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 have had this book on my shelves since prior to my child being born. Some may look at the UK Publish date and think thats not possible. But it is, because I have the America paperback version. I knew as soon as I heard friends from across the pond talk about it that I needed to read this book and I was so excited to read it. Yet for the past 7 years it has sat on my bookself untouched. Until now.
The prompt to read it came early last year when I very nearly watched the film on Netflix. Knowing that at nearly 500 pages long, I wouldn’t get round to reading the book, I nearly committed the sin of watching the film first. But I stopped myself. And promised myself that one day I would get round to reading lengthy YA Romances again – especially LGBTQ+ ones. Thankfully, I’ve recently had my love for books and my ability to lose myself in them for hours returned. Its come with ignoring my child a bit. but she’s old enough to entertain herself at least a little while these days.
I have to say I am so glad I listened to myself last year and didn’t watch the film first, because there is no way that a film can portray everything that this book did in the way that Emily Danforth did. The emotion throughout the book was breathtaking and the emotion that it stirred within me was strong too.
I found the start of the book a little slow in all honesty. Its split into 3 parts and the first was much needed back story but didn’t really excite me. Once Cam made friends with Coley things started improving for me and I got well into the story. But the third part I devoured. I needed to read on and find out what would happen because of the anger within me.
The story is set in the early 90s and therefore some of the approaches to things are very different to what they are now. When you factor in the area that Cam grows up and its very strong christian believe system, nothing should really shock you as a reader. But it still made me angry. I hated a lot of characters in the book for a very long time and I willed Cam to be out of the situation she was put in. I haven’t had anger like this stirred up in me from a book in a very long time!
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is one of those books that you want everyone to read to understand the injustices of the world. To see that not everything is as black and white as it seems, and that every action has a consequence. The anger it stirred up in me came because I know people who have been disowned by their parents for being gay. That have been targeted in hate crime because of their sexuality. Its not on and is still happening to this day, so while the book is set nearly 30 years ago – everything it covers is so valid still.
Even with the anger, I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down towards the end and chastised myself every chapter for not reading it sooner, for allowing it to sit untouched on my shelf. Its every bit as brilliant as I knew it would be and if by some miracle you haven’t read it yet – please do so soon!
The Miseducation of Cameron Post was published in the UK in 2017 by Penguin. My copy, the one pictured, is a US paperback and was gifted to me by a fellow blogger.