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Annie on My Mind (1982)

de Nancy Garden

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
2,080757,810 (3.98)69
Liza puts aside her feelings for Annie after the disaster at school, but eventually she allows love to triumph over the ignorance of people.
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    CurrerBell: Annie on My Mind is the classic; but, first published in 1982, it may be a bit dated in the issue that it addresses. My Tiki Girl (2008), which deals with peer pressure and harassment and also includes issues of children suffering from parental abuse or neglect, may be of more immediate contemporary interest.… (més)
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Fantastic. It's obvious why Annie On My Mind is a classic, and it's not only because this was one of the very first YA books with gay main characters and a happy ending. I don't usually enjoy straight-up (ha) romance stories, but Gardener avoids the usual obnoxious style where it's obvious how the characters are going wrong and they're oblivious. Instead, when Liza and Annie argue, it's complicated by homophobia and Liza is, at least in retrospect, thoughtful and realistic.

The scene where their secret relationship is discovered is like a punch in the stomach. But the morality isn't totally clear cut, and Annie and Liza struggle to keep their guilt about things that are legitimately their fault disentangled from the things that their society is guilty for and from the guilt one feels about being gay.

The ending could have felt rushed, but it didn't to me. I was as delighted as they were. I would protest about how it's their first relationship and those usually don't last forever, but in the interview with Nancy Gardner in the back, she explains that she married her high school girlfriend, so it's understandable!

One thing that did bother me all out of proportion to how prominent it was was an extended metaphor towards the end with white=good, pure and black=evil, twisted. Made me think of the MLK speech. ( )
  caedocyon | Feb 23, 2024 |
Some books you pick up and it takes you ages to read (see: Ben Hur). Some books you pick up and never finish reading coz you get bored (see: Women in Love). Some books pick up in the middle and leave you gasping for more (see: The Picture of Dorian Gray).

This book is none of those. This book I finished reading in about three hours. This book hit all the right points, and it’s taken me so long to write this review because I couldn’t bring myself to write it and not give it the justice it deserves as a wonderful novel.

I feel a bit of historical context is also important here, first. This novel was written in the 1980s, and takes place in what I believe is the 1970s. The novel was banned for a VERY long time in a lot of public libraries, because of its depiction of homosexuality as the main romance in the novel. The main characters of the novel, Annie and Liza, fall very quickly and very deeply in love, which must have twisted a few panties back when this novel first came out. A cursory search shows that the novel is actually the 44th most challenged novel by censorship in the United States in the 1980s.

But here’s why this novel is so important for the LGBT community. When reading this novel, while it’s not got the WOW factor that some other novels might have in terms of writing, the story line is happy. Imagine that – a queer story line where nobody dies in the end. That’s a big leap there, considering that the majority of queer characters in the media up to that point had been mercilessly killed off in their depictions.

Liza, as the novel’s main narrator, is actually a very wonderful narrator who actually gives you an insight into her emotions, not making it too emotional and trying to show you what her side of the story is without undermining anything that happened, or placing the blame on others. Liza takes full accountability for her actions and acknowledges that some things she said or did in the course of the story she’s telling might have been terrible decisions. Liza is a mature narrator, and I like how she tells her story.

What I also like about this novel is how realistic the characters feel. Liza goes through her own moments of doubt and internal homophobia, questioning if what she feels is even right or real, but she also goes through her moments of falling in love for the first time that makes you blind to all other consequences and situations. Liza is, really and truly, all of us when falling in love for the first time.

I don’t want to tell you how the novel will play out, because there’s a lot more to the story than just two girls who happen to fall in love. All I can really tell you is that you have to sit down on a quiet evening, switch off your phone, and get ready for your heart to crack open just a smidge (or maybe more than that) while you’re reading this novel.

Final rating: 6/5. Honestly, though the writing isn’t perfect, it’s one of my favourites for the story line alone. ( )
  viiemzee | Feb 20, 2023 |
I gotta respect this book, even though I didn't love it. ( )
  dirtytoes | Feb 14, 2023 |
Kind of dumb and boring. I heard really good things about it and I have no clue why. It was so unrealistic and every single plot point was just ridiculous. Absolutely don't recommend. ( )
  ninagl | Jan 7, 2023 |
when i was 12, i checked this out from the library. i let it sit in my closet untouched for 3 weeks (at 12 i didn’t quite grasp the humor of that) because i was scared to read it, and then i returned it to the library and never thought about it again. 8 years later, i have finally read it, and even though it didn’t do much for adult me, i’m just thinking about how much it would’ve meant to my 12-year-old self if i’d read it back then. now i’m sad that i denied myself so much validation out of fear. it feels wrong to rate this, so i’m not going to try. i just wish i could’ve experienced this book for the first time back when i really needed it. gay people are so strong
  noramd | Dec 17, 2021 |
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Liza puts aside her feelings for Annie after the disaster at school, but eventually she allows love to triumph over the ignorance of people.

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