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Review: Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer

Blurb from Goodreads:
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.
My Review:
I'm really not sure what some of the authors who HIGHLY praised this book were thinking -- For example, Jennifer Niven called this book "utterly gorgeous."  I have to be honest and tell you that I thought it was a hot mess.  While the premise could have been amazing, I was bogged down and seriously struggled with poor editing (or lack thereof) and poor writing; one of my GR status updates while reading this was "painfully bad," and my opinion has not since improved.  I will date myself here but I remember the exact day when we found out that KC had committed suicide -- I was in middle school, it was a Friday and it was raining.  I can remember coming home after school, and being glued to MTV news all weekend.  I then spent that weekend making a necklace with a pendant frame that held a tiny and grainy black and white photo of KC, which I then wore to school for weeks.  I was a fan so this story really could have meant something to me, instead what I got was a very sad girl, searching for meaning in every little thing and often interrupting the actual action of the story with her own thoughts, which were nothing more than spewing facts from every unauthorized KC biography in existence.  It felt like a mish-mash of rote recitation of these unauthorized biographies and hopelessness.

This was a miss for me but it may not be a miss for you.  In the spirit of KC, I've seen Montage of Heck and it was just alright for me -- Last Days (while fictional) is amazing, and I recommend watching it.  Save Me, Kurt Cobain was released earlier this week, and you can purchase HERE.
There was a square card with a thirty-dollar gift certificate for Lyle's Place.  I kept the card in my pocket while we watched movies that night, and the next day I finally bought Nevermind, a full fifteen years after its release, and the follow-up In Utero, for good measure.  I holed up in my room all weekend listening to them, only surfacing for bathroom breaks and bowls of Life cereal.  The music filled all the cracks in my brain, at least for a time.  I put every book about Nirvana on hold at the library and stayed up until my eyes felt as if they'd been through an Easy-Bake oven.  When Kurt Cobain played his guitar, he looked weightless, like a blond marionette.  I can still picture the black-and-white concert photos of him.  Rising up, slamming down the chords, and then smashing stuff.


  1. Oh that stinks!! I was looking forward to his because of the nostalgia really. Sorry it wasn't better for you!

  2. It doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy either.

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

  3. Ah, this does sound like hot mess :/ Sorry it wasn't better for you! I will pass this one for sure.

  4. Oh no! Bad writing is the worst. I've had to stop reading reviews on GR for some of these 2016 books because 90% of them are from authors and they are all 5 stars and how great the books are. It's fine that they want to support each other, but I really don't like how they don't disclose at the top of their reviews they are friends. Anyways, I digress.
    I can't say I was interested in this one, but hmm the fact that the MC's thoughts interrupts the book's flow would bother me. I was only a few months old when KC died, so I don't think I'll emotionally connect to that aspect.
    Anyways, thanks for the great review, Eva!

  5. Sorry you didn't care for this one. It does look good and I keep seeing great reviews for it so I may still give it a shot at some point. But I don't know because I HATE bad editing and bad writing. :(

  6. This one never made it to my TBR and I'm kind of glad it didn't. Looks like I'm not missing out on anything, I would be annoyed with the same issues you were.

  7. Ahh man. I got this one in the mail but I honestly wasn't sure about it and now I'm even less sure. Great review!

  8. so sorry this one didn't do it for you . I am still on the fence personally. I also remember the day Kirt Cobain died. I wasn't much of a fan but I knew some that were and it hurt them bad.

  9. Aw, I am sorry that this was such a miss for you, when it had the potential to be really pertinent! I am glad you have dated yourself- I had no idea that you were an old lady like me ;) I was in... quick math... 6th grade. So I guess that counts as middle school? Anyway, I wasn't a huge fan, BUT it was still so sad. And yeah, a death like that absolutely has the potential to be moving. But apparently not.

    Also- what is with randomly using KC's death? In Love Letters to the Dead, and this... like, the characters weren't even BORN when he died! OR while his music was still a thing!

    Great review though, steering clear of this one!

  10. This sounds ... interesting. In a weird way. Too bad it fell short.

  11. I remember when KC committed suicide as well, and feeling what a tragic waste. I've never picked up or watched anything about the circumstances or his life, but I can imagine if you were a big fan that this story would've been great if it was done well. Sorry it didn't work out, Eva. :(

  12. Oh no, what a letdown. It's especially lame when there's such high praise involved which naturally raises your expectations. But bad editing - and just plain bad writing - nope. There's no getting past that, I don't care how interesting the synopsis is. Sorry this one was such a fail.

  13. Nico came off as troubled to me because of what she was going through with the disappearance of her mother. She made decisions were questionable and just plain ridiculous, but I could understand why. There was a lot of details throughout the book that was interesting but made the story a tad chunky. I do agree that it could have been a stronger story but somewhat fell short. Still an interesting idea though. Thanks for your honesty, sorry you didn't enjoy it.


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