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The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M Danforth - Review

Monday, September 11, 2017

Where did I get it? I bought it a couple of weeks ago in Waterstones. I had a gift card from a present in February that I hadn't yet spent, so when I went to Meadowhall to meet a friend a few weeks ago, I bought four books. They were £20.96 in total, so with the gift card I only had to spend 96p! I took a photo of the books I bought:



What's it about? At the beginning of the bookm in the late 80s, Cameron Post is twelve years old when her parents die. They've been at a local (ish) beauty spot that has a history for Cameron's mum when their car leaves the road and they are both killed. Cameron's first feeling is relief - because she's been kissing her friend Irene and now her parents will never know about it. 

Her aunt Ruth, who is a fairly conservative Christian, moves to Montana to look after Cameron along with her grandma. In the second part of the novel, Cameron is fifteen and over one summer, has an intense friendship with Coley Taylor. It turns into something more than friendship. I don't want to say more because I don't want to post spoilers - I hadn't read any before reading the book and it really added to it for me. I felt like every time I started a new chapter I was like "OH GOD WHAT NOW!" and it really went a lot towards my enjoyment of the book.

However, what I will post are trigger warnings. For violence, for self harm, for extreme homophobia, for death, for a lot of painful things happening to queer teenagers. If this sounds like it would hurt you, don't read the book. If you start reading it and it's too painful, don't finish the book. It's okay, I promise. It's an excellent book, but it isn't easy to read. It's hard and difficult and it made me angry. It's all those things and yet it's an important book because it exists in the first place. I'm very glad to have read it. 

What age range is it for? Because of the issues mentioned above, I'm going to say 15+, even though Cameron is younger than that at the start of the novel. 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yes.

Are any main characters people of colour? Yes, but I want to avoid spoilers - but he's one of my favourite characters in the whole book.

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? You know... I'm going to say yes, for mental health things, even though it isn't exactly what I might usually mean when I answer this question.

Is there any sex stuff? Yes, it's somewhat explicit. 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Yes, marijuana quite a lot. 

Is there any talk of death? Yes. Take care of yourself. 

Are there swear words? Yes. 

What criticisms do I have? I don't know why the book was set in the late 80s/early 90s, except that I guess that might be when the author was a teenager herself? I don't know that it added to anything, except it might seem like what happens is historical... When it isn't.
Homophobia still very nuch exists. I don't know; it just sort of jarred me.

Would I recommend the book? One hundred percent. I really liked it - that isn't to say I enjoyed all of it, because it is difficult to read. But I want everyone to read it. 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I'd heard so much about it. It was publishe in the US in 2012, before I was really into YA fiction (I was dabbling my toes - I liked the Hunger Games and other dystopias like that) so I hadn't heard about it then. It came out here this year, so I heard a lot of buzz about it and when I saw it in Waterstones I knew I had to have it. 

What other books is it like? I'm not even going to try to compare it. 

How many stars? Five out of five. 


Where is the book going now? I'll keep it, but first I'm going to lend it to my friend Laura. 

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