This is the story of Cameron Post, a young girl living in a small town during the 90s. Cameron likes girls, but she knows she must keep it a secret from everyone, especially her ultra-religion Aunt. This is the story of what happened when that secret came out.
The first thing I want to say to any potential readers of this book is that you should not read the summary posted on goodreads or on the back of this book. It reveals something that happens about halfway through the book, while making it seem like it will happen very early on in the novel. This made the beginning half drag on for me at first because I was waiting, waiting, waiting for the stuff in the summary to happen. It seriously clouded my reading of the book, so just avoid the summary.
The second thing I want to say about this book is that you should definitely read it. I have not read a lot of books featuring lesbianism. The only one that comes to mind is The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson. It seems that gay men are more likely to be found in literature and popular culture than lesbian women. I don’t know why this is. I’m sure there’s some sort of commentary on gender to be made here, but honestly I do not have enough experience with the topic to make that commentary. Anyway, I think Miseducation is a great way to jump into the lesbian genre if you’re looking for an in, but not sure where to start.
What was great about this book is that it’s not only lesbianism that was being discussed, though that was the main minority being presented as the protagonist is attracted to women. We also get to see characters with disabilities and those that show a very interesting aspect of Native culture where a person is of both genders. But, the characters do not become their differences (which often happens in YA novels). Danforth makes sure that the reader realizes that these characters are PEOPLE with motivations and fears and all of these things, and that we only get to see the tip of the iceberg of who any of them are.
The ending is something else that I would like to applaud. Stand-alones are rare in the YA market today. The Miseducation of Cameron Post manages to at once satisfy and leave the reader thinking and wondering and wanting for more. I think this is the sign of an excellent novel.
Books with similar aspects
The Bemudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
recommended to readers who want to expand their YA horizons or looking for a good GLBQT read or simply an interesting contemporary novel.
not recommended to homophobes, though you should probably read it anyway and get over yourselves.
Don’t just take my word for it!
“It is one of those books that reminds me why I read young adult books — it is compelling, yet also allows you to walk in someone else’s shoes for just a little bit.” – April @ Good Books and Good Wine
“Following her [Cameron’s] story as she slowly realized who she was and who she could be was a delight. ” – Chantaal @ The Wandering Fangirl
Also, be sure to check out Christa @ Hooked on Books interview with emily m. danforth and giveaway for The Miseducation of Cameron Post over here for her YA Pride event!