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
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 7th, 2012
PublisherBalzer + Bray
ISBN-139780062020567
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Lgbt, Fiction, Contemporary, Glbt, Queer

The Miseducation of Cameron Post Review

  • Wendy Darling
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
    January 1, 1970
    Re-Read with Sapphic Squad 🦋💖I stand by my original review for this one! It's important and well-written, but also a very difficult read. ---------------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 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 yo Re-Read with Sapphic Squad 🦋💖I stand by my original review for this one! It's important and well-written, but also a very difficult read. ---------------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 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. The ending just sort of happens, and I'm not sure how to feel about it.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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  • Emily Crowe
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • *eKa*
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Keertana
    January 1, 1970
    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
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Alex
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    This is hard to rate. I was going to go for two stars but I did think it was more an "ok". So three stars it is. Kind of a long (compared to other YA novels I've read) so it got a bit slow at times although I did generally enjoy reading about Cameron. Her parents are killed (not a spoiler) in a car accident and her evangelical Christian aunt comes to raise her. Let's just say that Cameron being a lesbian does not go over well. Not my favorite ending. I wanted more. Maybe there will be a sequel?
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  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Simon
    January 1, 1970
    Sadly really disappointed with this one. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t hate it, just think it could have been so much more with a ruddy good edit. Cameron Post is a young girl who on the day of her parents death is kissing another girl. From here we follow her growing up hiding her sexuality from her religious aunt who becomes parent by proxy and initially herself. Until, as we learn from the blurb, eventually the truth is discovered and she is sent off to be ‘cured/saved’ in a religious school... Sadly really disappointed with this one. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t hate it, just think it could have been so much more with a ruddy good edit. Cameron Post is a young girl who on the day of her parents death is kissing another girl. From here we follow her growing up hiding her sexuality from her religious aunt who becomes parent by proxy and initially herself. Until, as we learn from the blurb, eventually the truth is discovered and she is sent off to be ‘cured/saved’ in a religious school... OVER HALFWAY THROUGH THE BOOK. To me this needed to be shorter and have more pace and emotional attachment as it was we often, despite some occasionally gorgeous set pieces, had a detached yet over detailed narrator and I just ended up not caring.
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  • Kate (GirlReading)
    January 1, 1970
    3.75* This is a difficult book to know how to rate. On the one hand, I thought the story was brilliant, infuriating, thoughtful and although incredibly difficult to read at times, undoubtedly important. However, on the other hand, I personally didn’t click with the writing style and for me, the book overall was just too long and drawn out in places. With that being said, due to following its main character from a child to late teens, this book offers a unique insight into sexuality and growing u 3.75* This is a difficult book to know how to rate. On the one hand, I thought the story was brilliant, infuriating, thoughtful and although incredibly difficult to read at times, undoubtedly important. However, on the other hand, I personally didn’t click with the writing style and for me, the book overall was just too long and drawn out in places. With that being said, due to following its main character from a child to late teens, this book offers a unique insight into sexuality and growing up in a world that’s fighting your identity at every turn. If your considering reading this book, keep in mind that it’s definitely not a lighthearted read. It’s upsetting, graphic and potentially triggering for some.TW: • Graphic self harm• Extreme homophobia • ‘Correction’ camp for LGBTQ+ teens• Racist and ableist language• Discussion of sexual assault
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  • Snotchocheez
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Amanda Pearl
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Ariel
    January 1, 1970
    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
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is an incredible coming-of-age which I'm really glad to have read. Danforth's characterization is consistent and multidimensional. Cameron is a believable protagonist, unsure of herself but wanting to be. Her internal voice is very strong.This strength of characterization applies across the board. The antagonists are as believable and complex as they are terrifying. I feel as if I know Aunt Ruth, and she terrifies me with her odd blend of well-intentione 4 stars. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is an incredible coming-of-age which I'm really glad to have read. Danforth's characterization is consistent and multidimensional. Cameron is a believable protagonist, unsure of herself but wanting to be. Her internal voice is very strong.This strength of characterization applies across the board. The antagonists are as believable and complex as they are terrifying. I feel as if I know Aunt Ruth, and she terrifies me with her odd blend of well-intentioned homophobia. I also loved the gorgeous depictions of setting. Montana is described beautifully here. Essentially the only bad thing about this book is that it's too long. At least 200 pages could've been cut here; descriptions of the setting can't keep me interested forever.
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Wendi Lee
    January 1, 1970
    This coming-of-age story has been on TBR for a long time now. I'm so glad I finally got to read it. RTC.
  • Eliza Rapsodia
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at page 92 / ABANDONADO EN LA PÁGINA 92.NO-REVIEW - MINI OPINION IN ENGLISHI thought about reading this book because I saw on twitter that there's already a film adaptation with one of the faces of YA books made into movies: Cloe Grace Moretz. So I decided to read it... and I just couldn't bring myself to finish it.Why? Well, I start by saying that I expected to like it, but that never happened. The beginning was promising. The novel is divided into three time lines, beginning in 1989. Came DNF at page 92 / ABANDONADO EN LA PÁGINA 92.NO-REVIEW - MINI OPINION IN ENGLISHI thought about reading this book because I saw on twitter that there's already a film adaptation with one of the faces of YA books made into movies: Cloe Grace Moretz. So I decided to read it... and I just couldn't bring myself to finish it.Why? Well, I start by saying that I expected to like it, but that never happened. The beginning was promising. The novel is divided into three time lines, beginning in 1989. Cameron Post is a twelve-year-old girl who lives in Montana. She has a best friend named Irene and a normal family, her parents and her grandmother. We get to know Cameron and her family and the beginning of the summer of 1989. She is discovering things about her own sexuality that make her feel strange, and she knows she's not perfect and doesn't want to.Despite everything I've said, the book just did not grip me. At all. I did not find anything in Cameron's story that would make me want to know more about her life and her problems. The secondary characters, although well drawn, did not interest me either (except Grandma Post, I think she is the best). The situations are well described, but they were not interesting or enjoyable. I felt that Cameron's story was an adult trying to talk like a girl. Religion is very important in the story and I think it is well treated. I kept reading, two years passed and we are in 1991, but I did not feel a significant impulse to continue reading.I tend to be a patient reader and maybe it get interesting at the end, but when neither the narration, nor the characters, nor the story get my interest I just think it's better to stop. Other readers have said words like "heavy" or "dry" to describe the writing and I have to agree. Maybe other people will love it, but it's not my case.Maybe I'll try with the movie.********************NO-RESEÑA EN ESPAÑOLABANDONADO EN LA PÁGINA 92.Pensé en leer este libro porque había visto en redes que ya una adaptación cinematográfica que cuenta  con una de las caras de la adaptación juvenil moderna: Cloe Grace Moretz está al frente de la cinta. Por eso y porque hace tiempo no leía un libro de este tipo decidí lanzarme por él.¿Por qué no pude terminarlo? Pues empiezo por decir que esperaba terminarlo y que me gustara, pero no fue así. Y es que al inicio prometía. La novela se divide en tres lineas temporales, comenzando en 1989. Cameron Post es una niña de doce años que vive en Montana. Tiene una mejor amiga llamada Irene y una familia normal, sus padres y su abuela, que es un poco rara y le gustan los programas de televisión y las novelas de misterio. Hasta que algo malo sucede. La novela empezó francamente bien. Conocemos a Cameron, su entorno familiar y el inicio del verano de 1989 junto a su amiga Irene. Ella va descubriendo cosas sobre su propia sexualidad que la hacen sentirse rara y algo ansiosa. No es una niña modelo y no quiere serlo. A raíz de lo que sucede, ella empieza a experimentar culpa y por eso busca la forma de afrontar las cosas como ella mejor puede.A pesar de lo que menciono y con el pasar de las páginas, la novela no terminó por conquistarme. No acababa de encontrar en la narración de Cameron algo que me hiciera que me atrapara y quisiera saber más de su vida en Miles Town y sus problemas. Los personajes secundarios, aunque bien dibujados tampoco me despertaron mucho interés, pero   creo que la Abuela Post es la mejor.  Las situaciones están bien descritas, pero no se me hicieron interesantes o amenas de explorar. Sentía que la narración de Cameron era una adulta hablando como una niña. Hay un punto de religión muy importante en la historia y creo que está bien tratado. Pasé el punto en el que pasan los años y estamos en 1991, pero las cosas no habían cambiado mucho, mi implicación con la novela aún no aparecía y no sentí un impulso significativo para seguir con la historia.Seguramente puede que llegara a ser más interesante al final. Suelo ser una lectora paciente, pero este tipo de novela en la que ni la narración, ni los personajes, ni la historia te despierta alguna sensación, creo que era mejor dejarlo donde estaba.  Otros lectores han dicho palabras como «pesado» o «seco» y creo que es la forma en la que lo describiría. Puede que a otras personas les encante porque he visto que en Goodreads es así, pero no es mi caso. Tal vez me anime con la película.
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  • Nadia
    January 1, 1970
    ”Maybe I still haven’t become me. I don’t know how you can tell for sure when you finally have.” 3.5 stars TW: graphic depictions and references to self-harm, internalized homophobia, slurs (most directed at gay/lesbian people)read full review here*full review include favorite quotes and a spoiler sectionOkay, so I have no idea what to rate this book. It has been over a week sinceI finished it, and Istillhave no idea what to rate it. I mean, I guess it's good when a book does that to you. But a ”Maybe I still haven’t become me. I don’t know how you can tell for sure when you finally have.” 3.5 stars TW: graphic depictions and references to self-harm, internalized homophobia, slurs (most directed at gay/lesbian people)read full review here*full review include favorite quotes and a spoiler sectionOkay, so I have no idea what to rate this book. It has been over a week sinceI finished it, and Istillhave no idea what to rate it. I mean, I guess it's good when a book does that to you. But also, I feel like this is where I have my great Rating Crisis. I can feel it coming, y'all, but for now, you can just enjoy that there's a review for this book, however late xD. The Writing Okay, so let me start with one thing. Too much description. Like wayyyyyy too much. I actually switched to audiobook once I was about 100 pages in since I found it a struggle to trudge through paragraphs upon paragraphs of description before I got to what was happening in the scene we were setting the backdrop for. This was a little too much showing for my taste. In addition, at times the description felt really out of place, and like the author was just trying to fit it in wherever she could. Like you know those worksheets they make you do in middle school to improve your usage of sensory language or whatever? The ones where you have to come up with a word to describe an object for each of the five senses? That’s what I felt like the author was doing here. Just constantly checking her worksheet. But I did find myself enjoying the metaphors, at times – those were very aesthetic. The Plot/Pacing Okay, see, this is where this book just didn’t do good… at all. The first 200 of the practically 500 pages were literally not important to the rest of the story. Like, I didn’t care about half of that stuff, and in the grand scheme of things, it was really insignificant. That 200-page section could have been cut down to about 100 pages, which made the 200 pages drag by really slowly. So, for the first 200 pages, the plot was essentially non-existent. Like if all of those 200 pages were cut out, we would still get the same amount of plot, and essentially the same story. You could start at page 250 and you would get the same story as those who read the whole thing. Okay, you get the point. But what plot it did have carried a really impactful message, so I guess that was something. The Characters This was my favorite part of this book. First of all, they were all diverse, which means different backgrounds, which means interesting backstory. And that we did get a lot of. We also get amazing personalities as a bonus. Cameron did feel really flat for the first part of the book, but it got better. That’s really all I have to say on the characters. I rather enjoyed the ones we got introduced to in the second half. Overall This was a decent book – it has a very powerful message, but some elements could definitely be better. Tune in next week for the next episode of Nadia’s Rating Crisis.~~~Holy shit, that was a beast of a book. Will review in more detail once I've processed everything that just happened. ~~~Finally getting to this one and I'm very excited!!! Buddy read with Lola
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  • Justine
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Romie
    January 1, 1970
    I think there comes a point in this book at which you ask yourself if it's truly worth it to read it and for me it was ‘no, thank you.’I heard this book has been turned into a movie and I prefer waiting to watch it because I truly hope I won't have to deal with the same biphobic comments there were every two pages.It's not even just about these comments, the story had barely started 130 pages into it, these first pages were boring, and when you're book is nearly 500 pages long, you cannot afford I think there comes a point in this book at which you ask yourself if it's truly worth it to read it and for me it was ‘no, thank you.’I heard this book has been turned into a movie and I prefer waiting to watch it because I truly hope I won't have to deal with the same biphobic comments there were every two pages.It's not even just about these comments, the story had barely started 130 pages into it, these first pages were boring, and when you're book is nearly 500 pages long, you cannot afford to bore your readers.
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  • emily t
    January 1, 1970
    a bit too slow and descriptive for me at times, but nonetheless a really honest, emotional, well-characterized, and insightful book that I’m glad to have read ❤ a bit too slow and descriptive for me at times, but nonetheless a really honest, emotional, well-characterized, and insightful book that I’m glad to have read ❤️
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  • Steph Su
    January 1, 1970
    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
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Kyle
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 3.5Some thoughts:•The writing is immersive and concise.-But there are many moments, especially in the first half, where it drags. •I loved the ending. It was beautiful and fitting.-And yet, it also felt unfinished, on the whole. There were too many unresolved plot lines, and that is frustrating; too many questions remain— “What happens next?”•It was overlong. It should have been at least 150 pages shorter.•The conversion camp (and those like it) should’ve been condemned more.-Alth Actual rating: 3.5Some thoughts:•The writing is immersive and concise.-But there are many moments, especially in the first half, where it drags. •I loved the ending. It was beautiful and fitting.-And yet, it also felt unfinished, on the whole. There were too many unresolved plot lines, and that is frustrating; too many questions remain— “What happens next?”•It was overlong. It should have been at least 150 pages shorter.•The conversion camp (and those like it) should’ve been condemned more.-Although, in that regard, I’m glad there wasn’t a total condemnation of religion. •I thought Cameron was a great character, and I loved many of the side characters, too. For such a huge book (by YA standards), I wish they had been developed more beyond two-dimensions (there was certainly enough pages to do so, but the author chose to focus more on Cameron’s multiple infatuations).To reiterate my feelings on endings like the one found in this book: I’m okay with them not being entirely concrete. Open-ended conclusions are fine, but not when there are multiple relationships that need tying up. I needed more— (view spoiler)[Mainly: where do Cameron, Adam, and Jane go from the lake? Does Ruth get better? Does Cameron’s family change for the better? Does she confront Coley? Meet up with Lindsay or Margot? Ever talk to Jamie again? What are the repercussions for God’s Promise and the kids left behind? Does Rick step away from running conversion camps? Does Lydia? Does Cam ever go back to Miles City? I know the final scenes were transformative for Cameron, but don’t Adam and Jane also deserve that kind of emotional healing?— or, are they already confirmed about who they are and what they want in life? (hide spoiler)]. It is not often I am left with that many questions after finishing a book, and it irks me. I still found this book important and resonating— a good read.
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  • Fatima
    January 1, 1970
    After reading this novel in the heel of other lesbian coming of age YA books, Cameron Post becomes a good application of Claire Legrand's "The Importance of the Unlikable Heroine". Danforth does a splendid job of making Danforth relatable, but as another reviewer had stated, wouldn't have wanted to be friends with her in real life. This is what makes her journey, the way she sinks--along with the author and we with her--into herself to navigate her sexuality within the map of her grief. Cameron After reading this novel in the heel of other lesbian coming of age YA books, Cameron Post becomes a good application of Claire Legrand's "The Importance of the Unlikable Heroine". Danforth does a splendid job of making Danforth relatable, but as another reviewer had stated, wouldn't have wanted to be friends with her in real life. This is what makes her journey, the way she sinks--along with the author and we with her--into herself to navigate her sexuality within the map of her grief. Cameron is not sweet, revolutionary, or exemplary, but she is one of the very few heroines that had glued me to a book until dawn, quietly rooting for her.This book receive a four rather than a solid five for me as I felt the novel petered out towards the end, swimming to the shore at the end of the race tiredly rather than with determination. It could have been better, but more importantly, I felt it deserved better. It remains a beautifully written book, however, and I'm glad I've taken the plunge.
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  • CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
    January 1, 1970
    I reviewed this on the lesbrary and almost forgot about it!
  • Lucy
    January 1, 1970
    CW for homophobia, enforced internalised homophobia, drug use (weed, recreational), severe self harm and attempted suicide (not Cameron).But it was good, and a lot less difficult to read in the end than I expected. It only took me so long because I kept bracing for a Big Awful Thing to happen, but even Cameron being sent away, and the camp itself, through her eyes, wasn’t painful to read about for me. YMMV. The worst part for me was the suicide attempt (of a side character) near the end, and his CW for homophobia, enforced internalised homophobia, drug use (weed, recreational), severe self harm and attempted suicide (not Cameron).But it was good, and a lot less difficult to read in the end than I expected. It only took me so long because I kept bracing for a Big Awful Thing to happen, but even Cameron being sent away, and the camp itself, through her eyes, wasn’t painful to read about for me. YMMV. The worst part for me was the suicide attempt (of a side character) near the end, and his life experiences.
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