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 GirlBut 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 BothThen 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 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

10 thoughts on “The Miseducation of Cameron Post

  1. says:

    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 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 protagonisteven 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 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.

  2. says:

    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.

  3. says:

    This was a book that I wanted to like far 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 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.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.

  4. says:

    The first half of Cameron Post is set in Montana in the 90s, and is, at least at first glance, slow and plodding Indeed, most of the novel is specifically written as a typical coming of age novel Cameron is a typical 90s teenage character who stop me if you ve heard this before has lost her parent, smokes and drinks, and falls in with wrong crowds She is a normal teenager, that is, until she has the audacity to kiss her best friend Coley The second half of Cameron Post takes place at a conversion therapy camp where Cameron has been sent by her aunt, after Coley reports to her parents that Cameron has forced herself upon her their relationship has been entirely consensual Cameron is blindsided, and betrayed, and increasingly reluctant to admit that to the audience we see her as closed off and numb She barbs at her aunt and rarely, if ever, exhibits any kind of character breakdown, making her progression hard to see But her coming of age is inextricably wound with her accepting of herself as a lesbian, despite the hate she has been taught to have for herself Cameron s journey, thus, mostly surrounds internalized homophobia In her first encounter with Coley, she puts words to the alienation 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 Even in a world where queerness is accepted, being queer is fundamentally alienating you learn that you are other, and so you must make your experience consumable for others Straight people are people we are other.The second half of this text is incredibly painful to read Aunt Ruth s oddly well intentioned homophobia is painful, because it comes so close to sounding rational Even Cameron is caught up 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 She learns to hate herself quickly because society has already taught her to hate herself conversion therapy just extends it When Cameron finally realizes, with the help of other queer people at the camp, that she is not the problem, she tells the audience this It s supposed to convince you that you re always gonna be a dirty sinner and that it s completely your fault because you re not trying hard enough to change yourself Cameron Post does not end on a happy takedown of the camp and all its ideals rather, view spoiler it ends on Cameron and her two best friends from the conversion therapy camp running away hide spoiler

  5. says:

    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 time with Cameron and her troubles.

  6. says:

    I sympathized with Cameron Post, the protagonist of this book, quickly 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 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.

  7. says:

    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 on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.

  8. says:

    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.

  9. says:

    Sadly really disappointed with this one Don t get me wrong I didn t hate it, just think it could have been so much 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 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.

  10. says:

    This has been sitting in my pile since a big book haul soon after I d watched the movie in the cinema.As my home city is gearing up for its own Pride celebrations this weekend with the rainbow flags decorating the streets, it put me in mind of this novel Especially as my edition sprayed edge also features the same colours.The condensed down movie with a short running time gets straight to the plot whilst I felt the book really sets the scene.The early 90 s setting felt like a character too I m old enough to remember this era so all the cultural references felt very nostalgic, your constantly reminded that Cameron s uphill battle to want to just be herself seems even shocking.The idea that she could be sent to a retreat to be corrected made me so mad that people could hold these beliefs.The book can be slow and ponderous at times but it reminded me of my own school years, time seemed to go much slower as a teenager The movie is certainly accessible but the plot really picks up during the second half and again I found myself rooting for a happy ending.Either on page or screen this is an important story to tell.