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Annie on My Mind Paperback – February 20, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Garden's exceptionally well-rendered tale concerns two teenage girls who fall in love with each other. Ages 14-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Brings this classic of the genre to a whole new generation of readers. (Publishers Weekly)

The body of adolescent literature has waited for this book a long time . . . Gut-level believable. (VOYA)

An eye-opener (maybe 'heart-opener' is a better term) . . . Just the thing to provoke some honest conversation. (The Milwaukee Journal)

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1000L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; 1st edition (February 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374400113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374400118
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Gina on March 9, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Published in 1982, Annie on My Mind remains one of the most censored and controversial teen novels, but it is, even after twenty years, remarkable for two reasons: its emphasis on the healing (even redemptive) power of love and its departure from young adult books that, as Michael Cart has observed, subscribed to "the idea that to be homosexual is to be doomed, either to a premature death or to a life of despair at the darkest margins of society." (Booklist Youth, v. 95)
Annie On My Mind tells the story of two young women, each with loving families but outsiders at their respective schools, who meet at a museum in New York, quickly becoming friends and, later, lovers. The book is told from the perspective of Liza, a student at a private high school governed by an authoritarian principal. When Liza and Annie get caught making love in the house of two lesbian teachers, not just their lives but others' are irrevocably changed.
The book is certainly dated (it reminds me of books like The Cat Ate My Gymsuit and others of the same general era) and flat in places, and some aspects are painted with rather broad strokes - without much attention to the complexities of class and ethnicity, for example. But it is a moving and honest invocation of teenaged angst, one that captures the tentativeness of new love.
One strength is that the book offers a sympathetic portrayal of the various characters. They are, in the end, human - flawed, ambiguous, cautious. There is no one villain; most of the characters are well-meaning, if painfully awkward.
Overall, even after two decades, the book still stands as a sensitive portrayal of the naturalness of young love and one young woman's emerging understanding that the private is, if not political, then politicized.
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93 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Peterson on April 28, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Annie on My Mind is not hip. It is not the seminal (excuse me, ovarial) novel Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown. It is not the 1995 film "The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love." It is not a sexy, rollicking romp that takes us from the softball field into the bedroom. It is not a political/erotic expose of young New York lesbians.
What Annie on My Mind is is a gentle love story told with restraint and tenderness by Nancy Garden. Liza and Annie are two 17-year-old New Yorkers who meet, become friends, and slowly realize that their feelings encompass more than friendship. They are confused, curious, tentative and intense with each other. They have no road map to guide their emotions and behavior, no understanding friends or adults to reassure them or to celebrate their relationship. Their love for each other feels so natural and good that neither is ashamed of the relationship, but they still keep it a secret from everyone in their lives.
Many of us wish to find ourselves in literature, to have our own story reflected in the pages of the novels we read. When we do find such stories, the experience is so exciting and validating that we are willing to forgive any imperfections in the book. It's just so wonderful to discover kindred souls, and to find out that others have been through similar experiences.
Such is the case with Annie on My Mind. It tells the story that many young LBQ (Lesbian, Bisexual, Questioning) women experience, and as such is the kind of "normalizing" of homosexuality that many teenagers can't get elsewhere. The imperfections are minor, but worth noting, particularly in today's irony-saturated media.
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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful By F. Mercer on August 16, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
At this point, Annie on My Mind is dated. I suspect most teens would find it corny. However, it is the young adult novel that began a trend of high quality YA lit with homosexual protagonists who are not punished for their sexuality. The world of Annie and Liza is a far cry from today's world where gay teens populate WB dramas and teen movies (not to mention are out and proud in high schools everywhere). These girls had no role models on TV, in novels, in movies, or, really, in life. They depended on each other to explore questions of sexuality--I won't say they actually explore their sexuality, as there is little more than a chaste kiss in all of the novel. They were isolated and made mistakes. Anyone reading this can see how far the country has come in its attitudes towards homosexuals. Annie on My Mind is a bittersweet love story worth the read.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on May 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book over the summer between 8th and 9th grade. That was four years ago. At that time, I was struggling with my sexuality. I immediately fell in love with this book and I read it over and over. The experiences between Annie and Liza in the early stages of their romance were exactly what I had been dreaming about. For those of you who have not read this book, it is told alternately third-person limited and first-person, as a retrospective journey through the senior year of a young girl. Eliza, or Liza, is a thoughtful, outgoing girl who meets Annie, an introspective thinker in a museum. Through a series of events, they realize their mutual attraction, following a kiss on the beach. Their romance is mired by cover-ups and secrets, but, as they profess their love for one another in central park, they know they'll try to make it work. When Eliza has the opportunity to house-sit for two of her teachers, she invites Annie along. What follows is a story of injustice, close-mindedness, and the desire to "Know the truth and the truth will set you free". This book has inspired me to seek the truth, and it has been an experience I will not soon forget. I recommend this book to everyone and anyone. You cannot leave your teens without having read this book. and i
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