The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Emily M Danforth
Balzer & Bray, 2012
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.
I really liked Cameron. Throughout the book she’s struggling with who she is just like all adolescences and teenagers, but I found it striking how true she stayed to herself throughout the book.
Several other reviews I’ve read have said they wouldn’t want to be friends with Cameron because she shoplifted and did pot. Those things would have scared me away in HS, and it’s a shame, because Cameron is so interesting. I love smart characters and Cameron is constantly questioning the things that adults say that are supposed to take a face value without question.
Cameron was a jock (swimming and cross country) and had quite a few guy friends. I loved Jamie. He was a great friend to Cameron even though he clearly liked her as more than a friend. I was iffy about Coley – sometimes I liked her and I could understand why Cameron was crushing, but Coley was pretty self involved.
The official summary doesn’t say what the “drastic action” her aunt Ruth takes, but mini spoiler…Cameron is sent to one of Exodus International’s schools to “de-gay” someone. I suspected this was going to happen and expected to be gut wrenched by it, but I think my reaction ended up being tempered by the fact that it was Cameron’s aunt who send her. While Cameron loved Ruth because she’s family, she never really respected her very much and this reaction wasn’t a surprise.
I liked that the book didn’t portray those involved with the school as evil, because Cameron’s Aunt Ruth, and Rick and Lydia truly believe they are doing the right thing. Ruth and Lydia lack empathy, but Rick is genuinely likeable. I think this is an important thing to note because it make me look at my life and wonder if there things I’m doing now that I fully believe are the right things that I’ll look back on and regret.
I discovered this book on a “Banned in Schools” reading lists and I tend to like books in that category. The Miseducation of Cameron Post was no exception. I loved it.