Due to hit cinemas as a movie starring Chloe Grace Moretz early this year, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a beautiful YA coming of age novel about a girl discovering her sexuality in a conservative Middle America. First published in the US in 2012, it’s remained an import only in the UK until last summer, when it finally made its way over here via Penguin.
Set in the 90s, the story follows Cameron Post through a sizable portion of her teens – from the opening of the book, from her first kiss with a girl aged 12, through the death of her parents in a car accident, and along to her late teens, trying to explore her sexuality and wrestle her guilt under the roof of her well-meaning, but incredibly conservative, Christian aunt.
Cameron Post definitely reads like a USYA novel – each description is achingly beautiful and poignant, the plot filled with honey and longing. However unlike say, John Green, all of Danforth’s teen characters have a much more grounded voice. I adored the slow, meandering way the first half of the plot follows Cameron’s life – filled with teenage clichés and listless boredom, but the book is lengthy. I still ripped through it, but it’s a slow burn, and as the plot begins to unravel into the second half, there are some themes that perhaps some readers might find uncomfortable (gay conversion therapy in particular). A beautiful read for a long summer holiday, and a much needed portrayal of lives so seldom seen in YA.