Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 2162
Beautiful Coming of Age
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
This has been a book that was on my list since it came out. I was very much intrigued by the premise--just the idea of a "de-gaying camp" is absolutely absurd, but the horrible fact is that those actually exist. I could not quite wrap my head around that. That being said, it took me a while to get through this book. It was long, but I don't usually read contemporary novels. They tend to drag on for me. I need action and high stakes and dragons! But it is nice to have a philosophical jaunt through some realistic fiction every once in a while. It took me about two weeks to get though the book, which is exceptionally long for me, but it was kind of nice to take a break from the routine of reading, note taking, and writing I had been stuck in.

The whole novel is incredibly well written. You can tell the author took her time crafting the story and the characters. And Cameron makes for a wonderful main character. She's incredibly funny and sarcastic, and most importantly, human and relateable. I really liked how we follow her through several years, starting when she's twelve, and we're not there to just glimpse for a moment into her life. We experience and discover everything along with her. However, I felt that each section felt different from each other. Part one was rather short, part two took up the bulk of the novel and was the part I found the be the most boring, and part three stands apart from the other two. It's in that third section of the novel in which she is sent away, and I found that section the most interesting and enjoyable to read. We get to meet a bunch of new characters that I really liked reading about. And the setting and circumstances was very thought provoking.

In the end, this book is one that holds a great deal of importance, not just as a LGBT novel, but as a coming of age. Even though I had trouble getting though it doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the message it is trying to get across. The last chapter was one that I particularly loved and made me cry a little bit. It leaves us with an open ending that keeps us thinking. This novel is one that everyone should read, and I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes required reading within a few years.
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