Book Review: Annie On My Mind

Annie on My MindAnnie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Seventeen year old Liza first meets Annie at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The two become fast friends even though they are very different. Liza comes from an upper middle class family and goes to private school and hopes to go to MIT when she graduates. Annie comes from a lower middle class family and is a talented vocalist who attends public school and hopes to attend college at the University of California, Berkley. Their relationship quickly grows more and more intense and soon the girls share their first kiss. Annie and Liza are both confused by this and struggle with the possibility that they might be gay.

The book is an exploration of the friendship and love between the two girls. It was originally published in 1982; it was fascinating to see how far we as a society have come with regard to attitudes about homosexuality. In many ways this book wasn’t much different from any young adult novel about first love. In fact, when this book published it was the first of it kind – a young adult novel with homosexual protagonists that had a hopeful message.

I listened to the audio version of this book, which included a recent interview with the author at the end. One of the things the interview asked her about was if the book had ever been banned in light of its controversial subject matter. She said the only place it had ever been banned was in Kansas City. Since I’m from the Kansas City are I found this particularly interesting and horrifying. You can read more about that on the Wikipedia page for the book.

I really enjoyed this book both as a young adult romance and as a piece of LGBT history.

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