Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

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18 Comments on “Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden”

  1. Hannah Sorgi says:

    Unlike some, I really enjoyed Annie on my Mind and thought it was a quick read. It was a very entertaining, and interesting. The novel was written years ago but the plot can fit into any time period. It is all about self-discovery of sexuality, which is at the heart of becoming a teenager. Now from my audience identity of being straight, the theme of sexuality could be related to by any sexual preference. I know what it feels like to walked in on while with my boyfriend…its really uncomfortable and in the scene where this happens in the novel, I knew how that felt for the characters.
    I think that there is a definite comparison between Annie and Liza and Walt and Sally. This shows a heterosexual relationship verses a homosexual one and how those relationships pan out. Walt and Sally are the cool popular couple that everyone knows and want to be like. This is much like in Stargirl with the comparison between Leo and Stargirl and Hillari and Wayne Parr. I think this comparison is necessary to the story as a contrast between what might be seen as “normal” in society and what isn’t. The Leo/Stargirl relationship wasn’t seen as “normal” so they were considered outcasts, as was with Annie and Liza—and Ms. Widmer and Ms. Stevenson.
    I loved the idea of having Ms. Widmer and Ms. Stevenson be a lesbian couple in the story as well. It was like when you see teachers outside of the classroom (like when Annie is asked to house-sit)and then you realize they have other things to do in life other than be your teacher. Also that Ms. Widmer and Ms. Stevenson were good teachers until the school found out they were lesbians. Why does it matter? Oh wait, it doesn’t. It is more common now to have teachers who are gay but it was more controversial when this book was first written.
    I loved the letters that were written back in forth from Annie to Liza. It really captured the fact that they wanted or at some level needed to keep their relationship she a secret from the world. Unlike in the other novels we have read, the letters did not distract me from the plot. They were inserted perfectly to fit the “flow” of the book. I think that this novel would be great for anyone both gay or straight to read to understand how complicated and confusing life can be, as well as life causing some pain and suffering.

  2. Lindsay Webster says:

    I feel like I might be getting a bad rap in this class for always disliking the books….. the thing is, I can’t ever really DISLIKE a book… okay, I quite passionately dislike TWILIGHT, but that is such an obvious exception. I really just dislike a different combination of characters, and writing, and rhetoric choices… ok let’s get down to it.

    I didn’t LOVE this book. I certainly didn’t HATE it. Two days ago, you can ask any one of my room mates, I was curled up in my bed for hours on end with an automatic response of “I”M READING THE LESBIAN BOOK GO AWAY THEY”RE ABOUT TO HAVE SEX” on the tip of my tongue.

    I DO think, however, that this is a difficult book to rhetorically analyze because it doesn’t fit along side our other course texts– and no, not because it’s YA LGBT fiction– because it’s written in 1982, and you can tell. I’m sorry, I’m just one of those annoying people that can’t get past a movie if it’s black and white (Casablanca can be as excellent as it wants and I won’t enjoy it). ANNIE ON MY MIND is certainly timeless, as Hannah said somewhere up there^; the struggles that the two girls faced can be juxtaposed onto any brand of relationship and it will work. But still, sentences like, “‘Annie,’ I said miserably, “Annie, Annie. I–I do love you, Annie,” break my concentration. When I’m not puking in the gusto I’d normally reserve for TWILIGHT, I can’t help but picture something out of the DADDY LONGLEGS book/movie.

    More than anything, I really respect this book for the light it brought to the young LGBT community, in that time, and this one. Not just the political issues either, but the familial relationships- perhaps in ANNIE ON MY MIND, “gaydom” was a bit fresh, but I think that a lot of people would be able to understand Liza’s relationship with her parents and little brother. I think they were important characters.

    OOOO that’s something we haven’t talked about in a while- were all the characters necessary?? I’d definitely say Sally and Walt were, for all the same reasons that Hannah listed above (Gosh, even their names are waspy), but I think that many of the characters on the student council might have been dispensable….

    Perhaps the largest rhetorical choice Nancy Garden made in writing the book, I think, was the time sequence. It begins with Liza writing the letter- all in 3rd person, but the main telling of the story is one giant flashback in 1st person. hmmm…. I’ll hold off on how I FEEL about it, but I really hope that in class we can discuss the reasons why NG decided to play it that way…

    OKAWESOMEBYE ❤

  3. kbronner says:

    When I read this book the first time (this summer), I liked it, but after re-reading it to post on the blog, I feel more indifferent about it. I don’t love it like Hannah did or dislike it like Lindsay did. I just feel no emotion towards it. Unlike Lindsay, I wasn’t distracted by the way that the book was written. I didn’t notice how dated it was–it actually took me a chapter or two to realize that it was taking place in the 80’s. I noticed a few things that hinted at the date, and then checked the copyright on the book.

    I loved how the book started with Liza attempting to write a letter to Annie. The first section of the book is numberless, as is the last one. All of the other chapters are numbered. Once I finished reading the first section, I was ready to hear more: Who is Annie? Why is Liza writing to her? What happened between them? Why don’t talk anymore?

    The first and last sections of the book are told in third person and the rest is told from Liza’s perspective. This is definitely an interesting choice. The body of the book is Liza telling us the story her way. That makes me think of Stargirl. We see Annie only through Liza’s perspective, just as we saw Stargirl only through Leo’s perspective. How does that affect the way we view her? It is also interesting to think about why the author chose to start and end the book with a letter and telephone call, that are written in the third person, but choose to have Liza narrate the body of the book. It makes me wonder how different the book would be if it remained in third person throughout, or if it were narrated from Annie’s perspective.

    I also think that this book is definitely significant as being the first real LGBT book for YA readers. When I finished the book, I read the Q&A in the back with Nancy Garden. If you have access to it and haven’t done that yet, I wouldn’t definitely recommend that you go back and look at it. It sheds a lot of light on Garden’s life and why she chose to write the book.

  4. Meghan Warager says:

    I find it very interesting that many of us have compared Annie on My Mind to the Twilight books. I think the reason this could be, for me at least, is because of the idea of this “forbidden love” that is so desirable to any teenager. Anything that seems to be forbidden is always much passionate or attractive to a teenager. Obviously in the case of Twilight dating a vampire is a little more out there and “silly”, where as Annie On My Mind deals with some real serious issues going on in this time period for the gay/lesbian community. Never the less the whole idea of secrecy and discovering their love was very intriguing to read about, but probably very painful to go through.
    I thought the family members did play crucial roles in this book, because it shows how much family was effected by their daughters identity of being gay. Such as the scene with Liza and her little brother, was very heart wrenching. It shows that these girls had to almost chose between “hurting their families” with this news, or not being able to be in love.
    Although I thought the beginning of the book took a while to get into, with the whole ear piercing business, I realize it was important to the story to see just how society, or that school imparticular ,was back then. It framed the way that some of the characters, such as Sally or the Principle, would react to such a larger “problem” of Liza and Annie, and the two teachers.
    I admit I did not pick up that the two teachers were together even despite Liza’s description of their home as everything being shared. I think that was good because it came as a surprise to me when Liza and Annie went up stairs into the bedroom just as it became a surprise to them.
    Overall I really liked the book ( hard to like anything as much after reading the Hunger Games). It would be interesting to discuss how these two characters were portrayed, in comparison to stereotypical gay/lesbian couples (one having a more masculine role and one having a more feminine role) I think neither of these two ladies had a more masculine role, so many times it seemed as if they were just two best girl friends playing in the park.

  5. Yuliana Baez says:

    I really enjoyed reading this book. I love books like this because they really shine a light on cultures that are often put down or seen negatively. I really did not have a clue what this book was going to be about or how it was going to play out throughout. This is the first time I read an LGBT book and I really believe Nancy Garden did an excellent job at.

    For quite a while I did not even see a time frame for when this book was written. This is a great rhetorical move by the author because you can read this five years from now and feel as though it was written in present time.

    I found this to be like “ A Tale of Two Cities.” These girls live in completely different worlds. Liza goes to private school and has so much going for her. She is student body president, lives in an upscale neigborhood in Brooklyn Heights, and even on her way to become an architect. On the other hand Annie the other protagonist goes to public school who lives in a low income Brooklyn neighborhood. Although not certain she hopes to get into University of California: Berkley. So how the hell these two relate. Well oppisotes attract of course!

    The two meet and fall in love. What I find crazy, well not crazy, but I did not see genre when I read this book. The perspective in which I read this was of two people who were in love. (I am a sucker for love stories) Odviously, this is so much deeper than that. There are identity issues all throughout this. I was a little pissed off because of the perspective I was reading this book. I come from a background where I am very open to all sexual orientations and cultures. So when I saw Liza struggleing with her identity it was like if I wanted to jump in the book and tell her like COM’ON it’s okay to be a lesbian. I do understand the fear because of experiences with family members.

    Linds is hilarious—but she is so right. Why all the character?! I think certain ones played more of a role than others but naming so many really messes up the flow when reading this.

    What I was confused is who is the Archie? I think it could even be Annie.

  6. Evan Phail says:

    First off, Annie on my Mind is extremely responsible for its subject matter and one can say that Nancy Garden has the authority to write a novel like this because she has a personal investment in what readers think of homosexuality.
    The love story between Liza and Annie was so real and deeply developed that we felt pain when they did and we felt shame when they did.
    I’m not sure of an Archie role. We could say Ms. Widmer and Ms. Stevenson but they didn’t have much of a role until after Liza and Annie get caught. I really don’t think there is an Archie, because Liza and Annie don’t really get guidance from anyone, for the most part they’re relationship is just oppressed by the people around them.
    Also I’d just like to point out that I strongly hated Ms. Pointdexter and Ms. Baxter, however they showed how much religion has an effect on relationships as well as what “publicity” may come out of ‘abnormal’ relationships. They presented the characters and the audience with what should be considered “immorality”. Also it was interesting that again the term ‘monster’ came up somewhere while reading. Again, a character in YA lit wants to stop themselves from becoming a ‘monster’.
    I also thought that there was a lot of focus on socio-economic status. Liza comes from a well to do family that can afford to send her to private school from kindergarten through senior year. Annie on the hand lives in a cluttered apartment in a poor neighborhood and goes to a rough high school. I liked how Liza would start to realize that there were differences between her and Annie, and that Annie was self conscious about her situation.
    The epistolary choice was very interesting. I actually thought that because Liza was never sending the letters that she was writing to Annie that they would split up in the end. It was a happy (non Canadian) ending though.
    Lastly, yes this book is very angsty but aren’t most high school relationships angsty? I didn’t see anything out of the norm here.

  7. Caley says:

    Alright, not crazy about this book but certain things did entice me. I thought structurally, it was extremely well planned out. Just the way they met each other in the MET, how their relationship developed I could tell was crafted very meticulously by the author. Who knows if that is a good thing or not though? It was kind of like, what a very un-creepy, unthreatening way that these two can meet? Anyways as it continued I like how she clearly formed the backgrounds of both Liza and Annie. She thoroughly describes the Brooklyn heights brownstones and private school rigidity from the very beginning. I think that this provides the reader with a “norm” that Liza clearly is going to break away from.

    Also, the intro “spoiler” at the beginning, although who was really fooled, I thought, was unnecessary. I mean I understood how they felt about each other without spoon feeding it to me at the beginning with a reflection explain how it came to be. For the first time this semester I remember thinking ok, this was definitely written for an adolescent. Therefore, I get it a final grade of an EHHHH, and a shrug.

  8. Eliss Manon says:

    Eliss Mañon
    Adolescent Literature
    Michele Polak
    November 6, 2011
    Response Paper on Annie on my Mind:

    Reading Annie on my Mind for the first couple of chapters I wanted all the excitement on this book to come right away. I felt like it was taking forever to get to the most important part of the book to take place but it made me want to keep reading to finding out what happens. I really felt that the this book was something a lot of adolescents can relate to growing up. It showed how lesbian couples are really similar to regular couples because they still have problems within there relationship because they are still HUMANS! The only difference between gay couples and straight couples is that they are less excepted in society especially in the the time that this book was written. But this book really shows how frustrating any type of relationship can be, especially if you have to hide it from everyone.

    I agree with the Star Girl comment, I did think that out of all the books we have read in class so far, I can really relate this book to start girl. The two different relationships in each book definitely show two different perspectives for all young readers to see. Then showing how the two teachers were lesbians too, makes them realize that its all kind of ages that go thorough this and when your young like Annie and Liza your finding yourself and identity. So to see how big of a deal that it was when the teachers got fired, made it harder fro them to accept it for themselves.

    Like Juli, I have been raised around many different cultures and learned to be accepting and respect them because everyone has there own way of being unique. This book did get me mad a couple of times because of the lack of acceptance the families and people surrounding them had towards them. The whole time I was like whats wrong with being lesbian? NOTHING!!! Fuck what everyone else says, but I do understand that for young girls who realized there preferences with each other, it would be hard for them to not care what their families think. 


  9. carlagaynor2 says:

    I read this book over the summer. When I opened it I actually had no clue what it was about. I got a bunch of books from Amazon in the mail, and took a book off the top of the pile to the gym with me. As I was reading it on the treadmill, a girl I went to church with when I was little came up to me. She made some remark like “what are you reading that book for? Don’t you know it’s about lesbians?” I mean, I didn’t, but thanks for enlightening me.
    I really enjoyed this book. I’m a sucker for love stories of all kinds though. I think that’s the only way I got through the Twilight saga, because otherwise the writing sucks. I felt that, even as a reader who is straight, I was able to identify with Annie and Liza. I think it is for the same reasons Hannah said. I read this book over the summer, and then reread it this week, and I still enjoy it.
    When I first read the book I did not notice that some of the story was in 3rd person while others were in 1st. I enjoyed the writing in 1st person more, and I’m not sure why Nancy Garden did this rhetorically. The parts written in the 3rd person does not give that much more of an outside perspective, say, into Annie’s mind. I did think it was a wise rhetorical choice to tell the backstory in first person though, especially for a young adult novel. It gives the young reader more insight into the Liza’s mind.
    I felt that there were two Archie characters in this book, and those were Ms. Stevenson and Ms. Widmer. Before I reread the book I thought it might be Annie, but rereading it I definitely think they are Liza’s two teachers. I feel that these two characters are completely necessary in the book, as they definitely propel the story line.
    I agree with Kristyna that this book seems timeless. The first time reading it, I thought it was more recent until halfway through the book when I checked the copyright date. I only did this because the back cover of the book says this cover is the “Commemorative Edition” cover. I don’t know what the cover was previously, but I’m not sure I would have changed it to this. By looking at the cover I kind of expected it to be out of the “Clique” or “Gossip Girl” series or something.

  10. Katie McLean says:

    Nancy Garden is a cornball!! Plain and simple. I neeed to say that before I start. Her descriptions are so descriptive– saying things like “banana skin” hahah, I can’t even! I think the book could be cut in half because of these little details. So, even though that can be annoying to trudge through, I actually think it kind of affected how I thought of Annie and Liza’s relationship.

    Liza was obsessed with Annie. Which is, without a doubt, a 17 year old way to approach love. But Liza was so obsessed with Annie, it was painful– how they ran on “a script”, yada yada. Although I did appreciate Garden throwing in the mental battle, because a sexual orientation book/realizations should not ever disregard that struggle, I just really felt like the love descriptions were so obsessive. She idolized her. Maybe it was that much worse because we were inside Liza’s head (of course), but ahhhhh Liza come on you’re pathetic for her!

    Also note: Liza’s school life/student government stuff– unneccessary? Maybe it was trying to show how much a goodie two shoes Liza is, and how this lesbian interest would be deviant (at the time…etc). Still, not seeing the importance of that side story, especially because it went on for so long. And Sally’s ear piercing?!?

    Having mentioned that, I did like how there was a contrast between socio-economic lives, living in different parts of town, experiencing different types of families. Well done there; Annie and Liza learned from each other beyond their relationship. However, I hated Annie’s sophistication, loving orchids, etc. It made them seem like a 50 year old relationship instead of a 17 year old young, passionate, and confused relationship.

    I would be extremely interested to research how the covers changed over the years. At the time it must have been controversial, and now more accepted. Did the cover change from this? Have LGBT YA books become more popular or are they still counted on ten fingers?

    I didn’t not like this book, but it totally lagged for me. It was alrigggght, I am glad Nancy Garden approached this subject though. It’s about to be a way outdated novel, if not already.

  11. lmaalexander says:

    I liked Annie On My Mind, especially thinking about what a radical text it was. I can only imagine how much I would be impacted by it if I had been a lesbian teen in the 80’s when it came out. I think for many girls that didn’t have any fictional texts written specifically for them at that point in time, this book could have been literally a life saver.

    I agree with what Linds said in her blog post; this book is difficult to rhetorically examine because it feels antiquated. The language, the cultural references and even the names of characters feel really “old”, for lack of a better term. For me, the conversations were really difficult to read through, especially those between Annie and Liza. They just didn’t feel real or authentic at all, and I felt very much like I was reading a script, which I hate feeling when I’m reading fiction. Even the conversation between Ms. Widmer and Ms. Stevenson after they found the two girls in their bed felt stilted and fake. When Ms. Stevenson says “What I need is Scotch, dammit, not cocoa!” and Ms. Widmer responds with “Well, then, darling, you shall have Scotch,” it took all of my will power not to roll my eyes. The point Garden is trying to make is clear, but that language is just so cheesy compared with what we’re used to reading today, that it actually made reading the text harder for me.

    It was a rhetorical choice on Garden’s part to write about the relationship between two girls, she could have easily written about the struggles in a relationship between a girl and a boy, but she didn’t. And since this was written for teens in the 80’s, I think that was a pretty brave rhetorical choice. No one else was writing this kind of material, and Garden certainly took a risk in doing so. That being said, I think a large part of what kept me reading this book was in fact that it was revolutionary. As I said before, the language was difficult for me to push through, but by reminding myself of how radical this book was when it came out definitely kept me reading. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it; the struggles and conflicts Garden created between the girls and the world around them were interesting and thought provoking. But, I wonder if there is a more contemporary text that could be read instead of this one? I understand that it is a classic and that it was the first of its kind, but I feel that if a more contemporary text was used instead, there might be room for more discussion on the text itself, instead of just the outdated language that was used?

  12. Lindsay Webster says:

    best. opening. line. ever.

    iagreeeeeee

  13. balor321 says:

    Annie on my mind is framed really cleverly. It manages to address the social challenges of non hetero normative relationships without dwelling exclusively on such struggles. The relationship between Liza and Annie is remarkable for incorporating a natural set of foibles and struggles during a time when lesbian relationships had made limited progress in terms of social acceptance. The YA setting of the book allows for a lot more navel gazing between the two characters than a more “serious” book might offer. Identity plays a big role in this book- both how the girls identify themselves in terms of their orientation and how they identify the nature of their relationship. Seeing them struggle is heart wrenching but it lends the book a sense of reality that other YA gay literature sometimes lacks.
    It often seems like authors particularly of more recent fiction are at pains to normalize the experience of gay couples. While I personally find this to be an admirable goal something is lost as tensions seem glossed over or undercut to underline how normal this is. I think both approaches have their place- but as someone fairly entrenched in the gay community this book spoke to me as an “authentic” experience. I’m not sure any of it strikes me as disrespectful- except perhaps the “redemption” of Liza by the board. While I understand the authors intention- to emphasize just who the ones with the problem are I dislike the sweetness of the scenario. Kids are still being kicked out for their orientation today and I kind of feel like this story took a fairytale turn in its closing chapters.
    Saccrine optimism aside this was an excellent read and a bold narrative choice. It avoids the kind of sleazy silliness that some modern fiction of its ilk succumbs to. At its core are two believable characters whose voices feel authentic- and whose insecurities and doubts are not only doubts many of us share but doubts for which it is hard to fault the girls. First relationships are fraught with insecurity, self doubt and the constant risk of having ones trust exploited- and this book doesn’t shy away from that. The sense of fearfulness that permeates its pages is all the more remarkable for being addressed in a mature considered manner. This is the redemption of the narrative- whatever Disneyfication occurred is redeemed by conversations that I and many others have had- and hope never to have again. Like all good books this is as much a portal onto ourselves as the characters.

  14. Annie on My Mind is such a great novel. I say that about ever novel we’ve read so far, but I really really mean it this time.
    I love that it takes place in Brooklyn. I wouldn’t say that there was imagery in the book, but because the setting is so dear and near to my heart, I can say that it was full of imagery. I literally was cuddled up with the book because I can picture every neighborhood, every street and train they would take to get to where they were going.
    The setting is a huge rhetorical device. I know the story took place more than three decades ago, but there is a reason why the author describes the neighborhoods, and the brownstones, and buildings. Where you live in Brooklyn, can say a lot about one’s background because as diverse as it is, there are separations. By describing the setting, I really believe that it’s her way of telling the things that she didn’t have space to tell, and also of really demonstrating the socioeconomic differences between Liza and Annie.
    I noticed how she uses foreshadowing a couple of times. For example, on page 157 when Liza worries about her teachers finding out about them messing around the house. She writes, “But I was wrong about that.” What comes next is that they are caught at the house after having sex. Foreshadowing sets what happens next.
    I still can’t believe that this novel was written from the 1980s. Lesbian or gay relationships in literature are non-existent in 2011, so it must have been a breakthrough then.
    I did notice something that made me very confused about the author.In my copy, she writes a little note, about how “this story is not true.” Was she scared of backlash? Because the note weakens the impact and the novelty of this novel because from the first page, we can already tell that it’s a realistic fiction…
    The one thing I didn’t like about the novel is how contrive (I can’t think of another word). But the way events unfold is not very exciting. But the setting being in Brooklyn makes up for it.

  15. Stephanie Haddad says:

    Annie on my Mind really caught my attention. I really enjoyed the way this entire love story was played out. I’ve never read an LGBTQ book before, and I thought Nancy Garden did a great job by starting out this book with a letter Liza struggles to write to Annie—it made me curious to understand what was happening and where all of these feelings and frustrations were coming from. She really crafted this love story well, from the first time they laid eyes on each other at the museum and then to the closure they finally seek at the end through a simple telephone call despite all of the difficulties they endured. She did a great job of displaying to the reader that true love thrives despite the enormous complications that may stand in the way. Liza and Annie are both so afraid of their feelings for each other, despite how strong Nancy Garden portrays Annie to be—breaking away from the rules of society brings them closer however. The way she captured the entire friendship and developing love between Liza and Annie was very well written.
    Structurally there was nothing that really stuck out to me other than the beginning and ending that didn’t contain a chapter number. Also, Ms. Poindexter and Ms. Baxter really irritated me—they’re close-minded personalities and ignorance made me so furious I couldn’t even believe what I was reading at times. Even Sally having the audacity to say she was disgusted by Liza and Annie’s love was just plain old disturbing. However, then when I saw how much religion played a role in their lives and even when Sally told Liza to go read the Bible, I realized how much religion and culture can dominate a person’s entire perspective.
    Since this is such a delicate and controversial subject, Garden’s credibility to write on this topic is justified through the interview at the end, which I thought was important to put in the book. It lets us understand Nancy Garden and her personal life. The time this book was framed around didn’t faze me at all—I didn’t even think about this book being written in the 80s. Everything struck me as modern. This is a coming of age novel- the discovery of self-identity that many teens struggle with, so I think any adolescent teens struggling with these issues could see a lot of light in their situation through the romance that evolves in this book.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Shanita Mcleod

    Annie On My Mind started out slow for me. After I read the first couple paragraphs I got into it. After I read pages 3 -5, all I could say was obsessed much. As I continued to read, it seemed as if I was skipping pages because of how smoothly the reading went, page after page I wondered when they would kiss or acknowledge their feelings. Garden did a great job of showing how Liza felt without explicitly stating it; it was the same way I felt when being around a boy who I was interested in. The book touches on sexual identity, which is natural as an adolescent. I like how Garden goes back and forth in the first and third person to allow us to see different perspectives.

    The book allowed me to compare Liza and Annie to your typical lesbian couple. Meghan spoke about how neither of the girls played a masculine role, but I kind of disagree because Liza always played the male when Annie was acting in the beginning. In my opinion, Annie initiated, she kind of played the male role because Liza was so afraid of calling her.

    On another note, the book also focuses on socio-economic status Liza coming from a wealthy family who could afford to send her to Foster for grade school and Annie on the other hand attending a poor private school that was treated like a jail.

    I loved the book overall. The only questions I have is did Ms. Stevenson really play the Archie character? Why did Ms. Poindexter make such a big deal about everything? It’s 2011, why does people’s sexuality still matter so much?

  17. sbuckleit says:

    It’s easy to see how Annie On My Mind could be a real asset in helping adolescents to accept people of various sexual orientations. Garden sets it up so that the reader can easily get into Liza’s mind (through the choice of having it be in first person as well as making Liza a reliable and amiable narrator), and so the reader is naturally made sympathetic to her cause. By the time that any homophobic readers realize that Liza’s gay, they’ve already been introduced to the way the world looks through her eyes; I know I was thoroughly rooting for Annie and Liza even before their romance started to blossom (then again, I’ve never had any anti-gay beliefs). Hopefully novels like this will make kids more accepting of each other and help them realize how it feels to be forbidden something like love.

    This book was obviously geared toward females; the cover’s font is set on a pink rectangle, with a close up of two girls. The fact that they’re holding hands isn’t obvious at first–the font box covers up the bottom of their clasped hands, and so visually that isn’t the first thing the viewer jumps to. I could see this being strategic; it makes it so that a viewer that could possibly be turned off to the subject matter gives it more time before making a decision about reading it.
    The font looks a little bit dated; it’s one of the first things I noticed, and I think the cover would be more effective if it was less blocky and essay-esque, but maybe that’s just my opinion. It almost reminds me of a clinical-case psychology book instead of a novel.

    I found the author interview at the end very interesting; it answers all of the questions I might’ve had about Garden’s accountability as an author, and makes her intended audience and reason for writing very clear. She wished to help pave the way to a more accepting world by reaching young minds through her, and this comes through in her catchy, yet simple syntax and intriguing love story.

    Sarah Buckleitner

  18. Evan Phail says:

    WOOOOW on those different covers. The original has very hard-faced define, almost masculine characteristics. Liza looks pretty butch to me. Doesn’t look like they’re questioning their sexuality at all. The newer covers both seem like girls who could be questioning. I’m glad that I saw the newest cover first because I read the characters that way. The old cover would have made me think that they already knew how they felt.