This book dealt with such important and heartbreaking issues, and at times it was so raw and real that it felt more like reading a memoir than a fictional novel. I so much wanted to love it, but sadly it didn’t quite live up to all it’s potential.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is very different from the typical coming-of-age story. It’s about Cameron who grows up as a gay girl in rural Montana in the 1990’s (even though it felt more like the 1950’s) and who kisses a girl for the first time the same day that her parents die in a car accident. Cameron’s first feeling is therefore of relief that they will never find out about the kiss. But soon relief is replaced by guilt and the thought that her parents death was her fault, a kind of punishment for her ’wrongful’ behaviour.
As a result of the accident Cameron moves in with her conservative, super religious Aunt Ruth along with her grandmother. But when Aunt Ruth finds out about Cameron’s “homosexual tendencies”, she sends her away to a conversion therapy camp.
The fact that the events described in the story even exists, and that families actually send their loved ones to conversion therapy camps to “cure” them from being who they are, makes me so angry I want to cry. This book is a heart-breaking reminder that even though so much has been gained the past decades we must keep on fighting for everyone’s right to love, freedom and justice. I therefore really wanted to love the book, but sadly the execuiton didn’t quite meet the potential of the story.
Cameron was a likeable enough main character and I really appreciated that she was allowed to act like a real teenager; selfish at times, irresponsible and contradictory, but she didn’t steal my heart. The main problem was that the book was so wordy and that every single thing Cameron did or thought was described in detail, which slowed the story down and created a distance to the characters.
But all in all, this is an important book that deserves to be read and discussed. I was debating with myself whether to rate it 3 or 4 stars, but eventually settled for 4 stars due to the important and eye-opening issues it shines light on.
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Emily M. Danforth
Ascension is something like The Selection taking place in space: The first trip to colonise Mars is made by twelve teenagers as contestants in speed dating show. Six boys and six girls are sent to Mars in separate compartments, but during the journey they meet up for live broadcasted speed dating session for 3 minutes a week, in order to find their future spouse. The idea is that when they arrive on Mars, they should all have coupled up to begin to establish a colony on Mars. So, even though this story takes place in space, it’s more romance than sci fi though.
Starting to read this book, I expected a light-hearted, cute and fun read, but there was a lot going on beyond the speed dating premise. In addition to the space parts, there was a part focusing on the business conspiracy on Earth involving the company behind the show and their leader with a secret mission to run for president. There was also a bit too much of unnatural explanations, and the speed dating parts were kind of rushed over. I wish that there had been more time devoted to the space travelers and their relationships (both the relationships between the six girls and the romance-buildings with the boys). I also missed out on representation, there were no same sex relations or queer characters at all. I feel like this book could have been really unique and mesmerizing, but the execution didn’t live up to the full potential.
But I did enjoy the book nevertheless, and it was full of suspense and with a main character, Leonor, that I couldn’t help root for. She was such a bold and strong-willed survivor of abuse and negligence, who didn’t believe in love, but seized the opportunity to create a better future for herself.
“What I want is glory and I know that I’m not going to get it here on Earth.”
I really want to know what will happen to her and the other contestants. Also, this book ended in a cliffhanger that made me excited for the sequels. So, all in all, a solid three star read, but it had the potential to be so much more.
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.F. White C.G. Drews Charli Meadows Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens Deonn Tracy D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray Jesse H. Reign John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tamara Girardi Teagan Hunter Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez