The Miseducation of Cameron Post
by Emily M. Danforth
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 story I found to have such an amazing concept, yet such a poor production of it. Everything from the pace to the detailing to the dialog... ugh...
The story was told in awkward parts, separated by several years or in my mind, the girls that Cam is love with. The dialogue was bland and the writing didn't keep me going. I was frequently frustrated with this book because of how much I wanted to like it because of the great idea, but how I couldn't bring myself to.
Cam was a girl who had to grow up very fast. She had to learn how to deal with things, even if they weren't in the best of ways. But one thing about Cam, is that she doesn't change much. She even admits it later on, that she's always been the way she is. The only thing about Cam that changes is her boldness about it, and her boldness with authority. Cam is really a character that you can connect with, even with her hard to imagine life.
I found that in the book Irene wasn't that much of a character (although she was). I thought that she was more of a symbol for everything that was before. Before Cam's childhood ended. Before Cam's parents died. Before Cam kissed a girl. Before came had to life with her aunt Ruth. Very quickly does Cam get over Irene having left, although she thinks of her often, leading me to believe that Irene represented much more than just the girl she was.
Ruth is one of those people who think's that they've been put on the earth to help everyone by forcing her ideas onto them. Ruth's negativity and bossiness drove me crazy, almost as crazy as the fact that Cam never did anything about it. Ruth is definitely one of the roadblocks in the book that Cam has to overcome, because Ruth continues to try and be her parents, and then suddenly tries not to be them. Ruth was just a terrible person, although a great character because she really added to the plot.
Although we never meet Cam's parents, I find that they are an entity throughout the entire book. After Cameron gets over all of the problems that have been there, and new ones that arrive later on, she never seems to be able to get over the fact that the night her parents died she was just glad that they would never know that she had been kissing a girl.
Lindsay is that awesome friend you know that always gets to experience things before you do, she always is the first know, and she teaches you a lot. Lindsay is really a character that taught Cameron to be herself.
Coley comes across sweet at first, and is everything that Cam thinks that she's going to be. Until she surprises Cam, and the part that gets to me about Coley is how much she led Cam on. Everything about Coley bothers me; her cheating on her boyfriend, her leading Cam on, her pretending the be gay like Cam, but the worst thing about Coley, is that she is a liar. Coley is one of the biggest liars I've ever faced in a book. Her betrayal was an event that as heartbreaking, frustrating, and one that I should have seen coming. While she was a character that stirred things up, she sure rubbed me the wrong way.
Jamie sort of stands for the tomboy that Cam is. Yet no matter how mad I get at Coley, I have to be mad at Cam too, because Jamie brought out the same lying quality in her. In the end, Jamie ended up just being a side, yet trustworthy, friend.
Rick used to be that little boy who played with dolls in secret, but did sports to make his father happy. He is the same thing as an adult in the book; pretending to be someone that he wasn't. But that's not even the part that's bad. It's the fact that even though he's pretending with himself, he tries to make other people pretend for themselves, and call it healing.
Lydia reminds me of Ruth, because she forces her believes onto others. She is obviously the person that made Rick the way he was, (not his gayness, but his hiding his gayness, or as it was in the book, "healing from his gayness"). That is absolutely enraging. However, then we get to watch as she does the same to all the "Disciples" and Cam.
Adam is just that amazing gay dude that you love who remains awesome even in bleak places. He is such a great friend to Cam, it's hard not to like him.
Jane embodies all the rule breaking at God's Promise. She brings out Cam's boldness, and her sense of adventure. Between Adam and Jane, Cam really grows into someone that she can really be her self in.
WAY TOO MANY IMPORTANT CHARACTERS. MMMMKAY....
Also, the entire book sort of came out awkwardly, and I was angry that so many people in Cam's town resented her, and how so few accepted who she was. The story had such great potential, it's disappointing that it came out this way.