Cameron Post feels guilty when she finds out her parents just died in a car crash. Not because she thinks she caused it but because she’s relieved they’ll never find out she was kissing her childhood friend Irene earlier. Now under the care of her aunt and grandmother, Cameron must keep hidden her feelings towards the female gender. For the most part she succeeds, until beautiful Coley moves to their small town where they develop a close friendship that leads to Cameron getting sent away by her aunt to get her sinful problems “fixed”.
This is one of those books that gets people talking and sticks in their minds. While the topic may not be as taboo as it was many years ago anymore, there aren’t many LGBT books for young adults that evoke a sense of desire, confusion and shame as Miseducation of Cameron Post does. Many people love this book so much and recommended it to check out and I am glad that I did. It is a compelling coming-of-age story about a girl growing up and having to come to terms with not only her emerging sexuality but the death of her parents.
That being said, I personally feel that this is the kind of book one might feel obligated to love, because it deals with the subjects that it does. In the way that The Fault in Our Stars tackles childhood sicknesses, Miseducation takes on same sex attractions and while I did enjoy both of those reads, I can’t help but feel like I’d be a horrible person to NOT love those books. That’s not to say that I hated it though – far from it. I did really like The Miseducation of Cameron Post. I loved the development of her character that Danforth took her on, the conflicting feelings and her motivations all seemed very realistic and believable. While I thought the book may have gone on a bit longer than it needed to (I definitely lost a bit of interest in the middle for a while), I absolutely loved the way Danforth chose to end this book. I’ll leave the details on this for our Brunch Book Club recap discussion so as not to spoil anything in my review.
I’m disappointed, but not necessarily surprised, to hear that this book had been banned from many schools’ s reading lists. Leaving aside Cameron’s attraction to other girls, there are a couple of scenes that get a bit sexually graphic, which I can imagine some parents will take offense to and use as fuel to push for banning this book. Not that it makes it right. When it was first originally published a few years ago, there wasn’t as many books of this kind out there – and, really, there still isn’t. This kind of literature for young adults, especially in this day, needs to become more prominent. More of this kind of literature for the younger generation needs to get out there and parents shouldn’t be afraid of that.
Personally, now having finally read this, I get it. I get the love for this book by so many of my friends. Even though I may not share the immense undying love for this book, I appreciate it and I get it.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4 /5 stars)
Available: January 30, 2012
Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
Read as part of Brunch Book Club with Lost in a Great Book.
Wrap up discussion to follow in the coming weeks.