Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
Genre: YA, Romance, LGBTQ
Rating: 3/5 stars
I’m generally not a fan of romances, young adult or adult. Just not my thing. I chose to read Annie on My Mind because it’s on my banned/challenged books list and because it was revolutionary at the time it was written.
Aside from my inherent disinterest in the type of book, my only two complaints against the book is that it’s pretty slow-moving through most of it and it could stand some editing. Otherwise, I thought it was an excellent book for its intended audience.
Liza is a 17-year-old girl who attends private school and is the president of her school counsel. While visiting a museum one afternoon, she meets Annie and the two quickly become friends. Annie on My Mind tells the story of the two girls falling in love and coming to terms with being gay.
For anyone reading this book now, it’s important to remember that it was first published in 1982. There are a lot of things about myself (my bisexuality being one) that I didn’t really acknowledge and certainly didn’t accept until I discovered others of like mind through the internet. It’s fascinating to me to read about people who made these personal discoveries in the “real world” and I often think about how much more difficult that must have been before the safety of online anonymity. . . . All of that said, I wish I would have read this book in middle or high school.
Like pretty much every other YA book, there are some not-quite-believable coincidences, but I thought the characters of Liza and Annie were very real. Their story is touching and I give a lot of credit to Nancy Garden for writing this book when she did.
As an added bonus, the copy I read had a recent interview with the author in which she discusses what it was like being gay not just in the early 80’s but in the 50’s as well. She also discusses a couple of the challenges/bans of Annie on My Mind.