08 February 2013
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Danforth, Emily. The Miseducation of Cameron Post. 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.
I enjoyed this book, even though it isn't a quick read. It isn't full of action, it isn't fast-paced, and there isn't a zombie or vampire in sight. But it is a good story, and many LGBTQIA teens would really enjoy this story and relate to Cameron's situation. Other teens and adults could also enjoy the story and perhaps get a glimpse into the concept of reparative therapy from a gay teen's point of view.
My family never sent me to Straight Camp or Straight School or had the pastor try to cast the gay demons out of me, but I was involved with an online reparative therapy program. I was encouraged to do so by my superiors in the strict religious environment where I chose to work. So I can understand Cameron's frustration at hearing that she's condemned forever for being what she is and that she needs to choose to change (like she chose to become gay in the first place).
If I still had a classroom, this book would be in my collection. As it is, I'll add it to my list of books that I want in the collection at my library-in-the-future.