Published by Delacorte Press on March 8th 2016
Buy on Amazon
What if you discovered that Kurt Cobain is not only alive, but might be your real father? This nuanced and bittersweet YA debut will keep you guessing until the end.
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.
Save Me, Kurt Cobain is one of those books that popped up on my radar and I added it to my TBR without even really knowing what to expect from it. I can’t tell you how many times I read the synopsis and I still didn’t know what I was getting into. I don’t know if that made any difference on my feelings for the book but either way, I devoured it.
- The writing: Jenny Manzer’s writing style engaged me from the very first page. While contemporary is my favorite genre, I understand that it can be slower to get into sometimes. The story itself caught my attention, for sure, but Jenny Manzer’s way of telling the story is what really hooked me.
- The music: If you didn’t already figure this out, Save Me, Kurt Cobain, has quite a few music references. Each title is named after a Nirvana song and while I actually am not a huge Nirvana fan (don’t hate me!), I really enjoyed this aspect. Jenny Manzer also managed to include a lot of actual Nirvana facts and events while keeping a lot of things fictional. Music is a huge part of my life so the way it was woven into this story really appealed to me and helped keep me interested.
- The mystery: There are a lot of questions brought up early on in Save Me, Kurt Cobain. Who is Nico’s dad? Is it Kurt Cobain? Is Kurt Cobain alive? Nico manages to weave this crazy tale of what might have happened to her mother all based on the idea that Kurt Cobain is her father. Jenny Manzer uses this and keeps readers guessing until the very last page.
- Nico: Nico was my favorite part of Save Me, Kurt Cobain. My heart went out to her. She manages to come up with this crazy conspiracy theory to explain away the fact that she doesn’t know who her dad is and her mom abandoned her. She’s lost and confused and alone and this is what she does to try and cope with all that. I’ve never gone through an experience like that but I really think that everyone who reads Nico’s story will love her.
- Everything!: I admit that I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately and haven’t really wanted to read anything. Save Me, Kurt Cobain fixed that. This was one of the rare books I’ve read where I honestly couldn’t find anything wrong with it. I loved Jenny Manzer’s writing, Nico’s story, the Nirvana history, every last thing.
Save Me, Kurt Cobain has a little something for everyone. It’s one of those books that once you start, you’re not going to be able to put it down. Jenny Manzer’s debut impressed me enough that I will definitely be checking out more from this author in the future.
US & Canada readers have a chance to win one of three copies of Save Me, Kurt Cobain. Believe me, this is one you want to win!