Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

"Look, nobody's beating us. They're not even yelling at us. It's not like that." I sighed and shook my head. "You asked me if I trusted them, and like, I trust them to drive the vans safely on the highway, and I trusth that they'll buy food for us every week, but I don't trust that they actually know what's best for my soul, or how to make me the best person with a guaranteed slot in heaven or whatever." I could tell I was losing him. Or maybe I'd never had him to begin with, and I was mad at myself for being so inarticulate, for messing up what I felt like I owed to Mark, even if he wouldn't see if that way, which he probably wouldn't."     (Page 399)

I cautiously read gay and lesbian YA. You see I don't get too jazzed about the sex scenes in any books, and sometimes, like all forms of fiction, some authors push the boundaries too much for me. Gay and lesbian YA can occasionally do this (like I said, like ALL YA fiction. I stumbled onto The Miseducation of Cameron Post on a Lee Wind's blog and figured it was worth a shot when I ran across it at the library. BINGO! The very next week, that gem landed right in my line of vision at the good 'ole Belmont branch library, and it was mine!!  Must have been fate because this read was meant to happen.

Danforth weaves a fabulous and mostly realistic-to-me tale of a teen figuring out how to deal with the adults in her life who can't handle her attraction to girls. After her parents are killed in a car wreck, her born-again aunt comes to live with her and grandmother. Time beats on their relationship relentlessly, and the aunt decides the best way to deal with her neice's "issue" is to send her to reform high school. Reform for gays that is, Christian gays....Cameron's freshman year of high school finds her at God's Promise Christian School and Center for Healing. The gays, lesbian, trans, and otherwise unlabeled but obviously sexual deviants according to the Church are just like high schoolers at any school: some rebelling, some eager and engaged, and some flat out just trying to find their way to survive. Cameron indeed finds her way, but certainly not as the loner she entered the school as nor as the outcast.

Cameron's goals ring true for what I know of most of us: trying to find our way to discovering who we are and who we believe will most help us journey with clarity and peace. I appreciated most how respectful of her audience this author is; over and over, I felt some welcomed as a reader, as if she knew just when to lay down another rung in the bridge of story telling for this book. This is a rich one, and I encourage you to check it out if you are in the mood for a solid, respectful, not-too-sexy, realistic lesbian YA novel. Let me know what you think, will you?


  1. I'm like you - I cautiously read gay/lesbian YA books. However, I loved The Miseducation of Cameron Post. It might be one of the best books I've read this year.

  2. Tina,

    Thanks for your comment. I am so glad you too enjoyed it. And your statement of maybe one of the best books of the year speaks volumes. I agree: the author nailed this one!!