Author: Emily M. Danforth
Maturity Level: Upper YA. There are a few marginally explicit sex scenes and a lot of difficult concepts.
You May Like This Book if: you enjoy YA that’s written in a more adult/literary style; you remember what it was like to be a teenager; you have an interest in LGBT issues.
You May NOT Like This Book if: you don’t enjoy literary fiction.
Cameron Post is your average teenage girl, devoted to swimming and old movies. But on the day her parents die in a sudden and violent accident, Cameron is busy shattering the status quo of her tiny-town-in-Montana life in a big way: kissing Irene Klauson in a hay loft. Suddenly and orphan, Cameron moves in with her super-conservative Aunt Ruth and tries to forget all about that day, hiding her sexuality in an attempt to blend in. Until Coley Taylor comes swooping in, that is, and Cameron can no longer hide.
This book was beautiful in so many ways. It was poignant and heartbreaking, with just enough humor mixed in to lighten the darkness. The whole “de-gaying facility” subplot was handled very well, with some really obvious research and care given to its portrayal. There is not a character in this book who is not wonderfully flawed and yet totally relatable, and the world is also drawn in such a way that you have no doubt where you are.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It has such a lovely feel to it, and I appreciate Danforth’s concise but lyrical prose. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more of Danforth’s work in the future!
- Attention to detail. Danforth has dropped us right into the 90’s-era Bible Belt culture without being preachy.
- The leisurely pace. Rather than being draggy, it was a joy to read and savor.
- Cameron and I could be friends in real life. She was likable without being perfect, and I ached for her loneliness and confusion, celebrated with her when she had her breakthrough, and generally identified with her despite our differences.
- The Promise kids and the research that Danforth obviously did into these sorts of facilities.
- Adam and the wonderful portrayal of the winkte concept.
- Slightly slow-moving, and definitely written in a style more suited to adult literary than YA—but I can’t say I didn’t like it!
Favorite Scene (s):
- Pg 311-394. The whole end bit ran the gamut from arresting to terrifying to beautiful, a raucous roller-coaster ride of emotion that left me stunned by its ferocity. Very well done.
Favorite Line (s):
- “There was more than just one world beyond ours; there were hundreds and hundreds of them, and at 99 cents apiece, I could rent them all.” ~Pg 40
- “It felt really good to do something that made no sense at all.”~ pg 71
Star Rating on Goodreads: 5 stars out of 5.
Final Grade: A+. Transformative, sad, and poignant.