I received an Advanced Reader Copy of Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden, from Open Road Integrated Media, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger Warning: Homophobia
When Liza Winthrop first lays eyes on Annie Kenyon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she knows there’s something special between them. Soon, their close friendship develops into a deep and intimate romance. Neither imagined that falling in love could be so wonderful, but as Liza and Annie’s newfound sexuality sparks conflict in both their families and at their schools, they discover it will take more than love for their relationship to succeed.
One of the first books to positively portray a lesbian relationship, Annie on My Mind is a groundbreaking classic of the genre. The subject of a First Amendment lawsuit over banned books and one of School Library Journal’s “One Hundred Books that Shaped the Century,” Nancy Garden’s iconic novel is an important story for anyone discovering who they’re meant to be.
Publication Date: September 05, 2017.
Within Annie on My Mind we meet, Liza, whose story we get to read. Within said story we get to see quite an ordeal, which I will get to later… Annie on My Mind is a story were the main character Liza tells the story of falling in love for the first time, and a few other things happen as well.
It took me 20 days to read Annie on My Mind. I’m saying this because I usually read books within a day or two. Sometimes within a week, at most. I’m saying this because I had a rough time reading Annie on My Mind. There were a few things that bothered me about Liza’s story.
The ups and downs in the story line were extreme. I had a difficult time for a multiple of reasons. The first was that the pace of the story overall was so. slow. So slow. There were times that Liza was over the moon happy, and the pace of the story was great—enjoyable even. What goes up, must come down, and what came down was quite a bit…
Namely the homophobia that Liza experienced within her high school, as well as her own family bothered me (beyond belief, like if I remember one thing about Annie on My Mind, it’ll be this). It was incredibly tough reading those scenes and namely the reason why it took me so long to read Annie on My Mind.
Reading the scenes where Liza had to deal with the homophobia….was incredibly difficult for me. In fact, reading the last 30% of Annie on My Mind was strenuous because I have thoughts on it all. Reading the last 30% was tiring, and frankly made me upset (if you couldn’t already tell).
The second thing that I didn’t like about this book was how utterly predictable it was. I’m not saying this to be mean or anything, I’m just plainly stating that I thought the major plot points were pretty predictable–at least in my books.
With all of that been said, there were three things that I actually liked about Annie on My Mind. Firstly, the story got me smiling pretty quickly! Annie and Liza in the beginning of their relationship were very cute and super adorable. The second thing that I liked about Annie on My Mind was that I loved that I could easily discern that the girls had crushes on each other— again, super cute.
And lastly, I liked that there was self-acceptance within Liza (but that happened at the literal end of the story).
Overall, Annie on My Mind was a difficult book for me to read. I did not enjoy it as much as I wished I had.
I give Annie on My Mind, 2.5 stars.