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The Miseducation of Cameron Post

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Set in rural Montana in the early 1990s, emily m. danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a powerful and widely acclaimed YA coming-of-age novel in the tradition of the classic Annie on My Mind.
 
Cameron Post feels a mix of guilt and relief when her parents die in a car accident. Their deaths mean they will never learn the truth she eventually comes to—that she's gay. Orphaned, Cameron comes to live with her old-fashioned grandmother and ultraconservative aunt Ruth. There she falls in love with her best friend, a beautiful cowgirl. When she’s eventually outed, her aunt sends her to God’s Promise, a religious conversion camp that is supposed to “cure” her homosexuality. At the camp, Cameron comes face to face with the cost of denying her true identity.
 
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and provocative literary debut that was a finalist for the YALSA Morris Award and was named to numerous “best” lists.

“Rich with detail and emotion, a sophisticated read for teens and adults alike.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))“[An] ambitious literary novel, a multidimensional coming-of-age.” (Booklist (starred review))“The story is riveting, beautiful, and full of the kind of detail that brings to life a place (rural Montana), a time (the early 1990s), and a questioning teenage girl.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))“This finely crafted, sophisticated coming-of-age debut novel is multilayered, finessing such issues as loss, first love, and friendship. An excellent read for both teens and adults.” (School Library Journal (starred review))“Cameron is a memorable heroine with an unforgettable and important story to tell, and she does so with wit, emotion, and depth. (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)“If Holden Caulfield had been a gay girl from Montana, this is the story he might have told—it’s funny, heartbreaking, and beautifully rendered. Emily Danforth remembers exactly what it’s like to be a teenager, and she has written a new classic.” (Curtis Sittenfeld, bestselling author of PREP and AMERICAN WIFE)“A beautifully told story that is at once engaging and thoughtful. THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST is an important book—one that can change lives. ” (Jacqueline Woodson, award-winning author of AFTER TUPAC AND D FOSTER and HUSH)“This novel is a joy—one of the best and most honest portraits of a young lesbian I’ve read in years. Cameron Post is a bright, brash, funny main character who leaps off the page and into your heart! This is a story that keeps you reading way into the night—an absorbing, suspenseful, and important book.” (Nancy Garden, author of ANNIE ON MY MIND)“Danforth’s narrative of a bruised young woman finding her feet in a complicated world is a tremendous achievement: strikingly unsentimental, and full of characters who feel entirely rounded and real. A story of love, desire, pain, loss—and, above all, of survival. An inspiring read.” (Sarah Waters, author of THE LITTLE STRANGER) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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  • By Atlas on 2 March 2017

    This is either the kind of book you find absolutely engaging, where you turn every page frantically trying to devour the story, hoping that everything turns out alright for Cameron Post, or the kind of book where you lose interest half way through, becoming detached by the slower-paced middle section. As you can tell by my 5-star rating, I was the former kind of reader. The Miseducation of Cameron Post was a heartfelt, heartbreaking, wonderful novel in so many ways.You have to love Cameron to love this book as it is very much a character-driven novel. Whilst a fair amount does happen, it happens quite slowly over the course of this almost 500 page book. Cameron is bright, witty, and honest. She's also a little rough around the edges, prickly and defensive. Her discovering of her sexuality is slow and riddled with self-doubt and confusion, made even more heartbreaking by the death of her parents on the same day that she first kisses another girl. Given her family and her particularly religious Aunt Ruth, you can't help but empathise with Cam, who worries that their accident was a punishment for her "sin".The writing itself is beautiful and laden with imagery, but not in an overbearing way. The background cast is varied, realistic (I would imagine for rural America), and complex - the only character that could be said to be truly "evil" is the Aunt. Overall, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a wonderful, riveting read and a thought-provoking exploration about what it can be like to grow up gay in an unaccepting environment.

  • By TheLittleRabbit on 27 January 2013

    I rather love this kind of book. It fits very nicely into my little collection of teen books that are about homosexuality, coming out, etc. but aren't preachy at all - I think this book being preachy would defeat the point a little. In short, 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post' is a coming of age story that follows Cameron from childhood to the end of her teen years and all of the trials her life throws at her in those years. It isn't just Cameron's story of growing up, it's the story of the first chapter of Cameron's life, and it's about far more than just her sexuality - a trap a lot of books in this genre fall into.Cameron is a lesbian. She realises this pretty quickly, initially struggles with it but comes to terms with it - unlike everyone else around her with a few key exceptions. Her sexuality isn't played as her key trait; it's just one aspect of her personality that comes through, again unlike a few texts in this genre where the character is pretty much nothing but gay, and as a result becomes a rather unfortunate stereotype. In fact, none of the characters are really stereotypes, from Irene the childhood best friend who becomes pretty much the polar opposite of Cameron, up to the Reverend Rick, who could so easily have become an uncaring, unfeeling and irredeemable man but instead is portrayed sympathetically. The characters are really what makes the story what it is. Their actions made me tear up a few times - Jamie's reaction to Cameron's sexuality and the poignancy of Mark's actions at Promise really hit home. No character (with one exception) is pure evil. Aunt Ruth really does believe that Cameron is going to hell and wants the best for her, but goes about it in entirely the wrong way. Reverend Rick is honestly trying to save these childrens' souls, but doesn't seem to realise what he's doing is hurting them in the process. Even Coley, the person responsible for Cameron being sent to Promise, isn't evil - just scared. The only exception is Lydia, who is irredeemable.The plot itself is very believable. My location is very far removed from Montana, but I could really connect with the events in the story despite the differences. The story is mostly set in the early 1990's, so it can almost be read as a historical piece. It's interesting to look back about twenty years and see how far our attitudes have changed (or not). The writing isn't exactly Jane Austen, but it's good enough and easily readable.The book made me grateful for my parents, my town and my friends and how much the accept me. Definitely recommended.

  • By Lizzie @ Hux Tales & Sew Many Books on 14 August 2017

    The Miseducation of Cameron Post has been a book on my radar for several years. Published in 2012 in America, it never made its way over to our shores and not seeing it on the bookshelves meant I never remembered to pick it up, despite my wonderful pal Alice recommending it to me multiple times.When an email from Penguin dropped into my inbox announcing that it was finally being published in the UK, I replied faster than light and lo and behold, a beautiful finished copy landed on my doorstep. Well, technically it was handed over to me by our postman Steve, but work with me.When Cameron Post kisses her best friend Irene Klausson around the same time that her parents die in a tragic accident, so begins her journey in reconciling her sexual identity with the guilt that her first thought was relief that she’d never have to tell them what she did.Cameron herself is strong willed, athletic, devoted to her grandma, and a movie buff, determined to hide her attraction to girls in small town Miles City, while living under the watchful eye of her aunt Ruth.The Miseducation of Cameron Post follows Cameron through her first few relationships and trysts – from childhood best friend Irene, to cool Seattle punk Lyndsey, to the classic lesbian trope of wooing of the straight girl, Coley Taylor. Only this last romance is where it goes wrong, and before Cameron knows it, her aunt has sent her to a Christian camp to straighten out.The first thing that strikes me about this novel is the pacing and structure. I’ve often heard people refer to young adult fiction as more plot driven, following the high speed of your teenage years as opposed to adult fiction which allows narrative to be more meandering. I really feel that Cameron Post sits more comfortably in the second category, if we are to place the definition there. This is a character’s memoir, a gentle epic, something like the works of Donna Tartt. Cameron’s narration from a point in the future only seeks to reinforce this, though let me be clear, I think this is all a strength but may explain why some people have previously commented on GoodReads that they found it slow. While the plot of the Christian camp is listed in the blurb, do take note that this plot doesn’t start until about 2/3rds of the way into this book – which is why this really feels to me primarily a novel about being a young closeted queer kid in rural America.The Miseducation of Cameron Post is an important read for young queer people, especially those of us who have the privilege to live in places where a possible reality of being out is being sent to straightening camps – a great exploration of these other than this book is the film But I’m a Cheerleader, the set of which I had in my mind as the site of the Christian camp.Danforth’s has created compelling complex grayscale characters – all capable of kindness and cruelty – to populate this stunning coming of age novel. Her writing is sumptuous, and there are some real dagger-in-your-heart moments; even when you know Cameron’s happiness is not going to last, I found myself pleading with the book to have a happy outcome.I’ve been absolutely blown away by this novel, and I hope that its publication in the UK will help it reach other young people, queer or not, who may need some of Cameron’s strength in their lives.Thank you to Penguin Platform for sharing this copy with me.


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