The Miseducation of Cameron Post – Emily M Danforth
I have found the one.
Like, I want to marry this book and raise a family of little books. I don’t think a character has ever resonated with me to the point that Cameron does in this book, so I’m going to flail about it for a moment if that’s ok with you?
This book is 70’s style polaroids of amazing summer memories that can’t help but make you smile. It is summer days where everything has a slightly hazy yellow tint to it, the kind of days where you lie in fields on checkered blankets and laze about just soaking up the awesomness of the day. It’s the first sip of ice cold home made lemonade that’s sweet and crisp and then surprises you with a sour kick. This book is all of those things and more.
Here’s the blurb:
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.
This book you guys, this book.
The story is told in three parts, the first part detail’s Cameron’s life as a twelve year old tom boy messing around in Miles City with her best friend Irene (the girl she kisses the night her parents die). Although Cameron and Irene don’t intend to be romantic, they’re just best friends, things get a bit confusing, they kiss and Cameron realises that she’s kind of into girls. Which would be fine if she didn’t have this horrible feeling of guilt because her first thought on hearing that her parents had died was relief that no one knew what she and Irene had done. The guilt is enough to drive a wedge between them as friends, but it doesn’t stop Cameron’s feelings and she’s pretty soon sure that no matter how guilty she feels about the fact that her parents died whilst she was committing the ultimate sin, she can’t help but fancy girls. Her feelings of guilt and confusion are so complexly interwoven with her desires and her general growing pains of teenage hood, that she was completely one hundred precent relatable. And even though I’m nothing like Cameron in the sense that i am not an athelete who occasionally smokes pot and lives with a conservative aunt, I understood how she was feeling so completely that I felt that at times, we were one and the same. it is truly exceptional writing.
Cameron was such an amazing character, there were moments when she was petulant and unlikeable but she never once stopped being relatable and understandable. God, I’d marry this book if I could.
Part two of the story is set a bit later in her life, still a teenager and now at high school she’s been moved from her parent’s church to a much more fundamental one that her aunt prefers where she meets Jamie who’s parents are also very religious and it’s with him that she tries to maybe not be gay and starts her pot habit. Jamie and Cameron were amazing together, they’re my brotp like, they were such awesome friends and Jamie was a refreshing best friend type character because he too was wonderfully fleshed out and had his own thoughts, feelings and fears going on. During part two of the book, he discovers and is very supportive of Cameron’s sexuality which, like, well done Jamie, awesome super best friend points to you, Part two is also where things start to hit the fan in regards to Cameron’s big secret and her crush on the girl mentioned in the blurb, Coley Taylor. Coley Taylor, you bitch. You actual. horrid bitch.
Each section of this story is just as heart felt and endearing as the next, whether we’re watching twelve year old Cameron internally falling apart because she blames herself for the death of her parents or thirteen year old Cameron repeatedly getting it on with visiting swimmer Lindsay, or pining over Coley or being shipped off to camp, each aspect of Cameron is just as thought out and well rounded as the last and I honestly don’t think there are words in my vocabulary to properly explain just how much I love this book.
i am constantly complaining about how few lgbt titles actually show case a satisfactory romance, a book that has characters that are more than their sexuality, finally I have found one, this is perfection in book form. It was beautiful. it had wonderful elegant prose and entire passages that stick out in the mind, things like this: Grandma stooped over with a yellow rag, sprinkling out the cleanser, that chemical-mint smell puffing around us, her son dead and her daughter-in-law dead and her only grandchild a now-orphaned shoplifter, a girl who kissed girls, and she didn’t even know, and now she was cleaning up my vomit, feeling even worse because of me: That’s what made me cry.
And this: Even though no one had ever told me, specifically, not to kiss a girl before, nobody had to. It was guys and girls who kissed–in our grade, on TV, in the movies, in the world; and that’s how it worked, guys and girls. Anything else was something weird.
And this: There’s nothing to know about a kiss like that before you do it. It was all action and reaction, the way her lips were salty and she tasted like root beer. The way I felt sort of dizzy the whole time. If it had been that one kiss, then it would have been just the dare, and that would have been no different than anything we’d done before. But after that kiss, as we leaned against the crates, a yellow jacket swooping and arcing over some spilled pop, Irene kissed me again.
I hope to every deity going that Emily Danforth is going to write something else, anything, it could literally be a shopping list and i would read it. Whether or not you’re into lgbt or teenage fiction shouldn’t matter, beautiful, engaging fiction is what it is, and therefore, everyone in the entire world needs to read this book.
This gets the Nick Fury Seal of Approval.