Review- The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

From Goodreads: 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.

                               

              Expected publication: February 7th 2012 by HarperCollins. 

REVIEW:

First off, thanks to Helen from Library Bound Inc for the ARC of this novel.  I was intrigued when she raved about the ‘compelling romance, strong characters and relentless suspense’.  As much as I wanted to love this book, I just found it OK.

I must admit that I did a lot of skimming while reading this lengthy 467-page book.  I found it very richly detailed/character driven which ultimately affected the pacing of the story. Yet, I do know some readers that prefer tons of detail so it does boil down to personal taste. Second, I disagree with the publishers recommended rating of aged 14+. There were some pretty graphic scenes (drug use, sexual nature, self mutilation) that made even myself uneasy.  However, that being said, this is not a light and fluffy book.  This is an important coming of age story of twelve-year-old Cameron Post as she questions her life and the world around her. Since there aren’t that many books for LGBT youth, I’m so happy I now have another option to recommend.  If placed in the right hands, this book could make a huge difference in the life of a questioning teen.  This leads me to my last issue with the book. Nowhere does it blatantly reassure the reader that sending someone away to ‘fix’ them for being gay is NOT OKAY.  Not then, and definitely not now. 

On the flip side–In addition to the beautiful cover, there are some pretty fantastic elements in The Miseducation of Cameron Post. I loved the little special visual additions such as the ‘God’s Promise’ flyer, Cameron’s iceberg therapy drawing and a hand written note from her friend Jamie.  It was an appreciated break from the text. Although lengthy, the novel was very well written! In fact, so well written that I can’t believe it was Danforth’s literary debut. Overall, I’m glad more books like The Miseducation of Cameron Post are being published and gaining attention.  Despite my critiques, it’s definitely worth a read.

 

Extras:

Watch the book trailer on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlZVTQcR35Q

Click here to access  Harper Collins’  online book club guide. 

 

 

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