Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

By Emily M. Danforth
480 pages
Pub. Date: Feb. 7 2012 by Balzer + Bray

    Life for thirteen-year-old Cameron Post had been pretty normal so far. Living in a small town in the late 1980s, she and her best friend Irene spend their summer just hanging out. Then Irene kisses Cameron and Cameron’s parents die in a car accident in the same day. Cameron’s world is turned upside down. Not only are parents gone, but she has to figure out what is going on with herself. Now add in the fact that Cameron’s
conservative Aunt Ruth has become her legal guarding and the reader begins
to see the double life Cameron starts to live.
     The Miseducation of Cameron Post will grab you in and not let you go. You fear that every time Cameron meets with a girl or even has the slightest crush on someone that she will be found out. It is also extremely important to factor in the time of this book. Set in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Internet, and all the quick availableness that comes with the World Wide Web, doesn’t exist yet. There is no online support/information for her to receive like today. There are no answers to the questions she has. She rents movies that might even contain the slightest hint of a lesbian love scene and scours through the issues of The Advocate that are secretly mailed to her. You know Cameron is going to be found out. The ominous feeling lingers through the entire first half of the book. The second half of the book picks up after her secret life is revealed and her Aunt Ruth sends her away to a boarding school that specialized in ‘de-gaying’ youths. To most, it is unthinkable that someone can pray away the gay, but it is important to remember that these schools to exist.
      How I heard about this book: A friend, and fellow librarian, had told me to check this out, which I did, but it sat at the bottom of my TBR for about two weeks. She mentioned the book again, but she sold me on it when she stated, “It has the most graphic girl on girl love scene I have ever read.” Sold. I went home and started reading right away. I wanted to see how graphic this got, because this is a young adult book. It was graphic. Not only are the scenes with Cameron and Coley pretty racy, but there was also an attempted suicide that went into all the gory details.
      What I like about this book: The story. Emily Danforth creates a great story that really captures the reader. Her writing style was very detailed and you had to pay attention to every sentence to catch the littlest of details. When a book gets you so riled up about a subject, about a character, you know that that is a good book.   
      What I didn’t like: The ending. I really wanted Cameron to turn 18
and sue Aunt Ruth for the tuition cost for the school. The cost of the school tuition was about $9,000 which came out of a trust left to Cameron from her parents. I know this is a little extreme, but I was so angry at Ruth for sending Cameron away. I mainly wanted Cameron to break away from the small town and her Aunt Ruth. Also, the length could have been shorted down some. At over 400 pages, this book took several days to read, just because of the precision of detail that I mentioned before. I fear that a lot of people won’t pick this book up because of the size. Those people are definitely missing out on an amazing story.


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