July 2, 2013

Book Talk: The Miseducation of Cameron Post

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
Cameron Post is 12 years old when she kisses a girl for the first time and on that same night both of her parents die in a car accident. All she can think of is that she is relieved that her parents will never know her secret.  Cameron's born-again aunt comes to live with her and life for Cameron changes. Aunt Ruth takes Cameron to an evangelical church and has her join the teen church group. Although Cameron has always gone to church and has always believed in God, she isn't so sure that she believes in the ideas of this new, more conservative church.  The church brings in a reverend who has opened a school to "de-gay" teenagers... or "help bring them closer to God and away from their sinful same sex attraction disorder."
During a church breakfast, Coley Thomas appears. Coley is a gorgeous ranch girl who Cameron has had a crush on ever since she saw her in science class that fall. Coley quickly befriends Coley- all the while falling in love with her. One night while at Coley's house, the two girls kiss. This kiss means a whole lot more to Cameron than it does to Coley. To Cameron, this is it- love. To Coley, this is an experiment, a way to pass the days until her boyfriend returns from soccer camp. The girls continue to fool around all summer- and Cameron still believes that she might have a chance with Coley. After Coley gets an apartment in town, the girls have a chance to take their kissing to a whole new level. After dinner and a movie at Coley's, the 2 get  serious, only to be interrupted by Coley's older brother. After that, Coley avoids Cameron.
Two nights later when Cameron comes home, she is greeted by her Aunt and the preacher from church. Coley has told her parents that Cameron seduced her and tried to take advantage of her.  Aunt Ruth has decided that Cameron will go to Promise- the school that will teach her that being gay is a sin. The pamphlet even says that the opposite of homosexuality isn't heterosexuality, but holiness.  2 weeks later, Cameron arrives at Promise where she finds her true self- a girl who likes girls and knows that she doesn't need to be "fixed".

This book is long- nearly 500 pages. It is told by Cameron when she is a grown woman, reflecting on this period in her life. Although the characters are mesmerizing and the plot is amazing, some reluctant YA readers may find this hard to get through. All that said- it is an amazing coming of age novel and a novel that lets kids know that it is okay to be who they are and love whoever they want to love. The book also captures the essence of Montana through rich, descriptive writing. I have never been to Montana, but after reading this book, I almost felt as though I'd been there.

To learn more about the book, visit Cameron Post's Tumblr (This might make more sense AFTER you read the book!)
Visit Cameron's Dollhouse

1 comment:

  1. I just finished this AMAZING book. Anyone who thinks gay conversion therapy is a good thing should read it.