Title: The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Author: Emily M. Danforth
Date(s) read: April 9, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Won (Hardcover)
When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.
But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is soon forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone (as her grandmother might say), and Cam becomes an expert at both.
Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship–one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to “fix” her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self–even if she’s not exactly sure who that is.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and unforgettable literary debut about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.
I was very excited to start reading this story after reading plenty of praise about it. I’ll admit that I really don’t read a lot of LGBT literature, but something about this one interested me. I also really loved the cover and how simple it was.
For the most part, I really enjoyed this story. It was different and full of heart, as well as some really great characters. Emily Danforth is a wonderful writer and the pages really flew by. I felt so attached to Cameron’s character and wished that she didn’t feel so different and out of place. I did find myself wondering if the chain of events would have been different for Cameron had her parents NOT died in a car crash — her aunt Ruth was a hard character to like, and (to borrow the words of Kara from Great Imaginations) the story really didn’t paint organized religion in a flattering light. It was VERY hard to read at times.
The thing that I didn’t like — and maybe this was supposed to happen — was the “fixing” that takes place for Cameron. It just didn’t feel right to me and, maybe it’s just me, but it felt a little too harsh for the time period. It almost had a Girl, Interrupted feel to it. There were so many times that the whole “fixing” just felt so wrong and I wish it had been different. I also didn’t like HOW she ended up in the situation she ended up in — I felt like fingers were being pointed in only one direction, and it felt so wrong that other people were never at fault. And, really, should there have been a fault at all?
One thing that I really didn’t like was that the story didn’t really resolve how I would’ve liked. I felt like it was a bit too open ended and didn’t offer up anything really specific. After reading close to 500 pages, I would’ve thought that the story would be a bit more final by the end.
I’m definitely interested in reading more LGBT titles in the future — I’ve already gotten a list of some authors who write about it wonderfully. I did like this story, but with the few flaws, I just can’t say that it’s high in my books just yet. What I can say is that this is a book that will make you hurt and make you think — it is a book chalk full of emotions and I feel like a person really must be in the right frame of mind in order to read it. It’s quite a powerful read!