Sunday, December 26, 2010

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

Liza and Annie met at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  They are fascinated by each other and soon become friends, although their worlds are very different.  Liza lives in Brooklyn Heights and goes to Foster, a private school, while Annie lives in a rundown apartment building and attends a school where they need security guards at the doors. As Liza and Annie spend more time together, their feelings for one another go beyond friendship.

As the two girls begin to accept and explore their relationship, which for Liza is not always easy, they find that many people are not willing to accept them.  Liza is not sure if her and Annie's love is strong enough to overcome everything else.

This was really beautiful.  I felt that it was one of the more true portrayals of a relationship that I've read.  Of any kind of relationship, heterosexual or homosexual.  One of the things that annoys me about many of the YA romances I read is that I just can't understand why the characters are in love.  They're always just drawn to each other.  It's destiny.  They're powerless to fight against their love.  This was just so beautifully real.  And yes, they do feel drawn to each other, that's the physical attraction part.  But it perfectly captured the excitement that you feel when the person you have a crush on calls you, and then you realize you have absolutely nothing to say.  The nervousness when you get to see them, the slow developing of trust.  Telling each other things about your life, getting to know them, realizing you are falling in love.  It was so real

Annie on My Mind was written in 1982, and while a kid wouldn't be able to be expelled for being gay, or teachers be fired from their jobs because they live together, the intolerance the girls face still holds true in our current world.  Still people to tell them they're immoral.  Still people to say it's just a phase, that it their love isn't real, that if they would only try, they could decide to not be gay anymore.  It was also one of the most frequently challenged books of the 90s.

I really like the cover of this book.  Even though it's clearly a very 80s cover, it just captures the feeling so well.  There is a new cover, which I do not like.
It just seems so...glossy.  So generic.  Nothing special about it.  Do you know what I mean?  Someone who has read it back me up here.

I'm doing a jump so I can talk about the end.  Don't jump if you haven't read it.

Since the book starts off with Liza at school struggling to write to Annie, you know something has happened and that they haven't talked in a while.  I so wanted everything to be OK by the end of the book.  I needed them to be together.  I wanted them to be happy.  Stupid world getting in the way!  Can't you see?  They love each other!  Why can't they just be together dammit!  See, I'm just a romantic sap like everyone else.  So I was so freaking happy and relived when it was all alright at the end.  I am choosing to believe that everything worked out just fine and they lived happily ever after in a house with lots of books they didn't have to hide and could make breakfast together in the morning.

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