie’s relationship and I’m sure in some parts of the world, for some people it’s still the same. Even after 30 years, after all the sex education, after everything that happened, some people out there still have to face the same – excuse my crude language – bullshit! I mean just take Austria, my country. Is it accepted to be a part of the LGBTQ community? Yes, it is. It is allowed to marry? Yes, it is. Are people staring at you when you’re a girl and hold a girls hand and it’s obvious you’re in a relationship? Yes, they do! So for all the official and legal rights, people still frown upon LGBTQ relationships. I guess it’s because most of them still think like Liza’s father:

”Oh, look,” he said, “what difference does it make if a couple of teachers at Foster are lesbians? Those two are damn good teachers and good people, too, as far as I know. Ms. Widmer especially – look at the poems Chad’s written this year, look at how good Liza suddenly got in English. The hell with anything else. I don’t care about their private lives, about anyone’s, at least I …” He picked up his drink again and took a long swallow. “Liza, damn it, I always thought I was – well, okay about things like homosexuality. But now when I find out that my own daughter might be …”

It’s tolerated as long as it are the others, but god forbid it might be your own daughter or son who’s gay. I guess in many ways Austria is still a very conservative country and even though we just recently celebrated the pride parade (for the 23rd time I may add) there’s still a lot of work to be done. I guess if you consider other countries we’re doing pretty well though. Let’s just hope things will get even better in the future! =) There’s always hope, right?

”It’s not a problem,” I said. “It’s not negative. Don’t you know that it’s love you’re talking about? You’re talking about how I feel about another human being and how she feels about me, not about some kind of disease you have to save us from.”

This was so well said and I couldn’t agree more! Liza nailed it! I think I could go on and on about people’s rights but I’ll stop right here before it gets out of hand. *lol* You know me, I feel strongly about those things and I have an opinion about everything. ;-P Anyway, before I end this review I have to point out two important characters that have become my personal heroes: Ms. Stevenson and Ms. Widmer! <333 They were AMAZING!!! I loved how they supported Annie and Liza and I think they are angels for trying to be there for them. Despite everything that happened they didn’t even hesitate to defend them and tried to help them as best as they could. The world needs more teachers like them and less teachers like Mrs. Poindexter and Ms. Baxter!

All told I can really recommend “Annie on My Mind” and I hope many people will read it and will not only be touched by it but also will find themselves between the pages of this special book! =) To say it with Ms. Stevenson’s words:

“Don’t let ignorance win,” said Ms. Stevenson. “Let love.”
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews42 followers
August 11, 2016
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!!!

Profile Image for Skyler.
26 reviews4 followers
May 22, 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 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.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,463 reviews8,570 followers
August 14, 2014
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 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 Annie On My Mind. 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. Annie On My Mind 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, Annie On My Mind'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.
Profile Image for elena ❀.
259 reviews2,880 followers
April 3, 2021
Ms. Widmer, who taught English at Foster Academy, always said that the best way to begin a story is to start with the first important or exciting incident and then fill in the background. So I’m going to start with the rainy Sunday last November when I met Annie Kenyon.

It isn't fair to say that the relationship, themes, and overall message of this book is typical to other sapphic romances when this book, partly, paved a way for sapphic romances. While being banned from many U.S. school libraries, being publicly burned in Kansas City, and overall being a controversial 80s book, Annie on My Mind can be a comforting read for people like Annie and Liza, scared and closeted, but full of love and care.

Annie on My Mind simply follows Liza, a student at Foster Academy, a religious school that is currently underfunded and on the brink of disappearing, as she forms a friendship with Annie, who she met on a rainy November. Their friendship grows into something stronger, and the two struggle on finding ways to be together, to understand each other, the feelings growing for each other, and society.

Labeled as a classic lesbian book, Annie on My Mind is a quick read that not only shows realistic events that are in modern times, but it also shows how society is still struggling on accepting the LGBTQ+ community.

Admittedly, this book doesn't read as if it was written in the 80s. Released 30+ years ago, the book presents themes of love, betrayal, and homophobia that are still very present in modern times. I wouldn't be surprised if this was released yesterday, especially considering how there are many other sapphic books that are similar. Although there is also no specific date of when the book is set, the story's setting is also read as if this was released yesterday. There is a mix of homophobia and a mix of acceptance, both outside of Liza's school and at her school. It isn't surprising to see how there is a mix at her school, ranging from teachers and students, but there are also teachers and students who treat Liza like they treated her before.

The biggest takeaway from this is the relationship between Liza and Annie. The two form a friendship that blossoms into something stronger. While Annie is sure of herself and who she is, Liza is not, and her reasonings and experience are given in a valid way. She's scared not only of what society will think, but also fears what she will feel and if she likes it. She's scared of hurting Annie and herself, and although Annie assures her that she does not need to feel bad for being unsure, Liza is living in two different worlds, one where she is sure she likes Annie and one where she is not. This slowly affects her relationship with Annie, but it's beautiful and heartwarming to see how they both handle it. They're aware of what society will think of them, and it's sad to see how they hide their relationship and themselves in fear of others.

Liza feared who she was. She was afraid of accepting her feelings for Annie that it felt as if she wanted to convert her own self. It felt as if she wanted to talk herself out of her own feelings and change herself, knowing that although she was aware of how she felt, she knew it was wrong. It's sad to know that this is still something many people struggle with, accepting who they are. Although Annie didn't think she had to label herself (because you really don't if you don't want to!!), she teared herself up, slowly, piece by piece, as if she wasn't going to get attached again. She loved Annie but she did not want to accept it. She was scared of what her family would think, what her friend would think, and most importantly, what everyone else would think. Even in 2020, this is still huge in many countries.

Although same-sex marriage is legal in the U.S. on all 50 states, we can't deny the human rights that have been unconstitutionally and unfairly taken away from the LGBTQ+ community, especially the Transgender community. People will still discriminate, assault, and kill people for being who they are, for showing love "in a sinful way." It's tiring, having to witness people be so bothered by human beings loving other human beings simply because "it's sinful."

“It’s the one thing we don’t know about each other, the one thing we aren’t letting each other know—as if we’re blocking the channels, because—because we’re so scared of it, Liza. The real question still is why.”

I think my biggest issue with this was how little we got to know Annie. The story is told through Liza's perspective, mostly in first person but also in third person here and there. Although Annie made a big impact in Liza and her discovering her sexuality more, but there were many instances where I was confused at both Liza and Annie for how they acted around each other. I didn't find myself rooting for them together all the time, but I did find myself rooting for the both of them individually.

Regardless, Nancy Garden's intention of (hopefully) touching people's hearts with this is notable. I'm sure many people are able to see themselves in the shoes of Liza and Annie, just like Ms. Stevenson and Ms. Widmer, two lesbian teachers who taught at Foster and accepted Liza and Annie for who they are and not for the labels society puts on them.

“And here we are,” she said. “Liza and Annie, suspended in between.”

♡ Playlist companions that made the reading experience much better:
annie on my mind (1982) by amira hamid
sapphic/wlw bops by june
Profile Image for Ines.
320 reviews196 followers
November 26, 2019
A very nice story but without any pretensions or of particular depth, it is suitable for young readers who look for the first time to understand, or better to realize that we do not all love in the same way. The girls, Liza and Annie, are very nice and smart and their characters well presented, I’m only sorry that the school context, where a good part of the narrative takes place, is absolutely weird and not believable. A book that is unfortunately dated.
It didn’t convince me much that the only positive people for Liza and Annie are just another couple of homosexual teachers.

Storia molto carina ma senza pretese ne di particolare spessore, è adatta ai giovani lettori che si affacciamo per la prima volta a capire, o meglio a rendersi conto che non tutti amiamo nello stesso modo. Le ragazze, Liza e Annie sono molto simpatiche e i loro personaggi ben presentati, mi spiace solo che il contesto scuola, dove si svolge buona parte della narrazione, è assolutamente strampalato e non credibile. Un libro purtroppo datato.
Non mi ha convinto molto che le uniche persone positive per Liza e Annie forse solo esclusivamente un 'altra coppia di docenti omosessuali..
Profile Image for Nataliya.
745 reviews11.9k followers
June 1, 2023
“Have you ever felt really close to someone? So close that you can’t understand why you and the other person have two separate bodies, two separate skins?”

Published in 1982, ‘Annie on My Mind’ explores the relationship between seventeen-year-old Liza Winthrop and Annie Kenyon that starts as close friendship and blossoms into love, tender and awkward and sincere and intense - and of course, absurdly terrifying and threatening in its perceived ‘immorality’ to the heteronormative world of pearl-clutching busybodies around them.
“But what really is immorality? And what does helping someone really mean? Helping them to be like everyone else, or helping them to be themselves?”
Being a teenager is already painful enough, with identity still often fragile enough to need nurturing and support and understanding. It’s sobering and heartbreaking when even your family’s support seems contingent on pretending that your love and nature is a mistake, a misunderstanding, a nothing. When society views you as an aberration because of who you love, the wrongness of that society should be obvious.

And I am glad that little by little, we do move forward. And that a lot of things in this book start feeling dated, as they should be. Except for the message of acceptance of who you are - that is humanity’s beacon of hope.

4 stars.
“If you two remember nothing else from all this,” Ms. Widmer said, “remember that. Please. Don’t – don’t punish yourselves for people’s ignorant reactions to what we all are.”
“Don’t let ignorance win,” said Ms. Stevenson. “Let love.”
Profile Image for Gabriel.
492 reviews646 followers
January 15, 2023
Ya he leído muchas buenas reseñas en esta plataforma sobre el libro que no tengo mucho por decir.

«¿Alguna vez te has sentido muy cerca de alguien? ¿Tanto que no entiendes por qué esa persona y tú tenéis dos cuerpos separados, dos pieles separadas?»

En resumidas cuentas la novela es sobre la relación de dos chicas y el proceso que les lleva intentar salir del clóset, dejar de tener miedo y poder amarse con todas las adversidades porque al final no se puede dejar de pensar en lo que unx es, en aceptar nuestra propia identidad, con todo lo que eso mismo conlleva.

¿Qué rescato yo de esta historia? Primero, que para estar publicada en el siglo XX no esperaba presenciar un final feliz. Y es que aunque no ignora el odio, la ignorancia, la homofobia y la discriminación tampoco se venda los ojos o se corta la lengua al decirte explícitamente que las personas queers también merecen ser felices y amadas. Que no deben estar todo el tiempo temiendo y escondiendo lo que sienten porque es negar tu identidad y hacerte la vida infeliz. La autora lo ha tenido muy claro y me alegra que haya sido traducida por la editorial porque el mensaje es esperanzador y cálido; llena el corazón.

«Leí en algún sitio el otro día que el amor es bueno siempre que sea sincero, generoso y no haga daño a nadie. Que el sexo biológico de la gente no importa cuando se habla de amor»

Habla de como algunos padres parecen aceptar la orientación sexual de las personas siempre y cuando no sean sus hijos. Habla de aceptarse a unx mismx a pesar de que esto produzca a primeras el rechazo de amigos y familiares. Habla de naturalizar la homosexualidad y dejar de satanizar y verlos como monstruos cuando solo es otra muestra de amor. Habla de lo importante que es encontrar referentes allá fuera, sea en libros o televisión, protagonizando portadas y segmentos.

Es una novela juvenil que sin duda me hubiera gustado leer cuando era adolescente y estaba aprendiendo sobre mí mismo. Son lecturas reconfortantes y valiosas que te hacen quererte más a ti mismx y te arropan.
Profile Image for Julia.
75 reviews99 followers
November 2, 2018
"What struck me most, though, was that, in that whole long article, the word 'love' wasn't used even once. That made me mad; it was as if whoever wrote the article didn't know that gay people actually love each other. The encyclopedia writers ought to talk to me, I thought as I went back to bed; I could tell them something about love."

This quote sums up pretty well what I loved the most about this book. Liza and Annie are only 17 year old when they fall in love, and this whole time, despite all their fears and insecurities and obstacles they faced, they refuse to believe that their feelings were anything other than wonderful. They made each other utterly happy, what they had was beautiful, and it was just absurd to them that other people had the audacity to think it "dirty" or "wrong".

It was also the reason I read this in the first place, because I don't have the heart to read coming out stories of characters who are influenced to think that the way they feel is sinful and must be fought. Those just make me sad, and this book did the exact opposite. Liza and Annie's feelings for each other were pure magic, and they knew it.

On a separate note, I'm deeply sad that I can't read a whole book about Isabelle Stevenson and Katherine Widmer's relationship. They were so incredible and important and it's a shame we only started hearing about their past right in the end of this book. I want to read the whole story of them ...
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
Shelved as 'zzzzz-did-not-finish'
March 5, 2018
you know, this is just not doing it for me right now and I'm 45% of the way through. I don't know, it's fine, I think this is just not my genre of book and I was only reading it because of the lesbian classic thing? possibly will be returned to someday.

I will say, though, that this quote stuck out to me:
"What struck me most, though, was that, in that whole long article, the word 'love' wasn't used even once. That made me mad; it was as if whoever wrote the article didn't know that gay people actually love each other. The encyclopedia writers ought to talk to me, I thought as I went back to bed; I could tell them something about love."
Profile Image for anna (½ of readsrainbow).
588 reviews1,795 followers
December 31, 2021
rep: lesbian mc & li, lesbian side characters

Galley provided by the publisher.

Speaking as a lesbian, I can't even begin to properly explain to you why this book is so important to me. My only wish is that I read it at 15 instead of 25 & I really, really hope there have been a bunch of kids who did just that! I'm sure there must have been though given it's 35 years (!!!) since Annie on My Mind was first published.

And I think that's one of the greatest things about this book. I can't even imagine what it must have been like to read something this wholesome and this soft back then. It's still lowkey revolutionary now! Lines like "nothing has ever felt so right and natural and true and good" about two girls kissing? I don't think I'm gonna be over it anytime soon.

It's amazing to not only see yourself represented by very real, multi-dimensional characters, but also - being told time & time again that there's nothing wrong with the way you are, with the people you love. It's not often that someone defends us so fiercely in books and it really feels like a very much needed warm hug at the end of a hard day.

You can tell while reading that the book isn't new. The writing isn't like what we're used to nowadays, no one has a cellphone, the school problems seem a little bit ridiculous. But none of that really matters. Because the writing is still great & hits right in the heart, like it was meant to do all those years ago. And teen sapphic girls can still see themselves in the characters and can still take courage in the characters' journey to self-love & acceptance. There's period-appropriate homophobia here, of course, and it's still appropriate today, unfortunately, and it made my stomach turn more than once. But it's presented as just an obstacle that's possible to overcome, as something we can crush with our love, not as something we need to accept.

Because like the dedication says, it's a book for all of us. For teenage sapphic girls who need guidance, who need someone they can trust, someone to tell them loving other girls is Wonderful, who need some hope in their lives. And the beauty of Annie on My Mind is, it provides all of that & more.
Profile Image for Lamaleluna.
287 reviews1,143 followers
June 25, 2021
Me gustó mucho mucho mucho

En general no soy de leer contemporáneos de romance. No me suelen gustar los libros dónde lo central es el romance, prefiero cuando está en segundo plano en la historia.
Sin embargo este libro me encantó. 🥰

Annie en mis pensamientos es considerado un clásico LGBT+ publicado en 1984.
Nos cuenta la historia de Liza y Annie, dos adolescentes que poco a poco se irán enamorando.
Me gustó mucho el libro, llegas a conocer muy bien a los personajes y los llegas a querer un montón. A lo largo del libro vemos a Liza y Addie descubriendose a si mismas, las vemos en el colegio, en cada una su ambiente, con su familia, en la sociedad, soñando con un futuro, con miedos, inseguridades.
El libro es MUY ATRAPANTE, muchos diálogos y escenas.
Escenas que te harán reír, te harán llorar, te darán bronca y te harán suspirar.

Súper recomendado 💕

Yo Leyendo Annie en mis pensamientos: 🥰☺️🥺🙈😊
Profile Image for Mon.
249 reviews218 followers
January 25, 2023
Un día, una aspirante a arquitecta conoce a Annie, una música extrovertida, en un museo de Nueva York. Entre ellas surge una amistad que más tarde se transforma en algo más, pero son otros tiempos y la homosexualidad es considerada un problema que debe erradicarse, lo que complica tener un final feliz.

Pese a que leo de todo, hay algunos géneros que me gustan menos que otros, uno de ellos es el romance, pero este libro me ha encantado y no solo porque sea queer, sino porque me ha hecho replantearme todas esas veces que excusé a un libro moralmente cuestionable con lo de «fue escrito en otra época». Este libro fue publicado a principios de los '80 y, aún así, toca temas de género y sexualidad con respeto, no se regodea en la tragedia, sino que crea un conflicto que cumple con el objetivo de crear conciencia en el lector y que la trama avance hacia su final.

Annie y Liza son dos protagonistas adorables y creíbles. Liza, que hasta conocer a Annie nunca se había planteado seriamente lo de ser lesbiana, es quien más evolución muestra a lo largo del libro, ya que se ve obligada a enfrentarse a sus propios prejuicios y los de la gente que la rodea. Su crecimiento personal resulta creíble ya que es pausado, no es como si se despertara una mañana con ganas de enfrentarse al mundo, sino que poco a poco va abriendo los ojos y dándose cuenta de que quienes están equivocados son los demás y no ella, algo que no es nada sencillo cuando "los demás" son mayoría. Aún así, mi personaje favorito es Annie, siempre me ha gustado la gente extrovertida que habla hasta por los codos y Annie es precisamente eso, además, ella al igual que yo, se encuentra en una ciudad en la que siente que no encaja y en la que, quizá, no quiere encajar. No voy a mentir, me hubiera gustado que la historia incluyera su punto de vista, hay muchas cosas de su vida que se dejaron a la imaginación y yo me quedé con ganas de saberlas.

¿Alguna vez te has sentido muy cerca de alguien? ¿Tanto que no entiendes por qué esa persona y tú tenéis dos cuerpos separados, dos pieles separadas?

Y lo que Garden hizo en este libro no se limitó a la orientación sexual de las personas, sino que creó un espacio lo suficientemente amplio para tocar un tema que aún ahora carece de visibilidad en los libros: la maternidad en la adolescencia. Se sabe que pocos libros juveniles se atreven a hablar de ello, que aunque creo que es un tema que no debe romantizarse, también creo que no debe satanizarse; Nancy Garden tocó el tema con sutileza, pero bastó para recordarnos algo que la mayoría de gente olvida: que una adolescente embarazada es, de hecho, mucho más que una adolescente embarazada. Y lo que haga con su cuerpo no es de nuestra incumbencia.

La directora Poindexter, sin embargo, no era capaz de contemplar nada que no fuera el escándalo que había causado el embarazo de la chica.

También, cómo no mencionarlo, Liza y Annie pertenecen a una clase social distinta y aunque para ellas no parece significar la mayor cosa, me arriesgo a decir que la autora no introdujo esta diferencia solo porque sí, sino para decirnos que para el amor este tipo de cosas no deberían importar. Es otra cosa que me llamó la atención porque en gran parte de los libros para jóvenes todos tienen dinero de sobra, aquí no, y me encanta.

Si no le doy cinco estrellas es porque a mí me gusta el drama, de ese que te hace querer arrojar el libro lejos, y aquí el conflicto vino y se fue tan rápido que no me dio tiempo de ponerme triste. Sí, las cosas que le decían a Annie eran duras y me hacían sentir personalmente atacada, pero me provocaban más enfado que otra cosa; y, como ya dije, me hubiera gustado saber más sobre Annie fuera de su relación con Liza, a mi parecer era un personaje que tenía mucho potencial para convertir esta historia en algo todavía más grande.

Recomiendo este libro porque es justo lo que se necesita cuando se está triste... O cuando se está obligadx a vivir en un armario.
Profile Image for Silvia .
635 reviews1,404 followers
January 4, 2018
BR with my favorite bean

🌈 full review now posted!

Can you believe this book came to my house to murder me with feels??? Wow the disrespect!!!

I can't believe I've owned this book since last June and I've waited until now to read it, but I probably enjoyed it much more now that I would have this summer for various reasons. 

It takes place in the US in the eighties, when it was also published. I believe it's one of the first, if not the first, YA book that deals with female homosexuality in such an open and honest way. 

Because it was published so long ago, I was a little scared that it wouldn't work for me and that it would use harmful tropes (that weren't regarded as such back then). Fool me, I should have done my research.

The author was apparently a lesbian herself and reading about the history of this book broke my heart a little (they banned it from schools and burned it publicly in a town somewhere - I don't remember exactly and I don't feel like looking it up again because I'm not ready to cry again).

I was so surprised to see how well female homosexuality was treated and this is totally both a "book to educate straight people on the fact that gay people are normal" (I'm paraphrasing the author) and a book for young sapphic girls to see themselves represented and learn that it's okay and that they can get their happy ending.

Yes, this book has a happy ending and it killed the tragic lesbian trope before it was invented.

Besides its importance in lgbtq+ literature, this was also one of the best and most naturally developed romances I've ever read. Throw all your average abusive tropey straight YA romances in the trash where they belong, this is so healthy and refreshing and it NEEDS to be read.

TW: homophobia

Profile Image for Rosh.
1,450 reviews1,406 followers
February 25, 2022
At its heart, this is just a love story. A simple, heartfelt, emotional love story of a couple that faces hurdles and tries to overcome them.

How is the book different from the umpteen other romance novels in the market?

Well, the couple in love – Liza and Annie – happen to be young and female. Also, ‘Annie on my Mind’ happens to be one of the first queer fiction books where the gay characters were main characters, both survive till the end and stay homosexual till the end!

Seventeen year old Liza and Annie meet, they become friends, and then realise that their feelings go much deeper. Despite pressure from school and family, they know their relationship is meant to be.

Both Liza and Annie are high schoolers, and their voices are written so authentically that you’ll forget the author was in her forties when she wrote this. Every single one of their feelings comes out strongly, right from confusion over sexual orientation to falling in love to anger over others’ reactions. They have fun with each other, they fight with each other, they worry about each other – it’s a genuine portrayal of a young relationship. With the benefit of hindsight of being a reader in 2022, you can't help but wonder at what will happen to these two beautiful souls. To see them journey through the paths of prejudice and trying their best to overcome the hurdles stacked against them is a moving experience.

This was first published in 1982, so some of the content is obviously going to feel dated and predictable today. What is surprising is how much of the content still feels contemporary even forty years down the line. The message it puts across is still highly relevant. It shatters all stereotypes that conservatives might have about homosexuality, lesbians in particular.

If only modern YA authors take a cue from this book! This is how YA romance should be written. Not sparks or thunder at first sight. Not gushing loins or heaving bosoms. A true soul-to-soul connection that delivers on romance without going into elaborate physical details.

My copy of the book (published in 2007, on the 25th anniversary of the book) includes an interview with the author, and this turned out to be the perfect addition to the book. The author spoke of her own experience growing up and coming out as a lesbian in 1950s USA. It’s no wonder she was able to portray Liza’s and Annie’s struggles so effectively in the book.

You want a further reason to read it? The book has been banned from many school libraries and publicly burned in Kansas City. What better way to challenge the status quo than to make a grab at a banned novel!

The book is iconic for a reason. If you want a beautiful teen love story where the romance is appealing and the struggles are real, do try.

4.25 stars from me.

One favourite quote:
Don't punish yourselves for people's ignorant reactions to what we all are. Don't let ignorance win. Let love.

Join me on the Facebook group, Readers Forever! , for more reviews, book-related discussions and fun.
Profile Image for Katie.dorny.
981 reviews501 followers
November 27, 2019
This was simply worded and i loved it.

The story and the premise is so believable because it is so real and still existing, still happening.

Meeting Liza and Annie, watching their friendship progress - it resonated so strongly with me because the exact same thing happened to me. I felt every emotion.

In regards to Mrs Pointdexter and Mrs Baxter - the fact the hate they spew is still so vehemently preached everyday around the world, the belief in their statements made this book just utterly captivating as it lifted straight out of real life.

Overall, i loved the simplistic style of storytelling for this novel - this just needed to be told and take you on a journey. And i promise you it does.
August 21, 2017
Reading Annie on My Mind in 2017, what was once considered a groundbreaking coming of age novel on its publication in 1982 admittedly feels incredibly dated. Thankfully attitudes have mellowed, albeit much too slowly, but besides the abhorrent treatment and an appreciation of progress made, the emotions of the story are still very true. Whilst the actual specifics and details may be markedly different for today's teenagers, the ensuing turmoil of self-acceptance and coming to terms with ones identity is still every bit as relevant. Not every moment of Liza and Annie’s story will chime with every gay or ‘confused’ (I hate that term) teenager, but through it they will be able to draw parallels to their own lives.

Annie on My Mind is the story of two seventeen-year-old girls whose chance meeting at a museum and their blossoming friendship slowly turns to first love, self-discovery and the struggle to stand up and be proud of who and what they are. When Eliza (Liza) Winthrop visits the Metropolitan Museum of Art in search of inspiration for her architecture project she meets Annie Kenyon and they form a instant connection, despite coming from vastly different backgrounds. Liza is a privately educated pupil at priggish Foster Academy in Brooklyn Heights and as a studious and sensible girl she has been elected student council president. Together with her parents and younger brother, Chad, she has never given too much thought to anything other than aiming to study at MIT, let alone love. Annie Kenyon, meanwhile, lives in a rather more down-at-heel neighbourhoods and as a daughter of an Italian born cab-driver she attends a significantly rougher public school, where she feels very different to her classmates. At Liza’s school, Foster Academy, the emphasis is on upholding morals and adhering to strict rules, most closely scrutinised by two religious zealots in headmistress, Mrs Poindexter, and her acolyte of an admin assistant, Ms Baxter. Launching a fund-raising drive to save the school, Liza’s breach of a bizarre (nonsensical) reporting rule over an ill-advised ear-piercing session carried out by another student, Sally Jarrell, gets her suspended and it is her recounting of this debacle that sets the tone for much of the novel. However, not all the teachers at Foster Academy are quite as small-minded and in art teacher, Ms Stevenson, and English teacher, Ms Widmer, whose discreet cohabitation arrangement may appear very innocent within the confines of the school kindred spirits do exist. The suspension and the burgeoning friendship of Liza and Annie slowly turns to something more and ‘cat-sitting’ for the aforementioned teachers turns out to be a euphemism for their first physical encounters! Despite Liza having to go before the draconian disciplinary panel and her unwillingness to admit to the full extent of her liaison to her parents, an enforced summer separation and first term as freshman allows reflection for both girls and the promise of a Christmas reunion hints at both being determined to give it a shot!

Readers hoping for a ‘cheap thrill’ will be sorely disappointed by the contents of Annie on My Mind for there is very little detail about the physical side of the relationship. It takes Liza and Annie a lengthy period of flirting and clumsy fooling around before they manage to hold hands, let alone kiss. Even then the emphasis isn’t on showing the physical manifestations of their love, but in just spending time together, not touching, but simply being close to someone once a connection has been made. The hesitation surrounding the initial stages of the romance takes the form of tomfoolery and play acting and whilst I found this hard to identify with, it was all part of testing the water and gauging an individuals response to ones intimations and overtures. The pantomime charade is a little overly long and frankly embarrassingly twee and felt somewhat stilted, however, I felt part of this clunkiness was beneficial in reflecting how awkward it can feel for things to begin to progress and emotions outside of ones comfort zone to begin to emerge. Once the girls come to accept the progression of the relationship to a more physical love, the hesitation and hurdles are well documented and for many people today this is still a significant obstacle. Annie on My Mind is a beautiful tale of two girls, both wiser than their years, slowly beginning to come to terms with their emotions.

Although it is often said that this is a “lesbian love story with a happy ending” and there is the promise of hope and the relationship flourishing, on the evidence of the attitudes of the era, I think that the optimism should be a little more reserved. After all, with Liza being called before the trustees’ council and the bible bashing crones that pass for the staff of Foster Academy spouting an about immorality and Sodom and Gomorrah, I fear this may be wishful thinking. Some youngsters today might have difficulty relating to the two seventeen-year-olds as the passing generation have given way to a more streetwise, open-minded and experienced mindset. I can appreciate that some may find Liza and Annie a little dull, in terms of dating rites but I would urge them to stick with this novel, if only to appreciate the albeit slow progress we have made in accepting homosexuality. I had questions and areas that I felt Nancy Garden neglected to address, most notably the religious beliefs of Liza and Annie, particularly given how devout Foster Academy seemed to be. For example, did the Winthrop family have strict religious beliefs, or was it just Foster Academy that was so conformist? Annie on My Mind is narrated from Liza’s point of view and inevitably it feels that she is more clearly drawn than Annie, despite Annie having largely come to terms with her sexuality, she remains a vaguer and unknown quantity.

A wonderful read, not without its faults or particularly great literature, Nancy Garden’s portrayal of first love still has relevance, even for today's more confident and worldly wise teenagers. Honest, sentimental, frequently corny from the overtures of their first meeting, their muddled feelings and their course to becoming lovers, this is a charming and poignant novel that I am throughly glad to have read. The school setting works well and plays an important role through its oppressive and overtly hostile atmosphere when Liza’s is called a lesbian and when her lab partner asks her about the mechanics of lesbian sex. As heavy handed and gauche as this book often feels whilst reading, there is something fitting about the whole ungainliness of the story and it is undoubtedly still true that the course of gay love is still not as recognised or accepted as it deserves to be.
Profile Image for elena.
216 reviews35 followers
July 11, 2018
Being a lesbian is simultaneously the easiest and hardest part of my life. It's natural, it's beautiful, it's something I'll always be proud of, but so much of the world still hates that part of me and wants me to hate it too, and this book captured that feeling so perfectly-- that feeling of knowing that who you are is okay, that the love you feel is not ugly or immoral or abnormal; it's beautiful and it should be treated as such. This book teaches girls like me that you should never be ashamed of who you are, and no matter how hard a person might try to make you feel unworthy of love and respect, you can't let that influence what you already know to be true. People may hate you or look down upon you, but you cannot let that change the love you feel for yourself, no matter how hard blocking them out may be. This book teaches young gay readers to love themselves in spite of the hatred we face and I am so happy to have read it. I've never read a book that put my thoughts into words so clearly and lightly, and I hope that everyone takes the time to read this book, regardless of their gender or sexuality. It made me feel warm, and happy, and validated--and it reminded me that I am worthy of respect and love and contentment.
Profile Image for Maria Olga Lectoraapasionada.
310 reviews102 followers
March 18, 2021
Esta lectura, me provoco muchísimos enfados acompañados de mucha indignación por comentarios como este ”Es algo inmaduro, como un capricho, o algún tipo de problema mental”. Si bien también estos pensamientos eran del siglo pasado, no puedo entender como alguien puede o pudo pesar así, sea del siglo que sea, aunque no es que este tan lejos, corrían los años 80 y menos más que los entendimientos de la sociedad han mejorado y para bien, porque si me encuentro ahora mismo alguien que me hace estos comentarios sobre el tema de la homosexualidad, les diría más de cuatro palabras por faltar el respeto y por tener la mente enferma.

El tema base de esta novela es la homosexualidad, pero también está llena de melodías que vas escuchando durante todo la lectura, os encontrareis una multitud de libros asociados a este tema, que sin duda les apuntareis en vuestra lista de lectura, visitareis museos y parques y hasta asistiréis a una pequeña obra de teatro.

Las jovencitas Liza y Annie de 17 años son las dos grandes protagonistas de esta dura pero a la vez bellísima y tierna historia, se conocen por casualidad en un museo de una forma peculiar, empiezan una amistad muy especial, la cual se convierte brevemente en un amor a escondidas, porque ellas mismas piensan que no está bien lo que están haciendo, esconden su amor a los ojos de los demás, por miedo a los que están sintiendo, por miedo al que dirán.

La Academia Foster es otra de las grandes protagonistas de este libro y podréis leer las situaciones por las que pasa Liza y los castigos tan absurdos que se practican en ella.

Liza y Annie vienen de mundos totalmente opuestos, Liza vive en un barrio opulento y estudia en un colegio privado que lleva como nombre Academia Foster, donde la educación es bastante severa, Annie vive en un barrio menos opulento y estudia en un colegio público bastante conflictivo.

Durante toda la lectura el arte abunda en diversas variedades de formas y por su puesto la poesía no podía faltar. Liza sueña con ser arquitecta y Annie con ser cantante.

La relación que mantienen a escondidas un día sale a la luz de la peor forma posible y por increíble que parezca debido al descubrimiento fuera del colegio de su amor, se celebra un juicio en La Academia Foster, para expulsar a Liza, los padres la apoyaran en todo momento lucharan con su hija y no permitirán que a su hija se la trate como a una delincuente.

El final de toda esa incoherencia de juicio, es que liza no esconderá más su amor por Annie, se descubrirán secretos de dos personas muy cercanas a ellas, que al final también dejaran de esconderse y es que como dice esa famosa frase la verdad os hará libres.

A pesar de la pena y la indignación que me provocaron algunos párrafos, esta fue una lectura que derrama pasión, rebosa arte, es un canto al amor.

El amor jamás debe juzgarse, es algo que surge espontáneamente sin nadie buscarlo, y no debemos dejar nunca de vivir el amor, no podemos esconder un amor jamás por el que dirán.

Fue una novela llena de fragancias a flores, si leéis el libro entenderéis los de las flores.

Posdata: Pero nunca olvidéis que la historia que cuenta un libro no siempre es igual.

Extractos del libro:

Soy el capitán de mi alma

En las garras de las circunstancias
no he gemido ni llorado.
Ante las puñaladas del azar,
si bien he sangrado, jamás me he postrado.
Más allá de este lugar de ira y llantos
acecha la oscuridad con su horror.
No obstante, la amenaza de los años
me halla, y me hallará, sin temor.
Ya no importa cuán estrecho haya sido el camino,
ni cuántos castigos lleve a la espalda:
soy el amo de mi destino.

William Ernest Henley
Profile Image for Rose.
1,872 reviews1,055 followers
September 27, 2012
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 review:

"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
Profile Image for Starsandsun18.
258 reviews1 follower
December 13, 2017
If you’ll have a starter pack for F/F books I think this one is a must. A safe choice.
F/F-YA is very delicate genre especially if you’re just staring to figure things out. A lot of FF/YA can be a bit traumatic for me. But for this one, everything is just so light and balanced.

Re-reading this for the nth time and like the very first time I read it, it always makes me smile.
Now with the new edition. :))

Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Hayden.
116 reviews46 followers
March 30, 2021
This book. What do I say about this book? Well, let's start out with the fact it's a f-f romance that is realistic. WHICH IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN BEGGING FOR. *clears throat* Excuse the outburst.
Annie on My Mind follows Eliza, a high school senior. Eliza runs into Annie one day in a museum and they start talking and becoming friends. As Eliza starts to grow closer to Annie, Eliza realizes that she's falling for Annie. The story is just so beautiful, until we hit a wall of homophobia.
As a nice little reminder here, this book was published in the 1980s. I kept comparing the homophobia from the book to today's world. In the 80s, people weren't too excited with the idea of homosexuality. They often viewed it as a mental disorder or a problem and that it needed to fixed. Today, most homophobes view being gay as unnatural or against their religion. While homophobia is not as widespread today as it was in the 80s, it is still a problem. I rest my case.

The characters in general were fascinating and there was a lot of characterization, so it wasn't hard to distinguish between teachers. I won't write about the teachers because there were a lot and most of them acted like private school teachers.
Eliza- I could really relate to Eliza. She's smart and she enjoyed school. Her small religious private school made it harder for her to really open up and explore who she was. She'd never really been in a relationship until she met Annie, which I found unrealistic. But she does mention that she never really had a desire to be in a relationship anyway. Her character is a little dry. She never mentioned any hobbies other than being on the student council, which isn't a hobby.
Annie- Annie was the most innocent bean ever. She was funny and she always loved making Eliza laugh. She was larger than life, and she loved everybody. I wish that we got to see things from her POV because I would have understood Annie's struggle against her parents.
Eliza's mom and dad- This story starts when Eliza sees Annie, which makes it harder for me to understand what Eliza's relationship with her parents was like. She seems to be close with them, but starts becoming more careless when it come to Annie. Her dad isn't blind to what's been going on between Annie and Eliza, but her mom isn't focused at all on the relationship. It does get more tense when they find out about Eliza.

There is a clear plot in this, which is quite surprising for a realistic fiction novel. The story progresses quickly and it's easier to follow. When Eliza figures out that she is lesbian, it is a bit anticlimactic, however, but she had to hide it otherwise things would have turned worse for her. I thought it was very strange that there were no past romances in Eliza's history. It's never stated outright, but it does give you subtle clues as to what her romance life was before she met Annie.

It was written in Eliza's POV until closer to the end. It switches from Eliza writing a letter to Eliza in real life, which made it difficult to understand. All we know in the beginning is that Eliza is obsessed with Annie and that's she writing a letter to her. That part is very hard to get through, but it doesn't last long. The writing in general was kind of dry, but it wasn't horrible.

Overall, truly realistic. I won't spoil the ending, but the ending is very satisfying. The homophobia was portrayed very nicely and it was real. It's just truly an amazing book, even if there were a few problems. The romance between Annie and Eliza was so well written and thought out. I recommend for those who want a a f-f relationship in any book.

I have zero words. None. This book is just amazing.
5 stars
Profile Image for Sara.
152 reviews53 followers
May 29, 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 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.
Profile Image for MissBecka Gee.
1,496 reviews599 followers
March 30, 2019
I didn't realize this was published in 1982 until I was listening to the interview with the author at the end of the audio.
It is surprisingly ahead of it's time and extremely well written.
It is even cooler to learn that this is based on the author's real life experiences as a teen.
It's a very sweet and honest story.
I've read similar stories that were done better, hence the 3 stars.
I would recommend this to everyone.
Profile Image for Rachel Aranda.
881 reviews2,262 followers
August 23, 2020
4.5-5 stars

Wow! This book is over 30 years old and it’s still relevant. My need for classic LGBTQIA+ reads has been satisfied with “Annie on my Mind” by Nancy Garden. I needed a moment to gather my thoughts as this was a book that made me reflect on myself and my life. I’m lucky in the fact that I found the love of my life and am able to show my love for them in minor ways like a hug that lasts a bit too long and kissing in public without much worry anyone will disapprove. I recognize my privilege and it makes me feel conflicted. I’m lucky to be able to have my love recognized but it’s horrible how other people’s love, like Liza and Annie’s love, is considered lust and nothing more. This story is a wonderful love story that starts out so organic that I could completely believe that Liza and Annie are soulmates who will never part. To me, this has what makes this story able to stand the test of time since it was published in the early 1980s. Everyone loves a good love story. For me, I found myself recognizing thoughts and feelings that I have had in my life. I’m Demisexual and have wondered if there was something wrong with me for not being attracted to people that I’m “supposed to be a good match for.” When I finally did find someone I had romantic feelings for I recognized those rush of feelings and confusion that Liza experienced. My story isn’t what Liza and Annie have gone through but I still connected to them. This book makes me determined to be the best ally I can be to the LGBTQIA+ community.
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169 reviews20 followers
October 28, 2017
This book follows Eliza, a seventeen-year-old girl. She is heavily involved in her school's activities and loves going to museums in New York. When she meets Annie, their love for each other grows and the two realise they cannot let anyone know about their romance.

I did not realise this book would be so difficult to read. While it is mostly positive surrounding gay people, many of the characters are very harsh. I wouldn't recommend this book to someone who isn't fully comfortable with their sexuality yet. Although it is a bit of a confronting read because of the horrible reactions to their relationship, it has a great history because it was banned in the United States. It was a very prominent book in helping young gay people in the '80s, '90s, '00s, and now the '10s accept their sexuality.

The writing was full of cliches and it's definitely not the kind of book you would read for the writing. The characters had great personalities and were very strong. Because the novel kind of reads like a diary, the readers get a very good insight into Liza's mind. This allows the readers to understand her reasoning behind her decisions.

I don't know if many lesbian young adult romance books have come before this one, but this one is considered one of the first. Therefore, what happens in the book is what you would expect. There was a lot of homophobia by other characters, and the outcome was predictable.

This novel had many sweet moments to it, and for that, I enjoyed it. The plot was very clear and well structured. I'm really happy that I got to read it.

Thank you to Open Road Integrated Media for the advanced reader copy that I received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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