Review: Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer

22055480Title: Save Me, Kurt Cobain

Author: Jenny Manzer

Publication Date: March 8, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

What if you discovered that Kurt Cobain is not only alive, but might be your real father?

Nico Cavan has been adrift since her mother vanished when she was four—maternal abandonment isn’t exactly something you can just get over. Staying invisible at school is how she copes—that and listening to alt music and summoning spirits on the Ouija board with her best friend and co-conspirator in sarcasm, Obe. But when a chance discovery opens a window onto her mom’s wild past, it sparks an idea in her brain that takes hold and won’t let go.

On a ferry departing Seattle, Nico encounters a slight blond guy with piercing blue eyes wearing a hooded jacket. Something in her heart tells her that this feeling she has might actually be the truth, so she follows him to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest. When she is stranded there by a winter storm, fear and darkness collide, and the only one who can save Nico might just be herself.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

As a Washingtonian who was a teenager in the Kurt Cobain era, I couldn’t wait to read Save Me, Kurt Cobain. While I was never obsessed with them, Nirvana (and several other grunge bands of the time) was the soundtrack to a special time in my life. I was looking forward to see how the author was going to craft a story around Cobain.

I’m shocked that Save Me, Kurt Cobain is Jenny Manzer’s debut novel. It definitely didn’t feel like it when reading. Her story flowed smoothly and her characters were expertly crafted. Each chapter was titled with a perfectly corresponding Nirvana song title. I really enjoyed all of her nods to the rock history, local landmarks of Seattle and the long lost Sonics. Oh, and I especially loved her perfect description of Aberdeen.

My problem with Save Me, Kurt Cobain was Nico. While everything about the set up of Save Me, Kurt Cobain was outstanding, I became annoyed with Nico fairly early on. Her obsession with Nirvana and Kurt Cobain got old fast. I empathized with the mysterious loss of her mother and loved that she felt close to her through Nirvana’s music, but the unsafe things she did based on that drove me nuts.  I agree with her father’s idea that music can influence mood. Nirvana’s had a negative affect on Nico for sure. I wanted to give her a good shake and send her to therapy. Her actions made the majority of the book hard to read. I did enjoy the way the story wrapped up and brought everything full circle, though.

So. Would I suggest reading Save Me, Kurt Cobain? Maybe. It might just depend on how much you love(d) Nirvana or if you’re interested in finding out more about them.

And now for a random fact…

My favorite version of Nico’s favorite Nirvana song Sliver is actually performed by another famous musician: Caspar Babypants. You haven’t heard of him? Well, maybe you’ve heard of Presidents of the United States? Caspar Babypants is PUSA singer, Chris Ballew. He makes awesome kids’ music now. 🙂