Thursday, April 7, 2016

Review: Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer

Release date: March 8th 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis via Goodreads:

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

Nicola Cavan has been an outsider since age four when her mother vanished from their home in Victoria, British Columbia. Now 15, Nico is determined to find her beautiful, music-obsessed mother. After glimpsing “Cobain” on a ferry from Seattle, Nico follows the man with the blazing blue eyes to a remote Vancouver Island cabin—and her life will never be the same.


What I really wanted was for him to sing, just for me, preferably “All Apologies.” Then I wanted him to tell me everything he remembered about that night in 1991, and my mother, and her dancing, and her hair, and her laugh. Granted, it had been almost sixteen years, but Cobain didn’t seem that old. He still looked good, despite the scruff, the messy hair, and the years of hard living. It was a bizarre thing to think about your own father, but it was true. If my real father was so beautiful, perhaps one day I could be, too? I did have his eyes.

“Nico, or whatever your name is, I’m done playing.” He rose from the chair and grabbed my forearm, hard. “I can’t have anyone find you here, so you’ve got to leave now.”

*Received physical copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Save Me, Kurt Cobain was intriguing for the most part, and what I liked most was the informative aspect of the story, in regards to introducing me to songs I knew nothing about and a man and his band that I never really delved into as much as many. 

The first few chapters had a lot of details and was kind of slow, but that also gave me an understanding of Nico's character and her connection to Nirvana and that sort of music. The way the author incorporated various songs and albums into Nico's life was impeccably interesting yet scary how much Nico fed into it. And I seriously became worried for this girl that her sense of reality would become warped with the way she was so into Kurt Cobain and his music. Someone like me may find it strange, but to others who admired his creativity and who he was, may understand Nico a lot better and may even relate to her.

She was going through a lot, internally. Having no clue as to what happened to her mother, Nico was left with this need to know. While she didn't show it much to her father, it was clear she was deeply hurt. And from her thoughts, at times it seemed she was angry at her mother for leaving her behind, and then there were times she feared something terrible had kept her away from Nico. That emotion felt real from page to page and I wanted this young girl to find closure and heal her broken heart. But I was baffled with what happened on her way back from spending time with her Aunt in Seattle and I wanted to shake her for putting that man in trouble.

When Nico came in connect with this person, to me she just seemed so deluded and off the deep end. I couldn't believe she actually thought he was not only Kurt Cobain, but that he was her father. That's how out there her mind was all from not knowing a lot about her mother and from her father not really talking to Nico about her. Well, at least the man was nice enough to help her find someone from her mother's past and give her an idea of where to search. Their encounter and the way Nico placed herself in a dangerous situation threw me off the story a tad because in those scenes I felt like she was just too irresponsible and idiotic, but once she had her eyes opened back to reality and the authorities resumed the search for her mother, it drew back my interest. It wasn't hard to figure out the situation with her mother, it was only a matter of what happened to put her there. And even though it was sad for the family, it was a good thing for them to finally have closure in the end.  

To conclude, a very interesting read. Like I said if you're like me and you don't know much about grunge, 90's music, or anything about Nirvana and Kurt Cobain then there's definitely some intriguing stuff in this book that will have you in deep thought. And honestly, after reading Save Me, Kurt Cobain, I felt the need to go and research about the musician because this story stirred up quite a bit of curiosity and it might do the same for you. Give it a try. It's a nice debut.

Jenny Manzer
About the Author
Jenny Manzer is a writer in Victoria, British Columbia.
She has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and an investigative journalist, and has loved writing stories ever since she was a little girl. Now that she has two children of her own, she does most of her writing (and listening to Nirvana) at night while they’re asleep. |


  1. Great review! I approached this from the perspective of a fan but I still just found so much rote recitation of biographies and seriously questioned Nico's motivations and actions. I just felt like she is a confused kid that needs help and the story wasn't as compelling to me because of this.

    my review

    1. That's what I was saying too, about Nico's actions. She definitely had some issues but I related it to the fact that her mother disappeared when she was only four years old and since then has had a hole in her heart plagued with what happened. I do agree that it could have been more compelling, but I like that in the end she finally learned the truth about her mother.

      Thanks for stopping by Eva :)

  2. I like the idea of this book. I am a little worried that it could get stuck on some of the details of the band though. The main character sounds like she could possibly annoy me. I am curious enough that I may check to see if my library has a copy. Great review!

    Carole @ Carole's Random Life

    1. The plot definitely is different. I'd give it a read, Carole. Maybe you'll like it.

  3. I know a bit about Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, so I do think this would be intriguing in that aspect. Nico definitely sounds quite out there though! Thanks for sharing!


    p.s. giveaway on the blog if interested!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you pick it up sometime :)

  4. I have seen so many mixed reviews on this one. I am not sure but the whole Kurt Cobain aspect gets me (child of the 90's right here). Great review!

    1. Thanks, Grace. Yeah maybe you'll like this story then.


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