The Miseducation of Cameron Post

 
4.7
 
2.8 (2)
2237 0
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Genre(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
February 07, 2012
ISBN
0062020560`
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When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief she’ll never have to tell them that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.

But that relief soon turns to heartbreak, as Cam is forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and not making waves, and Cam becomes an expert at this—especially at avoiding any questions about her sexuality.

Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. To Cam’s surprise, she and Coley become best friends—while Cam secretly dreams of something more. Just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, her secret is exposed. 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 quite sure who that is.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Beautiful and Honest
(Updated: September 24, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Originally reviewed on A Reader of Fictions: http://readeroffictions.blogspot.com/2012/09/review-miseducation-of-cameron-post.html

Alright, I can tell that this is going to be a tough review for me to write, so just bear with me. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about The Miseducation of Cameron Post, henceforth to be referred to as TMoCP. I mean, I do know that I liked it. I know that parts of it made me sad, and some made me laugh, and others made me want to throw the book across the room, all emotions that Danforth no doubt intended to elicit from me as a reader. Still, some elements of it, especially the conclusion will need to sit with me for a bit before I can really pronounce my feelings about them.

TMOCP differs greatly from any of the other lgbt ya books that I've read thus far in just how up front Danforth is about the sexual side of things. I was really surprised, since that tends to be sort of glossed over, though, to be fair, I haven't yet read a ton. Danforth does not shy away from anything, and the sexual experiences, while not graphic are definitely described clearly enough that the reader has a solid conception of what's going on. I really appreciated this frankness, especially since it fits Cameron Post's personality so well.

Speaking of Cameron, she's a marvelous character, sarcastic and with a powerful sense of self. That last may be an odd trait to attribute to her, since, through the whole book, she struggles with coming to terms both with her sexuality and her parents' death in a car accident. Despite her confusion over her feelings, she never really seems to doubt her core self, even if she's not entirely convinced how she feels about that core self. Though she questions whether her sexuality is 'right,' she never doubts her attraction to women or thinks that it isn't a part of who she is. I loved that, because so many YA heroines allow their doubts to overpower a sense of self.

Her personality, her responses to events, keep the painful portions from being too incredibly awful, because she's still the same Cameron Post. Though Cameron isn't a super chatty person, she has such a powerful voice that I just love. When backed into a corner, she tells people how it is; she confronts them with her own hypocrisy. When she goes off on someone in a long monologue, it is a thing of ranty beauty.

The other thing I just have to mention that made this book so strong for me is Danforth's descriptions of feelings. She really captures the craziness of how people, or at least women, think, the little confusions and doubts. For example, she mentions how in reaction to something, Cameron will feel sad, then feel angry at herself for being mopey, and then just feel sad again. These sometimes conflicting and spiralling strong emotions are so much how I really feel on bad days, and are so much more authentic and powerful than just saying Cameron felt sad. This same technique is displayed in the complex friendship between Cameron and Jamie, which I thought was very well handled.

At this point, you may be wondering about the relatively low rating, since all of that was rather a rave, especially for me. The book did feel a bit long, dragging in some sections, particularly most of the first hundred or so pages. Ironically, my other issue is the ending, which I thought felt rushed and unsatisfying. It's the kind of ending that doesn't tell you what happens to the characters at all, and I want to know badly. Perhaps the book had to end that way for some reason, but I'm not seeing it yet. As I said, I may need time.

Those concerns aside, I will definitely be recommending this book to pretty much anyone I can, particularly if they have interest in lgbt fiction. Though this will have meaning to only a couple of my readers, I still have to state for the record that I really wish we had read this and not Dairy Queen in our lgbt fiction week in my YA resources class in library school.
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User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
2.8
Plot 
 
2.5  (2)
Characters 
 
2.5  (2)
Writing Style 
 
3.5  (2)
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Horrible Portrayal of Lesbian Characters
Overall rating 
 
2.0
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
1.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
I read reviews on this book before I got it, and most of them seemed to be fairly positive. Well actually, really positive. It seemed like EVERYONE was raving about this book. I thought to myself, "Why not?" Being a lesbian myself, I thought I'd be able to connect with Cameron/any other lesbian characters in the book. Nada. Nope. Not at all.

Don't get me wrong, the writing was half-decent. The descriptions were just right for a rural Montana setting. I love books that specifically characterize the setting, which is probably why I loved Beautiful Creatures so much, but now we're getting off topic. So yes, I did enjoy this aspect of the book. I also thought that some elements of the plot seemed okay, even though I ended up putting the book down before dear Cameron even got to the camp. So now begins my rant about everything in this book that ticked me off beyond belief.

While it was all well and good that Cameron stayed true to herself and all that stuff - and I'm all for that, trust me - I was never fully convinced that she was a lesbian in the first place. I mean I'm sorry, but your best friend when you're twelve and then a casual summer fling don't exactly determine your sexual orientation. Cameron dear, I believe you're bi-curious. But then we get to Coley and I actually started having some hope that maybe Cameron was actually lesbian. But no, all we get it stuff like "Coley has a pretty face" or "Coley has a nice body' (which are not direct quotes but might as well be). And then they start making out, which is wrong not because they are both women, but because Coley has defined herself as heterosexual and HAS A BOYFRIEND. And then they have sex. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is when I put the book down because I was done. And to think that people even had the nerve to compare this novel to Annie on My Mind. It doesn't even come close.
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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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