The Miseducation of Cameron Post
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.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post Details

TitleThe Miseducation of Cameron Post
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 7th, 2012
PublisherBalzer + Bray
ISBN0062020560
ISBN-139780062020567
Number of pages470 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Glbt, Fiction, Contemporary, Queer

The Miseducation of Cameron Post Review

  • Wendy Darling
    February 18, 2012
    If you were to lay out a visual storyboard for The Miseducation of Cameron Post, it would be filled with lomographic photography--retro lighting, wide-open vistas, saturated colors, and quirky, sometimes blurry exposures that provide quick snapshots of the many small pleasures of childhood. This coming of age novel, which is written more like adult literary fiction than typical YA, beautifully captures the sun-drenched mood of summer as we meet Cameron, a young girl living in a small town in eas If you were to lay out a visual storyboard for The Miseducation of Cameron Post, it would be filled with lomographic photography--retro lighting, wide-open vistas, saturated colors, and quirky, sometimes blurry exposures that provide quick snapshots of the many small pleasures of childhood. This coming of age novel, which is written more like adult literary fiction than typical YA, beautifully captures the sun-drenched mood of summer as we meet Cameron, a young girl living in a small town in eastern Montana in 1989. It was the kind of heat where a breeze feels like someone's venting a dryer over the town, whipping dust and making the cottonseeds from the big cottonwoods float across a wide blue sky and collect in soft tufts on neighborhood lawns. Irene and I called it summer snow, and sometimes we'd squint into the dry glare and try to catch cotton on our tongues. It's a pleasure to be lulled into the slow rhythm of the author's words and to enjoy the moments of stillness and spontaneity throughout the entire story. As the novel begins, Cameron's parents have gone off on their annual camping trip, and she's spending the summer with her best friend Irene, eating too-big scoops of ice cream and strawberry pretzel salad, freezing wet shirts to keep cool, telling stories, and watching the twilight creep over the town. There's a new awareness between the two girls, however, which floods Cameron with pleasure and confusion when things suddenly take an unexpected turn. There's nothing to know about a kiss like that before you do it. It was all action and reaction, the way her lips were salty and she tasted like root beer. The way I felt sort of dizzy the whole time. If it had been that one kiss, then it would have been just the dare, and that would have been no different than anything we'd done before. But after that kiss, as we leaned against the crates, a yellow jacket swooping and arcing over some spilled pop, Irene kissed me again. Later, the girls talk about how they'd get in trouble if anyone found out. Even though no one had ever told me, specifically, not to kiss a girl before, nobody had to. It was guys and girls who kissed--in our grade, on TV, in the movies, in the world; and that's how it worked, guys and girls. Anything else was something weird. Shortly afterwards, Cameron's parents die in a car crash and she's sent to live with her conservative Aunt Ruth in the small town of Miles City, Montana, where she does her best to fit in and forget what happened before. So when beautiful Coley Taylor arrives on the scene, it spells trouble in a big way--and things spiral out of control in Cameron's world when she is sent off to God's Promise, a Christian de-gaying camp. (The author addresses this very frankly in most of the interviews I've seen, so I'm assuming it's not a spoiler to include that info here.) Here, she is to learn "appropriate gender roles" and refrain from "negative bonding over sinful/unhealthy desires." I wasn't sure what to expect with this novel, so it was a relief to find it doesn't feel at all heavy-handed. I've realized recently that the problem I have with so many Message Books is that you can so clearly tell the author set out with an agenda and just filled in additional details to make a story. However, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a fully realized novel in every way, and if Cameron weren't gay, it would still be a well-crafted, well-written story with an immensely appealing protagonist...even if she's not always completely likable. But I sort of like that about her, you know? Because most of us were pretty unbearable as teenagers, and I found her prickliness and defiance to be sympathetic and very real.Fair warning that Cameron is just as likely to tell you to eff off as she is to bum a smoke off you, though. For even though there are beautiful moments of stillness and jumbled, joyous images of childhood (Cameron puts a piece of flourite in her mouth at one point so she can taste its hardness and grit, which is something I totally did as a kid), there are also frank sexual situations, marijuana use, shoplifting, and all kinds of other things that might normally drive me up the wall when they're casually included in your typical YA book. But this isn't a fluffy young adult novel at all, and it's easy to understand why Cameron acts out as she tries to figure out who she is under extremely difficult circumstances. Not to mention that her feelings are not at all unusual; Cameron's confusion and longing during the prom scene when Coley dances with someone else is that stuff of universal loneliness and despair. As a reader, it also hurt unbearably to read about Mark Turner, son of a preacher from a mega church in Nebraska, who is the "poster boy for a Christian upbringing, but yet here he was, at Promise, just like the rest of us." Mark's struggles with his faith and his natural impulses are devastating to witness, and it's a brutal reminder that there are sometimes terrible consequences when we ignore what's right in the name of what's righteous.I appreciated how honestly teenage sex and experimentation were portrayed, in a way that didn't feel tacky or sensationalized. And I appreciated the restraint with which this enormously touchy subject was handled. I found myself getting very angry as I read the book--it's hard not to when you see a child being told unequivocally that he's going to hell for what he feels--but the story is remarkably even-handed. While Cameron is defiant and angry over her containment, as most of the kids are, the few harsh words about the program include "I'm just saying that sometimes you can end up really messing somebody up because the way you're trying to supposedly help them is really messed up." Instead of using this platform to rant or rage, the author simply allows us to get to know Cameron and provides the framework for the question: after reading this girl's story, which is the story of so many girls and boys just like her, can anyone deny the validity of her feelings? The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a fierce book that boldly explores identity, sexuality, and human responsibility in a relatable way, even as it demands attention from your social conscience and reaches out for your empathy. Even with such a hot-button topic, however, it somehow manages to refrain from outright condemnation of those who oppose its views. It's a shame that twenty years after the events of this book, this type of tolerance is still not entirely a two-way street.Recommended for mature teens and adults only. About the BookThe author was partially inspired by the true story of a 16-year-old boy who said he was being sent to a de-gaying camp in Tennessee. Read more about this in the author's Slate interview with author Curtis Sittenfeld. Emily Danforth also has a deleted scene from the book on her website.This review also appears in The Midnight Garden.
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  • *eKa*
    November 6, 2016
    Despite a fictional work, it felt like I was reading a memoir or at least a diary of Danforth using the name Cameron Post. Because it was so REAL and OBVIOUS to me! What with the fact in the author's note: "She lives with her wife bla bla bla". So don't blame me for my assuming. I like almost everything about this book even though in some parts I got bored because I was just too tired to read ( I was so busy lately). The beginning already caught my attention. Man, how could you handle such a ter Despite a fictional work, it felt like I was reading a memoir or at least a diary of Danforth using the name Cameron Post. Because it was so REAL and OBVIOUS to me! What with the fact in the author's note: "She lives with her wife bla bla bla". So don't blame me for my assuming. I like almost everything about this book even though in some parts I got bored because I was just too tired to read ( I was so busy lately). The beginning already caught my attention. Man, how could you handle such a terrible news. And you thought it was because of you. "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." I don't think I can.This book is about accepting your self just the way you are, even when you're a lesbian. But Cameron lives with her conservative and religious (I must say) aunt Ruth who immediately sent her to Christian School & Center for Healing called God's Promise when she found out about her preference in love life. I personally against this kind of healing. Because this is how God has made us. There's nothing to change. Just be good with who you are and other people and that should be enough. That's why I totally agree with what Cameron had said on this healing: "The whole fucking purpose of this place is to make us hate ourselves so that we change. We're supposed to hate who we are, despise it."
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  • Emily Crowe
    August 31, 2011
    This was a book that I *wanted* to like far more than I actually did. I'm a bookseller and I was hoping that this might be the contemporary title to hand to girls instead of (or in addition to) My Most Excellent Year or Will Grayson, Will Grayson, both of which are wonderful novels that feature boys who come out. ***************Spoiler Warning*********************One summer day, Cameron and her best friend Irene stave off boredom by shoplifting and making out with each other; later that night, C This was a book that I *wanted* to like far more than I actually did. I'm a bookseller and I was hoping that this might be the contemporary title to hand to girls instead of (or in addition to) My Most Excellent Year or Will Grayson, Will Grayson, both of which are wonderful novels that feature boys who come out. ***************Spoiler Warning*********************One summer day, Cameron and her best friend Irene stave off boredom by shoplifting and making out with each other; later that night, Cameron learns that both of her parents died in a car crash and her first thought is one of relief for not getting caught for either of those activities. Guilt kicks in, her religious Aunt Ruth moves in to take care of her, and Irene leaves for boarding school back East. Mostly Cameron fills her time with swim team and hanging out with a gang of boys drinking and smoking pot and doing mildly destructive things, but now she's also involved with a youth group in an ultra-conservative megachurch of Aunt Ruth's choosing. Then drop-dead gorgeous cowgirl Coley comes to town and Cameron falls in love with her; eventually they start making out every chance they get, which builds to one scene in particular,after which Coley reports Cameron to their pastor as an instigator and manipulator of unnatural sexual activity. Aunt Ruth sends Cameron away to a conservative Christian school where they basically try to pray the gay out of her. She loses her right to privacy and endures daily one-on-one sessions (later, group sessions) with the quasi-therapists at the school, but luckily she falls in with Jane and Adam who know how to talk the talk with their teachers without actually giving in to the brainwashing sessions. Something bad happens to one of the students. Then Cameron, Jane, and Adam escape. End of story. We have no actual idea of what happens to them after that point.****************End of Spoiler***********************One of my biggest problem with this book is that I think it's overwritten to the tune of about 150 pages. Cameron just wasn't interesting enough and her "issues" just not compelling enough to draw out her story that much. I did a ton of skimming. I thought that the dialogue itself was pretty good, as were the passages of teen interactions. But I think the author does a disservice to her readers for not being more condemning of schools like the one to which Cameron was exiled. Not to mention the fact that Cameron herself doesn't seem to think that the place is all that bad. No, she doesn't like it, but she pretty regularly lets the therapists off the hook because she knows that they really *believe* that gayness is a sin that can be cured, and that didn't make sense to me considering the rage that Cameron is occasionally described as having but rarely shown to the reader.A smaller, more technical issue that I have with this book is that the publisher rates it for readers 14 and up, which is a pretty tough sell considering the very widespread drug use (true, it's "only" pot) and a couple of scenes that, while not described graphically, are pretty graphic nonetheless (in one of them, a distraught boy attempts to slash off his penis with a razor and then pours bleach on himself). Not many parents or librarians (or booksellers like me) will feel confident putting this book into the hands of 14 year olds, I suspect. But my biggest concern with this novel is that it doesn't make it clear enough that schools like the one Cameron is sent away to are unacceptable, full stop, no exceptions. And that, to me, is the most dangerous thing in this book.
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  • Kaylin
    March 28, 2017
    4 StarsOverview: “Maybe I still haven't become me. I don't know how you tell for sure when you finally have.” You ever read a book that just feels too real?Like everything starts fine, but then at some point the narrative starts vocalizing feelings you’ve tried to place before? And before you know it you’re completely immersed and trying to understand why your chest aches? That was this book for me. It’s gorgeously written, and parts of this hit me hard. Aside: As powerful as this story is, it 4 StarsOverview: “Maybe I still haven't become me. I don't know how you tell for sure when you finally have.” You ever read a book that just feels too real?Like everything starts fine, but then at some point the narrative starts vocalizing feelings you’ve tried to place before? And before you know it you’re completely immersed and trying to understand why your chest aches? That was this book for me. It’s gorgeously written, and parts of this hit me hard. Aside: As powerful as this story is, it can be very triggering within the LGBT+ community. Not sure where to say that, but I haven’t seen it mentioned and I think it should be.Pros:The antagonists aren’t demons.Instead, they are fleshed-out characters, with their own quirks, motivations and mistakes. Instead of simply committing horrible crimes in the name of revenge or power—they honestly believe they’re doing the right thing. I don’t know about you, but to me that’s terrifying. And it was expertly handled. This is hyper-realistic and really reads like an autobiography. (It is an own-voices novel and shows)Emily M. Danforth truly knows how to set a scene, and everything from the gorgeous descriptions of Montana summers to the minute details of Cam’s day reflect this. The pace is very gradually and overall incredibly atmospheric. The characters are never explored completely, but instead we sort of receive snapshots of them at specific points This was very interesting to me, especially since the characters were fairly diverse and dynamic. Cons:This is sloooooooowwwwwwwIt seems weird I would put that under Cons and Pros, but it’s the truth. It’s one of the strong points, but it can also be very detracting. Sometimes it was hard to reach for this book when I knew I was going to get pages and pages of daily activates and descriptions. This is somewhat overstuffed with drug usage, alcohol and sexual situations all involving very young individuals. It gave the book a realistic vibe and was always handled in a way that felt true to the characters, but again—made it hard to reach for.There’s not a lot of resolution for anything.In Conclusion: As engrossing as this was for me, it’s interesting it wasn’t a 5-Star read. But I think at 500+ pages it might have all been a bit much without really reaching a clear conclusion.I created a new shelf because of this book: Best-Books-I-Never-Want-To-Re-Read.
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  • Keertana
    September 1, 2012
    Rating: 4.5 StarsI rarely come across books that I cannot review; that leave me speechless, both in mind and body. Kristin Cashore's Fire is a novel I've re-read numerous times, but I can never - never - convey the depth of emotion that novel inspires in me, despite the fact that I can quote from it. Within the past month, however, I've been lucky enough to read two remarkable LGBT novels for teens, both of which have left me spell-bound and speechless. And, truly, I have tried, time and time ag Rating: 4.5 StarsI rarely come across books that I cannot review; that leave me speechless, both in mind and body. Kristin Cashore's Fire is a novel I've re-read numerous times, but I can never - never - convey the depth of emotion that novel inspires in me, despite the fact that I can quote from it. Within the past month, however, I've been lucky enough to read two remarkable LGBT novels for teens, both of which have left me spell-bound and speechless. And, truly, I have tried, time and time again, to write reviews for these novels. I want to write reviews for these books because they deserve reviews and they deserve to be read and mulled over and cherished on a shelf. Yet, the words fail me. In a desperate attempt, I have tried to string together a few phrases, a couple of sentences, in an effort to spread my love for these two novels. Even if these non-reviews don't convince you, I certainly hope that someone, someday, will thrust these into your hands and make you read them. It's worth it.The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily danforth is a novel I've been meaning to read for a long time - a very long time. It went onto my TBR even before it was released because of the acclaim it received and, even after winning an award, it went unread on my Kindle. I don't know why. It is a quiet, moving, and utterly fierce novel. It’s the type of story that creeps up on you; the prose keeps you flipping the pages, but it isn’t until much later that the full emotional impact finally hits. At somewhere around the 80% mark, tears leaked from my eyes; slowly, and then all at once, pouring out at speeds I couldn’t even have imagined. You see, this is a story of one girl's struggle to reconcile her sexuality and, although the narration can drag and even become dull at parts, it is incredibly moving all the same. Cameron's life, full of a multitude of sexual encounters, define her, slowly but surely, and the themes of feminism - of encouraging women to be proud of their sexuality and unafraid to stand up for it - is astounding.Nevertheless, this novel truly gutted me in its historical depiction. danforth's debut is set in the late 1900s and, as such, the LGBT movement isn't as prevalent as it is today. In Cameron's small town, a religious and conservative area, her identity as a lesbian is looked at as a sin. As such, she is sent to a religious camp over the summer in an effort to "cure" her. It doesn't really hit you, until you meet the teens at this camp, the type of behavior they've had to put up with all their lives. Everyone, from their parents to their teachers, are telling these teens that they are wrong, that they are bad, that they are horrible for loving someone who isn't of the opposite sex and the manner in which this is conveyed - the events that occur at this camp - just destroyed me. I've never considered the LGBT community in this manner before and, truly, danforth's debut is not only inspiring and feminist, but eye-opening as well. It isn't merely the journey of a girl, it is the journey and struggle of people everywhere, homosexual or heterosexual. It demands to be read. Much like The Book Thief, this is one book you're better off just experiencing - words do it no justice.You can read this review an more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.
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  • Emily May
    March 10, 2012
    DNF - pg 212The Miseducation of Cameron Post starts by painting a beautiful picture of rural Montana and childhood, but is too long a novel in my opinion. My interest at the start quickly waned as the story became dragged out by periods of extremely slow pacing towards the middle. Eventually, I no longer wished to spend any more time with Cameron and her troubles.
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  • Alex
    March 7, 2012
    I feel like I've been waiting for this book for forever and it is finally, finally, finally here and it was perfect.(view spoiler)[Cameron Post is a teenager growing up in a small town in Montana in the early 90s. Her parents die in a car crash the summer she's 12, right after she shares a kiss with her best friend. Her aunt Ruth, an evangelical Christian, moves in as Cam's guardian. Fast forward to her high school years and Cam is desperately in love with Coley Taylor, a beautiful, "straight" g I feel like I've been waiting for this book for forever and it is finally, finally, finally here and it was perfect.(view spoiler)[Cameron Post is a teenager growing up in a small town in Montana in the early 90s. Her parents die in a car crash the summer she's 12, right after she shares a kiss with her best friend. Her aunt Ruth, an evangelical Christian, moves in as Cam's guardian. Fast forward to her high school years and Cam is desperately in love with Coley Taylor, a beautiful, "straight" girl who seems to reciprocate Cam's feelings somewhat. But then aunt Ruth discovers Cam's secret and ships her off to a school to "de-gay" her.The writing was so, so good. It was so clean and lovely and spot on. Cam was the perfect narrator. She was funny and smart and so, so conflicted with all the feelings. And the book gave ME ~ALL THE FEELINGS~. Every scene for a while with Coley and Cam was ripe with tension and electricity. It perfectly captured how it feels to be with someone for the first time, to kiss them, and all those adolescent emotions.THIS was one of my favorite parts of the book:I kissed my way back up her body, just more tiny kisses.When I got to the pillow, she said in her sweet, quiet voice, "Wow, Cameron Post."I grinned a big grin, a grin that would have embarrassed me, I know, if someone had shown me a mirror right then.I would cite what page number that is, but I have no freaking clue because my Kindle is unhelpful like that. BUT it's like...I KNOW THAT. I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL, CAM. This is so accurate and wonderful and the sweetest scene without being mushy. MY HEART.I'm hesitant to even categorize this book as YA. I know it's fairly hefty as far as YA goes -- almost 500 pages in the print edition. But moreover the writing is probably some of the best I've seen in YA. It doesn't feel as lazy as a lot of YA does these days to me. It's literary fiction with a YA protagonist. It's kind of like Prep in that. Um, actually, I see that Curtis Sittenfeld blurbed this book, which is KIND OF FUNNY TO ME, as Lee Fiora was the WORST protagonist (no agency, horrible personality, giant martyr) and as far as I'm concerned, Cameron Post is the best.Um um um, this book is so genuine and real. So real. I was a little alarmed when Cam was sent to the de-gaying school, but it was a lot more interesting than I expected. I see from other reviews that a lot of readers hate that aspect of this book, but I liked it. It would have been easy for Danforth to make the school one out of But I'm a Cheerleader, but she didn't, because things are gray. It's GRAY. It made the situation so much more complex and fascinating and I DISAGREE with those readers. I don't think Danforth makes it "sound okay". I think she writes about a real situation where the school is populated by real people, people who actually believe this is for the best, and that makes it harder to break it down into black and white. But at the same time, Cam never seems to entirely lose herself. She's just...Cam and she's figuring shit out because she's like 15-years-old.And I almost forgot all the figuring out about her sexuality and things are the way things are and sexuality is fluid and UGH, WHAT, IT'S LIKE THEY TOOK ALL MY FEELINGS AND PUT THEM INTO A BOOK.And I care so much about the side characters!!!! I want another book about Irene Klausen and one about Coley Taylor (MY WHOLE HEART WANTS THIS) and one about Aunt Ruth and and and ALL THE BOOKS, EMILY M. DANFORTH. WRITE ALL THE BOOKS.My one thing was that I really wanted her to have one last conversation in the book with Ruth or Coley or someone, but the ending seemed nebulous enough that maybe a sequel is in the works??? (hide spoiler)]I want to read this book a million more times and I want a sequel, ASAP. Okay, great, cool.EDIT: THIS BOOK IS JUST AS AMAZING THE SECOND TIME. AND THE THIRD TIME.
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  • Thomas
    March 9, 2012
    Even though she's a lesbian, I probably wouldn't have wanted to be friends with Cameron Post in real life. Not like I give friendship preference to homosexuals, but seriously - she does weed and she shoplifts. Keep in mind that the thought of getting a tattoo scares me.I sympathized with her quickly, though. When her parents die in a car accident, Cameron's first thought isn't horror, or denial, or anger. It's relief. Relief that they would never know she had just kissed a girl a few hours earli Even though she's a lesbian, I probably wouldn't have wanted to be friends with Cameron Post in real life. Not like I give friendship preference to homosexuals, but seriously - she does weed and she shoplifts. Keep in mind that the thought of getting a tattoo scares me.I sympathized with her quickly, though. When her parents die in a car accident, Cameron's first thought isn't horror, or denial, or anger. It's relief. Relief that they would never know she had just kissed a girl a few hours earlier. As a result of the accident Cam moves in with her conservative, super religious Aunt Ruth along with her grandmother. Life floats by smoothly enough in her small Southern town until Cam meets Coley Taylor, a fierce, beautiful, and supposedly straight cowgirl. Cam's friendship with Coley develops into something intense and unexpected, something that could leave room for more. But when Aunt Ruth finds out about Cam and her "homosexual tendencies", she sends her away and forces her to find out who she really is - and to confront the demons of her past and her future.The Miseducation of Cameron Post is unlike any book I've read before. Yes, it's a coming-of-age story, but it's about a gay girl growing up in Montana (in the 90's). Emily Danforth describes the rural atmosphere perfectly, capturing the heat and the humidity as well as the cool night air. Her writing made this book work - she included several descriptions, similes, and metaphors that may have spun out of control if any other author had tried to write the book. There was one passage later on in the novel about those sticky-hand toys we all played with in the past; when I read that paragraph, I felt like Danforth somehow knew how I felt about those toys. Her writing elucidated a keen eye for detail and a control of that detail in her descriptions.What made this book beautiful for me was its quality as a bildungsroman. Here's a part one of the many passages that I adored:But I didn't have any of that faith, and I didn't know where to get it, how to get it, or even if I wanted it right then. I felt like it could be that God had made this happen, had killed my parents, because I was living my life so wrong that I had to be punished, that I had to be made to understand how I must change, and that Ruth was right, that I had to change through God. But I also thought, at the exact same time I was thinking the other stuff, that maybe what all this meant was that there was no God, but instead only fate and the chain of events that is, for each of us, predetermined.Cameron's journey from a child to a young adult didn't feel preachy, pretentious, or too prolonged. She makes mistakes, contemplates life, falls in and out of love, and basically lives like a real yet somehow extraordinary human being. She's frank and sometimes feisty, but that voice won me over. There were themes that ran throughout the novel, but none of them took center stage over her development as a character.My review can be summarized in two questions. Is Cameron Post a bad role model? Maybe. Is she an honest girl with a fighting heart who I wish teens would read about and emulate? Definitely.*review cross-posted on my blog, the quiet voice.
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  • Heidi
    December 10, 2011
    4.5 Stars.Original review posted here.As young adult readers, it’s somewhat rare for us to run into a book that’s more than 400 pages long, and when we do, I feel like those books fall into one of three categories. There are those lengthy YA books that are so engrossing and quick paced that you just gobble them up without ever noticing the length (see Grave Mercy), there are those that you feel could have had 100+ pages cut and have been better for it (see Partials), and then, there are those th 4.5 Stars.Original review posted here.As young adult readers, it’s somewhat rare for us to run into a book that’s more than 400 pages long, and when we do, I feel like those books fall into one of three categories. There are those lengthy YA books that are so engrossing and quick paced that you just gobble them up without ever noticing the length (see Grave Mercy), there are those that you feel could have had 100+ pages cut and have been better for it (see Partials), and then, there are those that are worth consuming slowly, taking in each word and phrase as it comes because every one of them has been carefully considered and placed to enrich the story. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is this third kind of book. I’ll admit I was intimidated by its girth, but I found every moment that I spent reading filling me up in a way that hearty wheat bread can fill your belly--with nourishment and substance. Now, I’ll admit, a lot of my attachment to The Miseducation of Cameron Post arose from the fact that this book, more than any other I have ever read, exemplifies my childhood. If you want to know what it was like growing up in small town Wyoming in the 90s, not too far from Billings, Montana--it’s not all that different from growing up in small town Miles City, not too far from Billings, Montana. Cameron and I went to the same mall to do school shopping, we stop at the same airport, and more importantly, our towns share the same businesses, people, and atmosphere. I cannot tell you how badly I was craving Taco Johns every time it was mentioned, and I am so sad for all of you that don’t live in the mountain states and know its glory (you know, as glorious as a Mexican fast food chain can be). When Emily M. Danforth wrote of thunderheads gathering on the horizon, I could smell it, and feel the hot, dry summer air. We played with firecrackers, bought gas at Conoco, bought crafts at Ben Franklin’s, we had kids wearing those blue FFA jackets at school; to this day I miss Schwan’s single-serve pizzas and push pops. I further bonded with Cameron because we were both swimmers who hung out largely with boys, and had lost parents at twelve (thankfully, in my case, not both). Despite what I felt was a very personal attachment to this book, I don’t think you need to have one to enjoy it. Danforth creates such a strong image of Miles City, and God’s Promise, that any reader will feel immersed.The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a coming of age story in the truest sense of the term. We follow Cameron from the time that she is twelve, until she is seventeen (or near enough). I loved seeing Cameron come into her own as a person, realize who she was, and fumble with her sense of self in the same way that every teen experiences. For Cameron, much of this is focused on the fact that she is a lesbian, but it didn’t have to be--this story would have been just as compelling if she’d been strait. Certainly, this book will speak to any teens who feel trapped in a situation, their family, their town, and need to find themselves to decide how best to manage their future. I am not meaning to diminish the importance of The Miseducation of Cameron Post as a work of LGBT literature, merely stating that I think this is a work that could influence anyone, the LGBT aspect is not the only way readers will relate to this book.Cameron Post herself is one of my new literary best friends. I love this girl. She’s a bit of a klepto, which I never understood, but other than that we bonded hard core. I love that to her, her sexuality isn’t a choice, a political statement, or a counter-culture movement--it’s just who she is. So many adults in her life reacted to her as if she were acting out, when in reality she was just being a kid, and being who she was. The sad fact that those she loved most had no idea how to love those parts of Cameron they didn’t agree with or understand broke my heart.I think it is easy for those many people who live in very liberal areas to look unkindly and with harsh judgement at evangelical Christians such as much of Cameron’s town. When you only experience these people through the bubble that is media, and not through personal experience, it becomes so easy to write them off as horrible people because of their judgements on homosexuals. This has always been a tough position for me. Much of my hometown, and many people that I love dearly share these views. Their adamant belief that homosexuality equates to damnation doesn’t change the fact that they are often wonderful, caring, heartfelt people. What Cameron’s family does to her, they do because they are trying to help, and because they love her. I can respect that, and so can Cameron. That doesn’t make it right, but I appreciate so much that Emily M. Danforth did strive to show these people as caring, and helpless to understand because of their beliefs. There was no outspoken rebellion against Christianity in general, only an acknowledgement that the methods used in this particular case were flawed, and doomed from the start--you can’t cure something that isn’t a sickness. Because of this treatment, I hope that those who avoid books with religious themes are not put off by The Misedcuation of Cameron Post. It is not preachy either for or against the nature/nurture arguments of homosexuality, it is the story of a girl finding and accepting herself in a time and place where so many obstacles stand in her way.
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  • Snotchocheez
    August 6, 2012
    Wow...what a pleasant surprise this was. I saw this in the Teen New Books section of the library, figured, if nothing else, it would serve as a palate-cleanser, a fluffy coming of age story. Turns out, The Miseducation of Cameron Post resonates much more deeply than the typical YA novel, filled with pitch perfect detail and honesty, devoid of condescension: a book to be shared by all. Weighing in at 460+ pages, it's really two books in one. The first half is a pretty-straightforward girl-discove Wow...what a pleasant surprise this was. I saw this in the Teen New Books section of the library, figured, if nothing else, it would serve as a palate-cleanser, a fluffy coming of age story. Turns out, The Miseducation of Cameron Post resonates much more deeply than the typical YA novel, filled with pitch perfect detail and honesty, devoid of condescension: a book to be shared by all. Weighing in at 460+ pages, it's really two books in one. The first half is a pretty-straightforward girl-discovers-she-likes-girls in the late 80s-early 90s kinda story. The titular narrator Cameron feels a tremendous amount of guilt when her parents are killed in a car crash, right around the same time (at age 12) she has a sleepover at a girl's house that culminates in her sexual awakening (that she is, indeed, attracted to other girls). The setting is Miles City, Montana (perhaps not coincidentally, author Emily Danforth's hometown), a place (probably to this day, but certainly in the 80s-90s) you'd have an extremely difficult time coming-out. So the first half of the novel focuses on Cam's junior high and high school years, of hiding her sexual desires, especially from her born-again aunt who has become her foster parent after her parents passed away. While i'm not terribly familiar with LGBT fiction, it seems like pretty familiar typical stuff (like maybe watching a Logo Channel rerun), although Ms Danforth's detailed-yet-almost-lyrical account set this apart from any story i'd read before in this genre. (Some may argue that, with 460 pages, it's too detailed, but I would disagree)The second half of the novel, when Auntie finds out about Cameron's "un-Christian" sexual urges and sends her away to "God's Promise" (a school whose primary purpose is to de-Gay-ify teens) is when the story really begins to soar, totally getting under my skin. Ms. Danforth's (surprisingly objective) depiction of this deprogramming school is just gut-wrenching (without being too over-the-top or reducing itself to cliche). What I most liked about this book is how true-to-life it seemed. Every bit of dialogue, every lust and heartbreak of Cameron's just seemed real. The old adage of "write what you know" seems to apply here: the detail that Ms. Danforth puts forth seemingly could only come from someone who's gone through similar experiences (like the crashing echo of a "first-time" pants zipper being unzipped, or the specifics of one-on-one counseling at the deprogramming school, or the "ubiquitous turd brown coffee cups at Perkins'", or the inexplicable Montanan cravings of Potato Olés at Taco Johns (hint: it requires lots and lots of pot-smoking). I would encourage anyone of any sexual orientation or spiritual bent (or anyone like me who tends to dismiss books categorized as YA) to give this book a try. This is a very solid first novel for Emily Danforth, and I look forward to seeing how she writes outside of her "comfort zone".
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  • Ariel
    June 26, 2013
    MY RATING IS MORE LIKE A 3.5!When I first picked this book up I was so super duper pumped. I couldn't wait to read it! The cover is beautiful, the synopsis sounds interesting and exciting, and I'd heard such great things! In a lot of ways, I'd say it lived up to most of the hype: it was a very real portrait of a person, a realistic vision of a character and her journey. BUT, BUT, BUT:Oh my god did it drag out. Holy moly wowza pants. This book is 470 pages.. NEARLY 500 PAGES FOR A CONTEMPORARY. I MY RATING IS MORE LIKE A 3.5!When I first picked this book up I was so super duper pumped. I couldn't wait to read it! The cover is beautiful, the synopsis sounds interesting and exciting, and I'd heard such great things! In a lot of ways, I'd say it lived up to most of the hype: it was a very real portrait of a person, a realistic vision of a character and her journey. BUT, BUT, BUT:Oh my god did it drag out. Holy moly wowza pants. This book is 470 pages.. NEARLY 500 PAGES FOR A CONTEMPORARY. In YA especially, that's practically unheard of! Going into it, though, I had no concerns.. it had to be long (and have such a tiny font) for a good reason! .. Umm, no. This book took me 7 months to read. 7 MONTHS TO READ. On my initial pick up I read a hefty amount but got kind of bored and had to put it down.. I then made attempt after attempt to "finish it up" and month after month I had to put it back down because of how laborious it was. The writing was drawn out and nothing nteresting enough happened to warrant nearly 500 pages. I did finish it: I wanted to finish it because I could feel the quality hiding just around the corner, but man oh man was it a long haul without enough pay off.
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  • Kat
    April 20, 2012
    This book was awful. If the author had cut out fully half of the rambling, going-nowhere storylines and spent that energy developing the characters more, it would have been much better.After all the hype and good reviews, I was really very hopeful that this would be a good one, but I found myself struggling through a few chapters a night, hoping it would get better - but it never did. The poor main character had all the makings of a classic heroine, but never got there. The text was littered wit This book was awful. If the author had cut out fully half of the rambling, going-nowhere storylines and spent that energy developing the characters more, it would have been much better.After all the hype and good reviews, I was really very hopeful that this would be a good one, but I found myself struggling through a few chapters a night, hoping it would get better - but it never did. The poor main character had all the makings of a classic heroine, but never got there. The text was littered with bible references and religious assertions that led to guilt, frustration, and one character horribly injuring himself, but even that didn't seem to further the plot at all, and Cameron never did deal with her issues, save for a brief moment when she visited the place where her parents died (even then, though, it felt like it was more something the author felt she should do than something the character wanted to do). It just didn't work as a cohesive story, and I'm very disappointed, because I had high hopes for it.
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  • Amanda Pearl
    January 30, 2012
    This is by far the best book I have ever read on Christianity and homosexuality. I was thoroughly impressed with how the author handled this very touchy subject. There is no moral of the story crammed down your throat, no secret agenda. It's a story of a girl dealing with the loss of her parents while on the brink of womanhood, and it is told beautifully, honestly, and lovingly. One of the aspects of The Miseducation of Cameron Post that I have to comment on is the writing style. It is a lot mo This is by far the best book I have ever read on Christianity and homosexuality. I was thoroughly impressed with how the author handled this very touchy subject. There is no moral of the story crammed down your throat, no secret agenda. It's a story of a girl dealing with the loss of her parents while on the brink of womanhood, and it is told beautifully, honestly, and lovingly. One of the aspects of The Miseducation of Cameron Post that I have to comment on is the writing style. It is a lot more like adult literary fiction than YA, but for this type of story it works well. The writing could have easily overpowered the story, making it feel heavy handed and slow to read, but Danforth does an excellent job painting a complete picture. It's easy to get completely submerged in her writing.I really appreciated how honestly Danforth handled Cameron's sexuality. Nothing about it was overdone, it was understated and shy and exactly what so many kids go through when they get their first crush. Straight or gay, I could completely related to the confusion and excitement of young love. I also really liked how the Christian characters weren't one dimensional villains. I think it could have been very easy to make these characters judgmental and cruel, but instead I could understand where they were coming from. I wanted to hate Ruth, Rick, and Lydia, but I understood those characters and realized that in their mind they were trying to help Cameron and her classmates. It's fairly obvious that they weren't very successful with their methods, but Danforth doesn't outright condemn them either. It is possible for good people to do very bad things without realizing it.Overall The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a fantastic addition to the growing LGBT themed books in the YA community. It shows how sexuality isn't a black or white issue and I hope it will raise awareness that people are people first, and their sexuality and religion second. This is a fantastic book for parents and teachers to start a dialogue about tolerance for different sexualities.
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  • Justine
    March 30, 2012
    Grandma stooped over with a yellow rag, sprinkling out the cleanser, that chemical-mint smell puffing around us, her son dead and her daughter-in-law dead and her only grandchild a now-orphaned shoplifter, a girl who kissed girls, and she didn't even know, and now she was cleaning up my vomit, feeling even worse because of me: That's what made me cry. I was terrified to read this book. For everything I'd been told about its spot-on characterizations and descriptions of the teenage condition, fo Grandma stooped over with a yellow rag, sprinkling out the cleanser, that chemical-mint smell puffing around us, her son dead and her daughter-in-law dead and her only grandchild a now-orphaned shoplifter, a girl who kissed girls, and she didn't even know, and now she was cleaning up my vomit, feeling even worse because of me: That's what made me cry. I was terrified to read this book. For everything I'd been told about its spot-on characterizations and descriptions of the teenage condition, for every quote I came across that was just so gorgeously rendered I near-caved on the spot, I continued to put it off. Capital-M Message books rarely meet my expectations, and I've found this to be consistently true when it comes to LGBTQ books in the YA genre, but The Miseducation of Cameron Post is not about being a lesbian.It's about being a girl (who, yes, likes  other girls in that way).There's a difference. True, Cameron is a lesbian. She's also an orphan. She's a granddaughter and niece, a movie-buff and a small-town girl. She's a bit of a doormat except for when she's telling you to go to hell. Cameron is a girl, and Miseducation addresses every aspect of what and who she is; there's no one personality trait that is all of her.We follow her from the age of twelve when she first loses her parents right up to the cusp of adulthood at seventeen, and it is mind-boggling to me that Emily Danforth managed to fit everything I remember about my own adolescence into one book. It might have inspired more reminiscence in me personally just for the setting. I, like Cameron, grew up on the boundless northwestern plains, so the detailed imagery did a lot for me. I would recognize, however, that in setting the novel in her own hometown the author may have become too involved with the little details that made her smile, that made it all so real and alive to her. Those same details could distract away from another reader's memories of childhood.Still, it's almost impossible not to identify with some part of a girl floundering with her sexual identity, with how to relate to those who accept her and to those who don't.Danforth shines here, because Miseducation is filled with characters who don't accept Cameron for who she is, and as a reader you can reasonably assume that they probably never will. Some will love her in spite of the fact, some will write her off as an unsalvageable soul, but not one of these characters is treated as the villainous homophobe. They're ignorant and frightened and damaged, and these things often manifest in horrifying ways, but Danforth doesn't believe in flat characters. She makes them capable of kindness, capable of being mistreated by Cameron.And Cameron finds that she is capable of mistreating them, which is a lesson I myself am constantly relearning. So much of this work's beauty and what makes its difficult to describe lies exactly in this point: this book is about the miseducation of not just Cameron, but everyone around her. It's about the lessons that bear repeating for all of us.If I didn't know any better, I'd say that this book was too long—and at 470 pages, I doubt many would try too hard to argue the point with me—but like every other facet of Danforth's inaugural work, I can only feel the decision in length was deliberate and completely apt. This book wasn't just long. It was that final stretch of summer: lazy and too-hot and never-ending, but flying by. It was my childhood: one moment dragged-out, tintype nostalgia and the next vivid hi-fi with sharp edges. And like everything else, it ended too soon.
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  • Katie
    May 3, 2016
    This was such a good, realistic story. I loved the backdrop of Montana and the coming of ageness was wonderful. This story spans from cam's childhood to her being 17/18 and those are my favorite coming of age stories. I thought the way the author portrayed the conversion camp was really interesting, but also really scary to see how it changed these characters. Cam's character development was really nice and felt really natural. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants more lgbtq+ness in their read This was such a good, realistic story. I loved the backdrop of Montana and the coming of ageness was wonderful. This story spans from cam's childhood to her being 17/18 and those are my favorite coming of age stories. I thought the way the author portrayed the conversion camp was really interesting, but also really scary to see how it changed these characters. Cam's character development was really nice and felt really natural. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants more lgbtq+ness in their reading.
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  • Steph Su
    April 4, 2012
    THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST couldn’t have come at a better time. In a modern world where the topic of homosexuality is so frustratingly politicized, Cameron’s story is a welcome respite. With crisp, relatable prose, unique characters that burrow themselves in your mind, and character ambiguity that marks only the most brilliant and realistic novels, THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST shapes up to be one of the best YA debuts, if not one of the best books, of 2012.There are so many things to l THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST couldn’t have come at a better time. In a modern world where the topic of homosexuality is so frustratingly politicized, Cameron’s story is a welcome respite. With crisp, relatable prose, unique characters that burrow themselves in your mind, and character ambiguity that marks only the most brilliant and realistic novels, THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST shapes up to be one of the best YA debuts, if not one of the best books, of 2012.There are so many things to like about this book. I like how danforth doesn’t politicize homosexuality. The homophobic characters in the book are people too, not soulless demons who arbitrarily spew homophobic comments; the conversion therapy setting isn’t depicted as all good or all bad, but rather just is. While this may frustrate some pro-gay marriage pundits who feel like this book doesn’t take a strong enough stance on the topic of homosexuality, I appreciate its honest-to-life portrayal, the gentle admittance that, in many circumstances, it’s impossible to neatly put issues and people into boxes.Here is a book that shows that when you don’t write down to teenagers, you’re finally getting close to writing at their level. Little separates this from an adult book except for the age of its protagonist. Cameron’s observations and musings don’t have an age limit; in fact, her thoughts don’t have any kind of label that derives from our politically and religiously charged world. This means that THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST isn’t a story about a gay girl; it’s just a story about a girl.The book isn’t perfect—and by this I mean the extraordinarily cheesy, over-the-top ending—but danforth proves in one fell swoop that she’s no amateur when it comes to writing resonant fiction. I wholeheartedly recommend THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST to anyone with an appreciation for well-written, emotionally resonant literature, and wait with eager anticipation to see what danforth has to show readers next.
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  • dean
    December 22, 2012
    I read, with great patience, a quarter through this before putting the book away. It will remain unfinished. This book is dull. The attempt at a sensitive and ruminative coming of age story just feels plodding and tedious.
  • Kageashi
    March 26, 2013
    Let me be clear - I think that The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a fantastic book. It's engaging, the characters have true depth, and Cameron, while frequently irritating is most often endearing.One thing is clear, though - this is a book where no one is right and no one is wrong. Well, except perhaps Lydia, but that's an aside.The book follows Cameron through three phases of her pubescent life - just before Junior High, her freshman year and summer, and her sophomore year. Each phase is subst Let me be clear - I think that The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a fantastic book. It's engaging, the characters have true depth, and Cameron, while frequently irritating is most often endearing.One thing is clear, though - this is a book where no one is right and no one is wrong. Well, except perhaps Lydia, but that's an aside.The book follows Cameron through three phases of her pubescent life - just before Junior High, her freshman year and summer, and her sophomore year. Each phase is substantially different than the other phases, which gives an interesting comparison between the phases she goes through in adapting and identifying as a lesbian.This is not a book to be sped through, though it lends itself well to being read in stretches. The nuance in writing is impressive, and the author is a phenomenal wordsmith. That said, the pacing in the story can feel stilted from time to time, and the ending feels far too abrupt. While an excellent read, I would have preferred to see other themes lightly touched upon in the book explored more - such as the friendship between Margot Kenner and Cameron's mother. There are subtle hints there that there was more to the friendship than mere friendship, but this is never fleshed out. Margot is perhaps the best possible insight into the mind of Cameron's mother, and I find the lack of use there somewhat disappointing and unrealistic.Overall, a beautiful read, and I recommend it, though it won't end up in my favorites pile.
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  • Maxi (slothreads)
    July 27, 2015
    ★ 2016 AtY Reading Challenge ★: A book with a first name in the title.*3.5 stars*It's kind of hard to explain the plot of this book without spoilers. The death of Cameron's parents in something that happens pretty much in the first chapter and it was mentioned multiple times but I didn't feel it was the most important thing. The book is more about Cameron's adventures in discovering who she is.Cameron was definitely my favorite character: I loved her sense of humor and her overall personality.Al ★ 2016 AtY Reading Challenge ★: A book with a first name in the title.*3.5 stars*It's kind of hard to explain the plot of this book without spoilers. The death of Cameron's parents in something that happens pretty much in the first chapter and it was mentioned multiple times but I didn't feel it was the most important thing. The book is more about Cameron's adventures in discovering who she is.Cameron was definitely my favorite character: I loved her sense of humor and her overall personality.All the other characters felt a little bit incomplete and flat but at least the main character was an enjoyable one.The writing was good but nothing spectacular, like I just said Danforth's sense of humor is present in the book and I really enjoyed it. The book was longer and denser that I was expecting though.When I reached the half point it became difficult for me to continue without being mad. (view spoiler)[Cameron's sexual orientation is discovered by her family at some point and she is sent to a kind of Christian boarding school. That part was hard to read. Not because it wasn't good but more because of my view on religion. I was glad she escaped from that hell of a school. (hide spoiler)]The ending felt rushed and nothing really wrapped up but at the same time it didn't left me with the feeling of wanting more.It's a diverse book with an interesting and funny main character but it was at least 100 pages too long.
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  • Candace
    February 13, 2012
    This book was quietly beautiful. It had many passages that really moved me, words that really stuck in my head and felt so very perfect. It was slower paced but never boring. I found myself captivated by Cameron Post and her life as it felt so very similar to my own as a teenager. I didn't struggle with the same issues she did exactly but I still felt such a strong connection to so much in this book it took me back to my teenage years more then probably any other contemporary I've read. One reas This book was quietly beautiful. It had many passages that really moved me, words that really stuck in my head and felt so very perfect. It was slower paced but never boring. I found myself captivated by Cameron Post and her life as it felt so very similar to my own as a teenager. I didn't struggle with the same issues she did exactly but I still felt such a strong connection to so much in this book it took me back to my teenage years more then probably any other contemporary I've read. One reason is that this book takes in Miles City Montana and while I grew up in Sturgis South Dakota (a small town as well) I did spend many weekends and most summers in Sheridan Wyoming which is quite close to Miles City. We shopped in Billings (those from Miles City did as well) and we just lived similar lives. Lots of cowboys, lots of super religious people, lots of parties and smoking of weed (yes, there's lots of marijuana smoking in this book) and all those little things just brought me closer to Cameron and her life. I also had a very close friend who liked girls and struggled with the things that Cameron did. As her close friend it was so hard to watch her go through everything, to be ridiculed and put down and told it's a sickness and she needs to be strong in her faith and overcome it. I spent so many nights with her trying to convince her that nothing was wrong with her and once she was 18 she could get out of there and she would see that she's not the only one in the world and that others will accept her. Another thing that I loved was that this takes place in the early 90's. I was a teenager in the 90's as well so the pop culture references, the music, the movies, the words, every little thing, that was me, that was my life as a teen. I remember watching Beaches over and over with my friend and crying and crying. I remember listening to the music Cameron listened to. All these things aren't that important to the story, but for those of us that lived through that, it's just a big bonus and made the book that much better for me.This isn't a book for everyone. It has a strong LGBT theme. There's drug use (just marijuana) and drinking. There's cursing. There's sex (no description really, you just know what happens). Personally none of this bothered me which is strange since I usually dislike much of any of that and all of it is actually quite present in the book. Maybe it was because I was transported to being a teen and this book felt as accurate and authentic as it gets. I very highly recommend this book and if you're concerned about getting it for your child or your classroom give it a read first. It's one I really feel should be in classrooms as there are so many teens that could really benefit from it, but I can also see that it is probably a book that will enrage some parents. It's definitely a high school and older kind of book.Please, please give this book a chance. It makes me tear up to think about it, but this was a book I really could have used as a teenager. Whether a person is LGBT, it doesn't really matter. There's so much to connect with in this book for any teenager. This review was first posted on my blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com
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  • Dakota★Magic in Every Book
    May 24, 2016
    It’s so difficult for me to describe this book. It’s such an amazing novel and it resonated with me so deeply, all I want to do is shout about its perfection and shove it into everyone’s face! But I’ll do my best to do better justice to this book and convincing you to read it. It’s about Cameron Post, a young girl living in Miles City, Montana. When Cameron is 12, her parents die in a car crash. Her first response is relief: her parents will never know she kissed her best friend, Irene. Cameron’ It’s so difficult for me to describe this book. It’s such an amazing novel and it resonated with me so deeply, all I want to do is shout about its perfection and shove it into everyone’s face! But I’ll do my best to do better justice to this book and convincing you to read it. It’s about Cameron Post, a young girl living in Miles City, Montana. When Cameron is 12, her parents die in a car crash. Her first response is relief: her parents will never know she kissed her best friend, Irene. Cameron’s conservative aunt moves in and Cameron struggles with her sexuality and attraction to girls as she goes from middle to high school. Cameron is eventually caught being a “sexual deviant” and is sent to a religious camp meant to cure homosexuality. This book is so strong and powerful. There are so few books about young gay women, and while this one deals with the struggle of accepting your sexuality, there is so much more to it than that. It deals with loss, friendship, accepting yourself, fighting for yourself, etc. It’s an amazing novel and I was so touched by the story and Cameron’s progression through the novel. The book is a hefty near-500 pages, and can be slower paced, as it deals with many topics and struggles in Cameron’s everyday life, and how her identity and sexuality play a role in them. I was iffy at the beginning of the book, but after the book hits its stride, I was sucked in and I read the most of the book in one sitting. The camp for “sexual deviants” is an especially important and emotional part of the novel. Camps such as the one Cam is forced into are real and used to be much more common and widespread. It’s a form of psychological manipulation and abuse, and the books tactful handling and expression of this setting is so incredibly well done, as well as intensely emotional. I’m not one for crying, but this book made me bawl like a baby. Some parts of the book were just so packed with emotion and feeling, it was like a physical blow. Don’t worry, though, the book has an overall optimistic note at the end. This book is so incredible and if you want to read more LGBTQIA books or have struggled with your sexuality yourself, then you should definitely pick this book up. If you’re a human with feelings, pick this book up!! It’s become a favorite at the top of my list and I hope it will for many more people!
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  • Amanda L
    January 24, 2013
    Danforth has a beautiful grasp of adolescent self-discovery and weaves that with ostracizing and frightening influences. She's got such perspective on the myriad human vulnerabilities. She doesn't deal in absolutes and leaves much room for interpretation. So impressed. So teary eyed. I've learned so much. Reading this was quite a humbling experience.Something about young Cameron Post's experience at a camp designed to help her "pray away the gay" really struck a chord with me--- that the methods Danforth has a beautiful grasp of adolescent self-discovery and weaves that with ostracizing and frightening influences. She's got such perspective on the myriad human vulnerabilities. She doesn't deal in absolutes and leaves much room for interpretation. So impressed. So teary eyed. I've learned so much. Reading this was quite a humbling experience.Something about young Cameron Post's experience at a camp designed to help her "pray away the gay" really struck a chord with me--- that the methods centered on establishing an addiction to the discipline of degrading the self and fabricating the delusion that doing so means one is living more righteously than others. Despicable. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that many actual camps and "counselors" rely on the same tactics with their victims. I guess that's something we could ask Michelle Bachmann's husband... another time.Truly a profound novel. And a closing dedication such as what is recreated below simply couldn't follow a mediocre story. This speaks volumes of this newly-minted author. I'll be reading anything she ever publishes. In memory of Catherine Havilland Anne Elizabeth Mary Victoria Baily Woods, who not only had the best and longest name of any friend I've ever had, but who was also the truest friend, the most honest friend, and the one with the greatest imagination.
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  • Amy Plum
    October 31, 2011
    A beautiful book about a girl's difficult coming of age as a lesbian in a small-town Evangelical setting. The characters were so well-drawn that I found myself skimming the lovely descriptions and nostalgia-evoking details in order to get to the meat of the action. Which just means I'll have to read it again to enjoy it on a deeper level. I found myself rooting for Cam the whole way, experiencing grief, guilt, infatuation, fear and love right along with her. There is no black and white with Danf A beautiful book about a girl's difficult coming of age as a lesbian in a small-town Evangelical setting. The characters were so well-drawn that I found myself skimming the lovely descriptions and nostalgia-evoking details in order to get to the meat of the action. Which just means I'll have to read it again to enjoy it on a deeper level. I found myself rooting for Cam the whole way, experiencing grief, guilt, infatuation, fear and love right along with her. There is no black and white with Danforth's story. Characters you want to hate you end up pitying. (Okay, not ALL of them. I still hated a couple. But loved even more.) And the camaraderie between Cameron, Jane Fonda (!) and Adam is epic. I wish I could follow them past the end of the book, as well as discovering more about Margot, who I feel could have her very own book.
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  • Mands
    March 12, 2012
    4.5The Miseducation of Cameron Post is Emily M. Danforth’s debut novel and it is set in her home town of Miles City, Montana. We meet Cameron when she is twelve years old. She and best friend, Irene Klauson, have spent the long, hot summer swimming, playing and setting dares for each other. Cameron’s parents go camping at Quake Lake for the weekend so Cameron’s Grandma comes to stay. That weekend Cameron and Irene share their first kiss and when Cameron hears the news of her parents’ death in a 4.5The Miseducation of Cameron Post is Emily M. Danforth’s debut novel and it is set in her home town of Miles City, Montana. We meet Cameron when she is twelve years old. She and best friend, Irene Klauson, have spent the long, hot summer swimming, playing and setting dares for each other. Cameron’s parents go camping at Quake Lake for the weekend so Cameron’s Grandma comes to stay. That weekend Cameron and Irene share their first kiss and when Cameron hears the news of her parents’ death in a car crash she is filled with shame and guilt. Both her Grandma and Aunt Ruth move into her home and Cameron escapes her feelings by renting movies and watching them in her room while she decorates an old doll house with bits and pieces. Aunt Ruth makes Cameron attend a new church and join the youth group and a couple of years later it’s through church that Cameron meets Coley. Not long after that Cameron is sent away to God’s Promise, a school to change children who are gay (not that the school acknowledges that homosexuality is a reality).It’s really hard to summarise this book as there is so much that goes on, and so many characters to talk about, but I feel that the blurb gives the readers a good idea of what this book is about. The cover is what first attracted me to this story, it perfectly suits the book – I love the photograph and the pastel lettering, as well as many positive reviews I read earlier in the year.Cameron is a fantastic protagonist and I enjoyed watching her grow up, from her first kiss with best friend Irene, to her relationship and friendship with Lindsay, to Coley and their friendship and developing feelings, she is someone I wanted to know more about. The rest of the cast were just as interesting. I loved her Grandma, though her reaction later on was surprising and a little disappointing. Aunt Ruth was not a character who was easy to like but she gave up her life to come and care for Cameron and tried to do the best she could. Jamie was such a good friend to Cameron and I did feel sorry for him when his feelings weren’t reciprocated. Lindsay was a good influence on Cameron, she made her aware that that there are places in the world where gay couples can be open about it and live together without having to hide it and opened Cameron’s mind up to the possibilities. Coley is another character that I both liked and later disliked. I could feel Cameron’s excitement and anticipation every time she hung out with Coley, especially during their final summer together and I was disappointed when her secret was shared with the town. And finally the kids at God’s Promise, I felt for all of them. It’s sad to think that these sorts of places still exist, that family members are so ashamed of their children that they ship them off to a place where they get told again and again that their feelings are wrong, dirty, and impure. The religious element never felt overpowering instead it felt balanced; I never felt like Emily was choosing sides, merely showing us both opinions in an honest way.I loved the setting of Miles City, while I’ve never lived in a small town it was so easy to picture and I could feel the heat of each summer that Cameron spent there and thought the setting added so much to the story because there are towns just like this and the story felt very believable.The story covers five years of Cameron’s life and even though it’s a long period of time the story was never boring and I found myself captivated by the events and moments in Cameron’s journey. I felt like the story was building up to something, I’m not sure what I was expecting, maybe some closure or perhaps for Cameron to return home and be able to live her life as she chooses, but in the end I felt a bit let down. I was happy for her but I could easily have read another four hundred pages about the next five years of Cameron’s life – I’m still wondering what might have happened to her next.The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a beautiful, sweet, compelling coming-of-age story with realistic characters, a wonderful setting, and a story that will captivate fans of contemporary YA.Thank you to the awesome people at Harper Collins Australia for my review copy.
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  • Renae
    January 14, 2017
    Young adult fiction is an audience category that encompasses many genres. However, one thing that’s somewhat rare to find is literary fiction for young adults, which is undoubtedly what The Miseducation of Cameron Post is. And considering the years the author has spent in academia—both an MFA and PhD in creative writing—it isn’t surprising that Danforth’s novel fits into this designator. This is a slow-moving, character-driven coming of age story, one that focuses less on plot and more on the pr Young adult fiction is an audience category that encompasses many genres. However, one thing that’s somewhat rare to find is literary fiction for young adults, which is undoubtedly what The Miseducation of Cameron Post is. And considering the years the author has spent in academia—both an MFA and PhD in creative writing—it isn’t surprising that Danforth’s novel fits into this designator. This is a slow-moving, character-driven coming of age story, one that focuses less on plot and more on the protagonist’s transformation. This isn’t bad, but compared to the overwhelming majority of YA novels, The Miseducation of Cameron Post does stand out as a book that requires a bit more patience from its audience.As a reader who does generally enjoy quieter, more introspective literary novels, I was comfortable with Danforth’s style and slower pace. That being said, I do think that the novel’s page count, sitting just shy of 500, was a bit excessive. The author took early half the book to arrive at “meaningful” conflict—the rest was merely setting the stage. The beginning chunk of The Miseducation of Cameron Post could absolutely have been more streamlined and efficient. And then, in contrast, the concluding chapters could have been far less rushed. It took so long for things to get properly started, but once the author decided to wrap thins up, the story was over in record time. Some kind of balance needed to be struck between the two, I think.Yet while I might have complaints regarding Danforth’s presentation of her story, I think it’s important to acknowledge that the narrative itself was strong and engaging, pacing issues notwithstanding. Cameron Post’s experience hit very close to home for me. I, too, am a product of a conservative Evangelical upbringing, and so much of what Aunt Ruth and other adults in Cameron’s life tell her mirrored things I was taught for the first 18 years of my life. And while I was never forcibly exiled to a gay conversion school, I did once attend a hardcore Christian “bootcamp” in Bozeman, Montana—which is not too far from where God’s Promise, the school in the book is. I could never claim to know exactly how this character feels, but based on my own experiences, it was only too easy to imagine what Cameron went through over the course of the book.What this book did best was create in Cameron Post a nuanced, authentic image of a teen girl. I believed completely in this character and her experiences, which is pivotal for this type of novel to succeed. Though perhaps Cameron wasn’t the most unique or “voicey” of narrators, I still thought her reactions, thoughts, and emotions all consistently rang true.All in all, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is not a perfect book but it’s still mostly well-done and high quality. This is a coming of age novel that accurately and honestly depicts how evangelical Christianity “deals with” queer children. Emily M. Danforth does an excellent job with her protagonist’s depth and believability, and that in the end made this novel a good one.
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  • Cath
    May 26, 2016
    4/5 stars.So before reading this I had heard nothing but good things about this book! A lot of people say this is one of their favourite lesbian YA books and lemme tell you, it's now one of my favourites too!Okay firstly, I love Cameron. She was such a good narrative, she's clever and hilarious. Even in really serious situations, she still makes little comments that made me laugh.I really enjoyed the writing style, it was so descriptive, scenes were written in such a way that helped me picture i 4/5 stars.So before reading this I had heard nothing but good things about this book! A lot of people say this is one of their favourite lesbian YA books and lemme tell you, it's now one of my favourites too!Okay firstly, I love Cameron. She was such a good narrative, she's clever and hilarious. Even in really serious situations, she still makes little comments that made me laugh.I really enjoyed the writing style, it was so descriptive, scenes were written in such a way that helped me picture it in my head perfectly. I found myself getting so invested in the writing! It didn't let me down.We see Cameron age a few years throughout this book and I liked that. The pacing didn't feel rushed or anything, it was great. The fact that this was set in the 90's just made me so happy, the music and movies references mentioned in this book were great, I was proud of myself when I understood a reference.This book made me laugh and almost made me cry because it was so beautifully written, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I can't recommend this book enough.
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  • Vitor Martins
    April 22, 2015
    Meus sentimentos sobre esse livro estão divididos. Por um lado eu adorei a maneira como a autora tratou dos temas homossexualidade x evangéicos. O rumo da história fez com que eu me identificasse muito com a Cameron Post. Também cresci numa família evangélica que tentou me "curar" quando eu era adolescente. Também passei por uma série de sessões de lavagem cerebral onde eu tinha que ouvir trechos da bíblia repetidas vezes pra ver se eu deixava de ser gay. E olhando por esse ponto de vista, esse Meus sentimentos sobre esse livro estão divididos. Por um lado eu adorei a maneira como a autora tratou dos temas homossexualidade x evangéicos. O rumo da história fez com que eu me identificasse muito com a Cameron Post. Também cresci numa família evangélica que tentou me "curar" quando eu era adolescente. Também passei por uma série de sessões de lavagem cerebral onde eu tinha que ouvir trechos da bíblia repetidas vezes pra ver se eu deixava de ser gay. E olhando por esse ponto de vista, esse foi um livro em que eu me vi ali dentro da história o tempo todo.PORÉM achei a narrativa muito arrastada em alguns momentos. Muitos capítulos de enrolação deixaram a leitura cansativa pra mim. O livro tem 470 páginas, mas podia ter 300 TRANQUILAMENTE, e contar a mesma história. No geral, uma trama interessante, com um desenvolvimento de personagem bem escrito, mas que demora a chegar ao que interessa e quando chega, acaba rápido.
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  • Bailey
    May 2, 2014
    4.5, probably.More to come, but everything about this book really hurt my heart. These are the kinds of stories we don't hear too often, but we should.
  • Luu
    April 7, 2012
    RECENZIA NA BLOGUThe Miseducation of Cameron Post nie je takou tou dejom nabitou knihou, kde by sme na úvod dostali nejakú situáciu, v strede sa s ňou vyrovnávali a na konci došli k šťastnému a zamilovanému koncu. Táto kniha je 500 strán rozprávania o viac alebo menej každodenných situáciach. Cameron zomrú rodičia. Cameron si osvojí teta. Cameron sa rozpadnú kamarátstva. Cameron si nájde nové kamarátstva. Cameron sa zamiluje. Cameron sa sklame v láske. A tak dookola. Čítate a máte pocit, že toto RECENZIA NA BLOGUThe Miseducation of Cameron Post nie je takou tou dejom nabitou knihou, kde by sme na úvod dostali nejakú situáciu, v strede sa s ňou vyrovnávali a na konci došli k šťastnému a zamilovanému koncu. Táto kniha je 500 strán rozprávania o viac alebo menej každodenných situáciach. Cameron zomrú rodičia. Cameron si osvojí teta. Cameron sa rozpadnú kamarátstva. Cameron si nájde nové kamarátstva. Cameron sa zamiluje. Cameron sa sklame v láske. A tak dookola. Čítate a máte pocit, že toto sa naozaj stalo, pretože tak vyzerajú každodenné veci, pretože život nie je kniha s úvodom, jadrom a záverom, a v živote nič nevychádza podľa plánu autora. Zhruba v strede knihy je citát o tom, ako má Cameron pocit, že mizne - a ja súhlasím, pretože akoby s každou epizódou v knihe strácala kus seba. Život ide ďalej po smrti rodičov, ale niečo v ňom chýba. Život ide ďalej po strate prvej priateľky, ale niečo v ňom chýba. Život ide ďalej po nešťastnej prvej láske, ale niečo v ňom chýba. A čo sa stane, keď sa vám niekto pokúsi vyrvať posledný zvyšok vášho 'ja', pretože byť homosexuálkou je podľa neho zvrátené a nenormálne? Cameron si nikdy nesadne niekde do kúta a zúfalo neplače, ale ide ďalej a mení sa pri tom spôsobom, z ktorého na vás doľahne veľmi zvláštny pocit.Myslím, že som tak trochu zamilovaná spôsobom, ako do Code Name Verity alebo Every Day - že to nie je kniha pre každého, ale len a len pre mňa. 9/10
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  • Chantaal
    February 13, 2012
    Originally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.This book follows the journey of young Cameron Post, a girl whose parents die just as she begins to discover her burgeoning homosexuality. And it sounds really strange and trite when put that way, but there's so much to this novel. Cameron's day to day confusion with liking girls seems so real and present, despite it taking place in the early 90s. Eventually Cameron's religious aunt sends to a de-gaying camp, and that's where I felt the book dropped a s Originally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.This book follows the journey of young Cameron Post, a girl whose parents die just as she begins to discover her burgeoning homosexuality. And it sounds really strange and trite when put that way, but there's so much to this novel. Cameron's day to day confusion with liking girls seems so real and present, despite it taking place in the early 90s. Eventually Cameron's religious aunt sends to a de-gaying camp, and that's where I felt the book dropped a star, in my eyes. It was great to see Cameron grow as a person, even if she was confused ninety percent of the time. Following her story as she slowly realized who she was and who she could be was a delight. I just wish it didn't feel like the book simply ended.
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