The Miseducation of Cameron Post Emily M. Danforth Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post Emily M. Danforth Book ReviewThe Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth
Published by Harper Collins on February 7th 2012
Genres: Christian, Dating & Sex, Homosexuality, Religious, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 480
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Set in rural Montana in the early 1990s, emily m. danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a powerful and widely acclaimed YA coming-of-age novel in the tradition of the classic Annie on My Mind. Cameron Post feels a mix of guilt and relief when her parents die in a car accident. Their deaths mean they will never learn the truth she eventually comes to—that she's gay. Orphaned, Cameron comes to live with her old-fashioned grandmother and ultraconservative aunt Ruth. There she falls in love with her best friend, a beautiful cowgirl. When she’s eventually outed, her aunt sends her to God’s Promise, a religious conversion camp that is supposed to “cure” her homosexuality. At the camp, Cameron comes face to face with the cost of denying her true identity. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and provocative literary debut that was a finalist for the YALSA Morris Award and was named to numerous “best” lists.

I love it when a book takes me by surprise, especially when I go in expecting to like it but then come out head over heels in love. It’s a wonderful thing, coming out of reading felling a sense of compassion and empathy. The Miseducation Of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth is a profound and affecting young adult book and one I’d absolutely recommend.

The Miseducation Of Cameron Post is divided into three parts. FYI none of these parts I am about to describe will be spoiled because all that information is kind of on the back cover. Right, so the first part is the day and immediate aftermath of Cam’s parents dying and also the first day Cam kissed a girl, Irene Klauson. The second part takes place when Cam is in high school. Her super religious Aunt Ruth has come to stay and be Cam’s guardian. The third part deals with Cameron being sent to one of those de-gaying centers. To really boil the plot down I would say that it is a deep exploration of sexuality as in orientation, religion and gender.

I hate myself for saying this, but when I read gay YA, it usually focuses on the male experience. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is one of the first young adult books I’ve read that features a lesbian, besides Ash by Malinda Lo. Frankly, I feel like to be a better and more accepting person, I need to read more fiction with LGBTQ main characters. I could relate to Cameron and her experiences of first love and rejection, although I am straight. I could relate to her complicated feelings relating to religion. There’s a lot of hypocrisy that comes with certain characters in Cameron’s world and it sucks that this is her experience. For example one character is all gung ho about de-gaying Cam because it’s like against her religion or whatever, YET she engages in pre-marital sex. Um pot? Kettle?

Emily M. Danforth’s style is very literary. I think if you liked how Where Things Come Back and The Perks Of Being A Wallflower are written, you’ll enjoy this book.  It might be a difficult read for those on the lower end of the YA spectrum – but I think it will appeal to teens looking to read up — looking to read adult books. Emily M. Danforth has a fabulous way with words that lingers and made me want to savor by only reading a chapter a day so I could profcss and reflect to myself more fully.

I think you should definitely give The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth a chance, even if it is out of your comfort zone. It is one of those books that reminds me why I read young adult books — it is compelling, yet also allows you to walk in someone else’s shoes for just a little bit. Yet there are very universal, very relatable moments in the book. It won’t be for everyone, but I will say for me, it was worth reading.

Disclosure: Received for review. 

Other reviews of The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danfourth:

The Book Smugglers – “ I love coming of age stories and this is a really good one.

The Midnight Garden – “A fully realized novel in every way

Chick Loves Lit – “A story that is timeless

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. One of the most irritating things I’ve come across recently is a news article all about these groups that basically place being gay as a disease and reporting that a person can be cured, all written in fluffy innocent language. It’s so archaic. It makes me wonder how and why they think they can achieve it, which makes me interested in this book, that and the suggestion that there is much discussion in it in general.

    • It’s hard for me to believe those groups still exist. Seriously, people are nuts.

      I think you’d like this book, Charlie. There’s a lot to ponder while reading it.

  2. I agree with everything you said! This is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. It’s one of those that I want everyone to read RIGHT NOW. Fabulous review!

  3. I love that you read to expand not only your mind but yourself in general. I can’t think of a single book I’ve ever read that features a gay (general term) main character; most of the gay characters I’ve come across are secondary characters. I don’t think I’d go into reading a book with a gay main character so I would be more accepting of that demographic so much as I would want to better understand their struggles, whether that’s accepting who they are, facing scorn from family and community, or whatever. This does sound like a book more teens need to read, not only those who are gay but anyone really. The better we understand the struggles our peers face, faced, or will face the more accepting and understanding we can be as a society. Fantastic review!

    • I think this ‘ I would want to better understand their struggles’ vocalizes my reasoning for reading books about people different from me much better than my review did.

      Thanks for commenting, Candice. I always appreciate your insight.

  4. I really enjoyed this book. I did think it was a little too long, but Emily’s writing was gorgeous. I loved how she described Montana – especially because I’m going to be moving there soon.

  5. Your review is really well-written; I definitely want to read this book like NOW.

  6. I hadn’t heard about this book before, but now that I have I’m so glad that it exists. I don’t think I can even add to what Candice has already said I agree with her statement so completely. I will definitely be reading this book and from sound of it, most likely be recommending it to others.

  7. I really want to read this.

    Also, Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom and Kiss the Morning Star both have lesbian main characters. 🙂

  8. ComaCalm says

    I keep seeing this at Waterstones, definitely grabbing it next time I’m there! I’d recommend Wildthorn by Jane Eagland, if you haven’t read it yet. It’s gay YA too, and an amazing story to boot.

    ComaCalm’s Corner =^.^=

  9. I have an ARC of this sitting on my shelf, but I just keep forgetting to pick it up and read. I love the sound of the literary-ness of it. I haven’t seen that many reviews for it, but judging by your review and the comments, it sounds amazing. I think I need to move it up the TBR…

    • Jen, it is super good and definitely worth moving up your TBR. I would say to take your time with it. Read it slowly and savor. It’s absolutely wonderful and so well written.

  10. I admit I passed on this book because I usually don’t read LGBT books, not because I got anything against gay characters but because I don’t feel like I’ll connect – and the fact that, like you said, they are usually from a male perspective doubles that effect.

    But this sounds pretty good and I’m glad you feel the connection. 🙂
    I’m going to put this on my maybe list

  11. I’m so happy to hear that you loved this one, April! I know you took your time with it, but this was one of those slow-go kind of books. I completely agree with you that Cameron’s experiences were something that almost every teen could identify with, whether they were strait or gay. This one will almost certainly be on my top 10 list for 2012, it’s certainly right up there at the moment, and one of my favorite contemporaries.

    • I think it will go on my top 2012 list as well. I really liked how she showed Cameron’s insecurities and the does she like me/doesn’t she. I also just loved the delicious writing style as well.

  12. I started this one but unfortunately wedding planning got in the way and I was unable to finish it. I would like to pick it up again soon; you’re not the only person who has said it was excellent. One of my library peers said she thought it was a contender for the Printz for this year.

    • Oh, boo. That said, wedding planning is much more important.

      I think your library peer is right. Cameron Post could be a Printz winner. It’s very literary and I notice that previous winners are literary as well.

  13. I’m so glad you liked this book, April. I bought it after seeing Emily at the NY Teen Author Festival and she signed it for me, and was very nice. What I noticed (because they acted out a scene from the book) was how theatrical it seemed in the way I liked. Natural and real. I can’t wait to read it. I’ve been reading a lot of LGBTQ books and I’m surprised how much I relate to the characters just like you said. I think I mentioned reading “The Difference Between You & Me” in the past, but I’m going to say it again. It was a great book and very eye opening to me, and at times painful because the emotions were so raw.

    Can’t wait to get to this particular title! 🙂


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