“Dead parents. Random acts of shoplifting. Girls kissing girls in barns, in twisty slides on playgrounds, in abandoned hospitals. A Victorian dollhouse with all kinds of weird shit glued to it. The compulsive renting and watching of 99cent videos. Miles City, Montana. The 1990s. Swimming. Summer. Cowgirls. Dinosaur discovering. Ferris Wheels. Conversion therapy. Taco Johns. A girl named Jane Fonda and the hollowed compartment in her prosthetic leg. The way a mountain-toppling earthquake that happened some thirty years before keeps aftershocking our hero: Cameron Post. Yup: it’s coming of age, it’s coming of GAYge, it’s a Bildungsroman, a novel of development, it’s all of these things, none of these things, and it would be kick-ass if you gave it a whirl.”
I didn’t read the back of the book or the book flap or anything, I just opened the book and started reading it. It was that part of a flight where you can’t use any electronic devices and I had The Miseducation of Cameron Post because it’s this new incredible lesbian YA novel I’ve heard good things about. Nothing specific, just good things in general. I mean Nancy Garden — Annie On My Mind Nancy Garden — said it was “one of the best and most honest portraits of a young lesbian I’ve read in years” and asserted that “this is a story that keeps you reading way into the night — an absorbing, suspenseful and important book.” Nancy Garden, you guys!
Then it was the part of the flight where I was supposed to be getting really upset that we were still sitting on the tarmac and I was gonna miss my connection in Atlanta, but instead I was reading this book. Then it was the part where I was invited to whip out my kindle or laptop, and instead I kept reading this book. I just barely made my connecting flight, by the way, but I made it, and then when I got to Ohio I stayed up ’til 5 AM reading this book. “Way into the night,” just like Nancy. Nancy isn’t alone in her affection for this book— as cited on danforth’s website, Cameron Post “received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal, and was praised in the LA Times, The Boston Globe, The Seattle Stranger, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, and NPR, whose reviewer called it “a skillfully and beautifully written story that does what the best books do: It shows us ourselves in the lives of others.”
Reading it just made me feel like I was at home, moreso than any lesbian novel I’ve read before or since, and the closest I’ve felt to any novel since The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It takes place in Montana, mostly in the 90s, and stars Cameron Post, a bright funny budding lesbian whose parents die in a car accident the same day she kisses a girl for the first time.
Speaking of first times, I want to read this book again for the first time — but I can’t. So instead, I’m gonna have y’all read it and then live vicariously through your feelings about the book!
Which is why I am officially announcing that the next selection for the Autostraddle Read a Fucking Book Club is Emily M. Danforth’s “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” and I am 86 kinds of excited for this.
So, here’s how this is gonna work:
1) Get the Book!
If you purchase the book via amazon, Autostraddle gets a kickback, which’s lovely and makes everybody happy. Overseas? Purchase the book via The Book Depository and Autostraddle will get a kickback, which ALSO makes everybody happy!
(If you’d rather purchase it in a brick-and-mortar bookshop though, we encourage you to patronize your local independent bookshops if you have one nearby!)
Pro tip: if the physical book is too pricey for you and it’s not at the library, you can download a free app that enables you to read the less-expensive kindle version on your computer.
2) Read The Book and Think About Questions for Emily!
This time book club’s gonna be super-special because emily m. danforth herself will be participating in Read A F-cking Book Club! Yup!
So, as you’re reading, if there are any questions you’d like to ask emily, write them down, ’cause we’ll be collecting them from you in November and that’ll be a way to enter the Cameron Post Giveaway Contest we’ll conduct on November 1st. This giveaway will include a Lindsey Lloyd care package like the kind she sends to Cameron in the book (which will include a Lindsey Lloyd mixtape, obvs), and you will understand precisely how kickass that is when you read the book.
3) Finish Reading the Book!
On November 8th, it’ll be time to talk about Cameron Post together as a family. Be prepared.
so, I guess I’ll just start reading this rather than studying for midterms.
Right there with you.
Good choice, Riese!
You had me at Taco John’s, which is the best/worst fast food franchise for hangovers.
(Okay, you had me at “girls kissing girls in barns,” but the Taco John’s thing was a bonus.)
Ahh, I’m excited about this. I read it over the summer and loved it, and just got it on my Kindle to read again anyway!
Excellent timing, I just picked it up from the library after having it on hold for months. I’m really excited.
I LOVED this book!
Okay my birthday was in late September and one of my good friends bought me this book and I’ve been reading/loving it and now the entirety of Autostraddle can read/love it!!! This is excellent and also possibly fate.
I just read it the other week. It made me feel all the feelings, especially since I was raised in a strictly religious household too. I can’t wait to discuss it with you guys, it’s literally making me antsy.
Lifelong trauma high-five!
“Girls kissing girls in barns”
Well this is as good a time as any for me to start reading all these fucking books.
If we click on your affiliate link, then click to the kindle version, your name disappears from the navigation bar. Will you still get the kickback?
yes — in fact, anything you buy on amazon after clicking to amazon from a link on this website gives us a kickback. we end up with getting kickbacks on really random things like horse shampoo and strollers and physics textbooks, which is awesome
sweet, buying it now! Along with various other things like refills of OB tampons, probably.
I WISH I HAD KNOWN THIS BEFORE I JUST BOUGHT MOAR TEXTBOOKS. Noted.
my amazon bookmarks bar link is the affiliate link from this website. this way whenever i go to amazon no matter what it always starts with autostraddle.
That is so smart.
yes! this is the thing to do:
I actually picked up this book a few days ago at the New York Public Library after randomly seeing it on display and started reading it yesterday. I also read the book on a plane and some crying near strangers interspersed with laughing out loud followed.
I’m not a huge fan of the YA genre (Carolyn, forgive me!) but this book is incredibly well written with an awesome story line. And it’s adorable as a child of the 90’s to read references to things like Jump Rope for Heart and other random things I enjoyed growing up.
Also Emily seems like someone I’d want to hang out with I’m thinking.
Oh, in that case I’ll probably read it! A YA recommendation from a fellow non-fan of YA always means more.
(OT: Why is it called YA, anyway? I and everybody in my middle school pretty much stopped reading it after age 12, which is not a young adult by anyone’s definition.)
Woo, my library has a couple copies so I’ll be able to pick it up this week and prepare for some feelings
Lesbians in barns…on my sudden flashbacks.
I’ve read it a few months ago after LaineyGossip recommended it (I had just read another book she recommended and loved it) and really, really liked it. I hope she’ll write a sequel or at least publish the pages she had to cut(I read somewhere that the book initially didn’t end where it does now).
Yeah, apparently the manuscript was over 800 pages, so there’s so much more we haven’t read!
The first time I read this book I got it from the library. I’m actually considering buying my own copy because I loved it so much though.
ahhh i read this last summer and it’s SO GOOD!!!
I don’t know if a month is long enough to put my feelings about this book into actual coherent words.
So excited! It shipped early too! Who cares about boards? Pft.
Is there a kickback link for Canadian customers?? (amazon.ca)
i think you can order amazon books to canada via our amazon link (or at least i’ve sent things to canada that way?) but also the book depository does free shipping worldwide, and also if you get the kindle version it doesn’t matter where you live!
ahhhh I bought this a few weeks ago and read a little and I guess I should finish it now, huh. exciting
You must have read my mind. Just bought the book last night, stayed up til 2 reading it, I love it already. I feel EXACTLY like Cameron in some parts, even though I’m not 14 anymore and also never been to Montana. Also choosing to read this book instead of studying for midterms…I think a good choice
omg last night? that IS really amazing timing
oh yay, I can buy a great book and support autostraddle while living overseas
I just finished reading this and I need to talk it out. For real having many feelings. Good timing.
I LOVED THIS BOOK. I’m so excited to be able to ask emily questions!!! And to talk about it with fellow autostraddlers!!
This is so cool, I just ordered this book on Friday! Can’t wait to read it!
i just read this in august, and it gave me so many good feelings that i tweeted about it, and emily danforth favorited my tweet!
so i might just go ahead and reread it with you guys.
I read the book this summer and loved it!
eeeee i’m so excited that so many of you are as excited as me to talk about this!
I loved this book! I am so excited to be able to discuss it with others. =) Emily Danforth is an amazing author. I have lots of questions I want to ask. =)
I read this book in like 24 hours. It was so good. I can’t wait to talk about it! It definitely triggered a lot of nostalgia.
I don’t even. God damsel!
I guess I didn’t really wanna sleep yesterday anyway..
Just devoured this thing.
I just ordered this book. Can’t wait to read it.
I didn’t know about the Amazon kick back. Will use it in future, as I buy a lot of trashy lesbian romance/porn ebooks for Kindle. My secret shame, but now Autostraddle will benefit too. Sweet justification!
Of course, I’ll just be doing it to help the team. You’re welcome!
You’re selflessness is inspiring! I hope one day to match it XD
Thanks! It makes all the personal sacrifice worth it, just to know I inspire people *sniff*
This is absolutely perfect timing. I literally finished this book yesterday!
Yup, just ate this book right up – all sorts of responsibilities were neglected in the meantime. I might have another go round before November. Brilliant, brilliant novel.
sooo, I read this post 2 nights ago, immediately downloaded the book onto my kindle, and then finished it within 24 hours. Great book!!
Just got this book from the library. Yay!
It’s so good so far! I’ve almost missed multiple subway stops and I’m not even halfway through yet. Love.
this book is fantastic! i absolutely loved it, im 30 yrs old and i ve been reading tons of YA novels, kinda making up for the time lost hahaha so im catching up on my queer literature.
it s almost impossible not to go along the ride with Cameron Post, u feel for her, u wanna be friends for her, and be there for her. that s why it was impossible to put this book down. i read it in a couple of days.
truly truly fantastic, a MUST!
I read this book back in May when I walked into the library and saw it on display under the new releases. I honestly only picked it up because I thought the cover was pretty… I truly think this is one of the best books I’ve ever read.
So just today I found this book sitting all unassuming on a library shelf…and it will be read in three days, damnit.
Just finished reading this in one sitting, 8am to 4pm, on a day had entirely blocked out for writing a paper. My schedule is fucked. But, I’m going to go for a walk outside in a storm just to think about it a little longer. I dont want it to be over. What a great story. Sad I missed the Nov 8 discussion.
OMG this book. Seriously, guys.
I know I’m a bit late to the party but it’s awesome. Lovely and amazing and, most important, honest and very relatable.
Oh the whole bit about book club recommendations was so perfect and timely for me! My queer bookclub (aka Sappho’s Circle) is meeting tonight and we just read Middlesex. I am all about some fun, lighthearted queer books. Definitely going to check out some of those, especially The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Lost Boi, and Fist of the Spider Woman. Thanks for sharing!