Annie on My Mind

Annie on My Mind

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

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Title:Annie on My Mind
Author:Nancy Garden
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Annie on My Mind Reviews

  • 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

    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.

  • Elyse

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

    ECHO is 'exceptional'!!

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

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

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

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

    ECHO is 'exceptional'!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sooooooooooo lovely!!!

    5+++ stars!!!

  • 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

    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.

  • Thomas

    Can we talk about how

    was published in 1982?

    ? Almost 20 y

    Can we talk about how

    was published in 1982?

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

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

    Nancy Garden's writing felt so honest in

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

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

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

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

  • anna (readingpeaches)

    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,

    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

    was first published.

    And I think that's one of the grea

    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,

    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

    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 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

    is, it provides all of that & more.

  • Emer

    There is a reason that this novel was so groundbreaking upon its release in 1982. It is utterly beautiful and devastating. The teenage love story between Liza and Annie is nothing short of moving. It starts out so simply. Two girls that form a gorgeously written connection that blossoms so natur

    There is a reason that this novel was so groundbreaking upon its release in 1982. It is utterly beautiful and devastating. The teenage love story between Liza and Annie is nothing short of moving. It starts out so simply. Two girls that form a gorgeously written connection that blossoms so naturally and easily into an all encompassing innocent love that wrongly threatens the world around them.

    Love is love.

    And this is one of the most beautifully written love stories I have read.

    What happens to the young girls upon the discovery of their romance is nothing short of shameful and what saddens me is that although this book is 35 years old the homophobia displayed by many of the characters in this book is still prevalent today.

    But despite the homophobia, despite the obstacles and heartache this book packs a hopeful punch.

    Love is the victor.

    "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

  • Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    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

    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

    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

    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

    , 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.

    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! ;-)

    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?

    But I think in some way it was also good. I mean it helped them to find themselves and what they wanted to be.

    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.

    This passage! I couldn’t agree more! Love, it’s all about love and no label, no lifestyle, it’s

    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

    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:

    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?

    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

    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

    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:

  • Rachel Hall

    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 ide

    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.

  • Lola

    3.5 stars.

    This romantic relationship is so…

    .

    Liza and Annie fall in love with each other gradually and for the right reasons. Neither expected to feel so deeply for the other person, but they cannot deny their feelings for one another without breaking their own heart in the process, even if they both know people in their lives disapprove of them or

    disapprove if they knew they were more than friends.

    They know society is against them, but still they decide to see where their feelin

    3.5 stars.

    This romantic relationship is so…

    .

    Liza and Annie fall in love with each other gradually and for the right reasons. Neither expected to feel so deeply for the other person, but they cannot deny their feelings for one another without breaking their own heart in the process, even if they both know people in their lives disapprove of them or

    disapprove if they knew they were more than friends.

    They know society is against them, but still they decide to see where their feelings lead them. And they do so very organically; everything happens so naturally I completely believed Liza and Annie were meant to be together and was ready to defend them until I had no more voice.

    It is told from Liza’s point of view only, meaning that we do not have direct access to Annie’s thoughts, but that didn’t keep me from understanding and getting to know her almost as well as the main character herself. Because Liza is thoroughly authentic and relatable—a real teenager who questions her sexual identity—her thoughts were meaningful and easy to follow.

    This book was published thirty-six years ago, and yet, I would have believed you if you’d told me it hit the shelves yesterday.

    Because there are still too many LGBTQ+ people who do not feel safe bringing their relationship with their significant other into the open, and thus being their true selves. Though I’m of the opinion that we as a society are going in the right direction with regards to these issues, there is still work to be done.

    A heartfelt, slow exploration of love and heartbreak, as well as a beautiful coming of age story that could have used more developed secondary characters, but that was satisfying nonetheless. Most important of all, it is a positive outlook on same-sex relationships, empowering LGBTQ+ people to trust themselves and not let anyone else dictate who they shall love.

    I hope to one day be able to say that this book is

    ; that it is in no way realistic; that gay people do not face the same problems anymore. But as of today, it is certainly not.

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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    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:

    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:

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