When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief she’ll never have to tell them that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.
But that relief soon turns to heartbreak, as Cam is forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and not making waves, and Cam becomes an expert at this—especially at avoiding any questions about her sexuality. Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. To Cam’s surprise, she and Coley become best friends—while Cam secretly dreams of something more. Just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, her secret is exposed.
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 quite sure who that is.
The first thing I thought when I finished The Miseducation of Cameron Post is that I would have LOVED this book when I was a younger reader flying through Catcher in the Rye and Perks of Being a Wallflower. I’m saying this in hopes to begin to explain the content of this book, because what I write won’t do it justice. And saying I would have loved it then doesn’t mean I didn’t love it now, because I did.
The story that Emily Danforth has created is epic. Not epic in that there are dragons and tsunamis and swords, but epic in a contemporary sense. Which isn’t a word I often use to describe contemporary. Cameron Post’s story starts from before her parent’s accident and continues through as she deals with their death and finds out about herself. Much of the content is based on her thoughts of being attracted to girls, so you can imagine the emotional turmoil she had when everyone else was expecting her to have a boyfriend.
And The Miseducation of Cameron Post isn’t just one story about Cameron figuring things out, which is what I loved. It’s a big read – 480 pages – but none of the pages are wasted. There are several major events throughout the book – it easily could have been split into several novels, but I much appreciated that the story came together as a whole and had so much content.
This is a book that will live for years and be recommended to the readers ready for a literary read. As I mentioned, had I found this book browsing the library shelves as a teen with Catcher in the Rye withdrawal, I would have absolutely loved it and I feel this will be the case for many readers for years and years. It’s a story that is timeless and should be read by anyone who recommends books so that they are ready to pass it along to the right readers. Excellent contemporary.