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Save Me, Kurt Cobain

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  537 ratings  ·  161 reviews
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-c
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by Delacorte Press
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Kathy Yes. It does relate to one of the many teen conditions.; not all teens have the same experiences. The relationships are hones and fact is woven…moreYes. It does relate to one of the many teen conditions.; not all teens have the same experiences. The relationships are hones and fact is woven beautifully with fiction.(less)
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3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  537 ratings  ·  161 reviews

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Ana O
Can you imagine Kurt's reaction to this book?


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

Nah, I think I'm related to Eddie Vedder.
Laurie Flynn
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There’s a line I love from one of my favorite movies, Almost Famous: “They don’t even know what it is to be a fan. Y’Know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts.”

Music has a lot of powers. It soothes and it incites, motivates and empowers, empathizes and hurts, sometimes makes us feel that we’re less alone. For fans, music can be a companion, a friend, an escape. But does music have the power to save someone? That’s one of the themes in Jenny Manzer
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
At four years old, Nico’s mother went missing. Over a decade has passed, and still all her questions remain unanswered. What was she like? What happened that day she left the house? Raised by her father, a man who keeps things close to the chest, Nico, with the help of her best friend Obe, relies on her trusted Ouija board for clues.

Nico finally begins to get answers when she discovers a box of her mothers things in the attic. Turns out Nico’s passion for music, specifically early 90’s rock was
Robin Reul
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading an ARC of Jenny Manzer's debut SAVE ME, KURT COBAIN and OMG!! This book!! It should also come with a warning that you may not be able to get Nirvana songs out of your head for a good solid week after reading.

First of all, let me start by saying she had me at the title. I love Nirvana, and the whole premise of the book sucked me in. I mean, hello, exploring the idea that Kurt Cobain may still be alive and possibly turn out to be the MC's father?? Jenny Manzer has a very fl
S.M. Parker
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Save Me, Kurt Cobain as part of The Sweet Sixteens ARC tour and devoured it quickly. You’ll want to get yourself a copy when this gem releases. It’s gold. The writing is beautiful. Fluid and commanding. The voice is so authentically teen but so crisp with poetic lovelies peppered throughout. Like what, you ask? How about this cool, slick number: “I could just slip into the ocean as if it were layers of cold black silk.”

You do not have to be a Nirvana fan
Kurt Dinan
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Manzer takes a big risk here, casting one of the most beloved pop culture / cult figures of the last 25 years as a central figure in her novel. Really, she's just asking for punishment from Kurt Cobain fanatics, of which there are plenty. Her gamble pays off though because the novel isn't about Kurt Cobain at all (okay, it is, sort of), but more the lengths we'll go to when dealing with great pain. In the novel, Nico creates a Nirvana-based explanation for her mother's disappearance year's earli ...more
Jeff Zentner
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a gorgeously executed exploration of the intersections between love, obsession, art, and loss. Nico is funny, vulnerable, sarcastic, and smart. She's the perfect YA narrator. I highly recommend this to lovers of excellent prose, vivid characterizations, and great music. This is definitely one of those YAs that would be as comfortable on the adult shelf as on the YA shelf.
Ashley Blake
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful story of healing and acceptance and how, sometimes, you have to get to both of those places in your own time and in your way.
Jan 04, 2016 marked it as to-read

Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was hard to decide whether I wanted to rate this 3 or 4 stars. I was so excited for this book. I preordered it, and I started reading it the day it came out. But I don't think it fully lived up to my expectations.

The story was beautiful, yet tragic. Nico was forced to grow up most of her life without her mother. Her mother disappeared one day when she was 4 years old, and no trace of her had been seen or heard from since. This haunts Nico everyday of her life. She truly believed that her mot
Kali Wallace
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jenny Manzer's SAVE ME, KURT COBAIN is a lovely, sad book about a girl looking for answers and facing grief and learning about the mother she barely knew. It's also about music and how important it is to us, in so many different ways, and how the music that matters is part of the fabric of life.

I feel like the book's description doesn't quite do it justice--although it's factually accurate--but I also don't know how I would improve it to really capture what the book is about. It's not the kind
Melissa Gorzelanczyk
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Where do I begin with Manzer's lush, enviable writing style?

The mood of this novel permeated every page. It was a little sad and a little dark and a little hopeful. Just look at the cover and you'll find all of those things.

Reading it felt like sitting down to a tasting. Something special, but like I mentioned above, also sad/dark/hopeful. There are so many quotable lines in this novel! You'll want to savor them. You'll want Jenny Manzer to write a hundred more books. You'll want to blare Nir
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I debate between giving this one and two stars. In this novel, a young girl named Nicola (Nico) is obsessed (and I can't use that word strongly enough) with both Nirvana and finding her mother. Nico likes to use her Ouija board, listen to grunge music despite it being 2006, and enjoys hanging out with her best friend Obe who may or may not be gay. She lives with her father, the meek and hard working Verne, who she has little respect for. Nico pines away for her mother, the lovely Annabelle who l ...more
“Save Me, Kurt Cobain” is not a book meant to be read by everyone (which is in no way a bad thing), but for those it is meant for, you will enjoy it immensely.

At its heart, it is the coming-of-age story of Nico Cavan, a girl who has been lost in the world since the age of four. She is an extremely well-developed character who evokes both sympathy and, at times, rage. Believe me, sometimes the reader will truly want to shake her and ask what the heck she is doing. The auxiliary characters are dev
Wendy MacKnight
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads
My confession: I know little to nothing about Nirvana, so I went into this book without any expectations or preconceptions about Kurt Cobain. I knew one Nirvana song. I didn't dislike Nirvana, but the whole grunge thing arrived when I was having kids. It was all I could do to keep up with REM and U2. But I didn't need to know anything, because Jenny Manzer's clear and compelling story catches me from page one and tells my everything I need to know along the way.

Haunted by the disappearance of h
Feb 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016
Okay. this book took me 2 months to finish because it was SO BORING. It was a Kurt Cobain biography with a boring sub plot about a *really sad* and *super anti society* teenager. Seriously, she was like, SO not into anything but grunge music, and like, she totally wore flannel even though it was not in style.

I THOUGHT this book was about a girl who talked to Kurt Cobain through a Ouija board and then finds love and herself and whatever.

This book is ACTUALLY about a girl who makes terrible life
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review was originally posted on [] cobaingif When Nevermind released in 1991 I was in 8th grade. I remember seeing the cover of the cassette tape with the swimming baby and being intrigued. The album opened my 13-year-old mind to new ideas and sounds. I remember the "cool" P.E. teacher letting us play the tape on Friday Free Days. Nirvana and by association, Kurt Cobain, helped shape my musical taste for years to come. So when I saw the title of this book, Save Me, Kurt Cobain, I kne ...more
Shawna Briseno
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
So as I gathered my thoughts together to review this book, I found myself wondering how many young adults today actually know who Kurt Cobain is. And I wondered if NOT knowing about him would diminish the quality of this book for them at all. In all honesty, probably. But that wasn't a problem for me because I'm old. Not really but still. Nico has always felt like a lost soul. I guess having your mother disappear when you're a young child will do that to you. Her greatest connection to her mom i ...more
Sonya Mukherjee
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In Save Me, Kurt Cobain, Jenny Manzer says of Kurt Cobain, "His voice could be harsh, or growling, or soft and sweet, or he could scream like a wounded crow." In a somewhat similar way, I found this book to encompass a wonderful mix of moods and tones, whose contradictions worked beautifully together. This book is full of very real sadness, and sometimes despair; yet it also has many funny and delightful moments, and a sense of fun mixed right through it. The narrative voice is unique, and that ...more
Feb 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this, I really did. But it just wasn't good. The story didn't feel like a story, there was too much info dumping. I didn't understand the character's motivation - the story circulated around her mother's disappearance that happened when she was four years old, alllllll of her personality was based around this one event, like she wasn't a person at all. This made her unrelatable and unrealistic. It was also not really written as a YA, Nico seemed too childish which to me is a sig ...more
Saania Zee Jamal ϟ
The title had me curious, the blurb has me confused but consider me captivated.
Apr 30, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
*Warning if you don't want to see me bash this book please avert your eyes and don't read this review*

This is probably THE WORST book I have ever read. It was absolutely awful. The writing did not flow at all. It would go off on so many tangents and just spout off all this unnecessary information that didn't add anything to the book and on top of that it was extremely repetitive and just plain BORING. Nico would go on and on and on about how she wanted to be an artist and how poor she was and ho
I read this in one sitting. It was impossible to put down, especially when you're trying to figure out whether (in the book's world) Kurt Cobain is still alive (I'd love to believe that myself), oh, and is he our main character's real father?

It's not just a gimmick. Nico, our protagonist, is searching for answers: what happened to her mother? What was her mother like? Why did she disappear?

If this book just focused on Kurt Cobain, it wouldn't work. Nico's obsessed with him and Nirvana (because
Kathleen Glasgow
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was such a pleasure to read. Manzer's crafted a completely engaging YA debut that I can't recommend highly enough, even for adults (if you were there for Nirvana, this book is going to hit all your emotional hot spots). Nico is a complicated, interesting, vulnerable girl on the prowl for her missing mother and the man she thinks may be her real father (could it be Kurt Cobain?). What I liked most about this book is its sub-plot: how well do ever really know our parents? To us, they are ...more
Stephanie Elliot
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
You don't have to be a Nirvana fan to love SAVE ME, KURT COBAIN! With Nico as the main character, you're immediately drawn into her world and her life. She's a little bit of a lost soul, having a mother who deserted her at the age of 4, and she doesn't have a strong relationship with her dad. When she finds some old music of her mom's, it sets the stage for a journey she never thought she'd be on. This is a book that when I finished it, I had a few unanswered questions, but I enjoyed it so much ...more
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
So I am stopping this at the 50% mark, right at the point where the main character follows a random middle aged man into his house and tries to convince him that he's Kurt Cobain. I guess it says right in the synopsis that the story is about the main character discovering that Kurt Cobain is alive and might be her father, but exactly half of the book was normal realistic fiction. And then I suppose you discover she is batshit crazy?
Tina ( As Told By Tina )
When I saw the bookings for Irish Banana tours and saw the title for this, I immediately wanted to read this. I need to read this. I wanted to read this because of Kurt Cobain. I became obsessed with Kurt Cobain after watching Montage of Heck a thousand times during the summer. When I was approved for the tour, I immediately jumped for joy and I couldn’t wait to dive it. I had some high expectations for this, but did the book live up to them?

I was worried that Kurt Cobain/Nirvana wouldn’t reall
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What drew me to this story, initially, was a sense of nostalgia. I was in high school and early college during grunge’s heyday and I was excited to read about a teen in 2016 who loves this music. Each chapter is named after a Nirvana song and the main character, Nico, finds comfort in the music that her mother loved. Nico’s mom disappeared when Nico was four, and even though her father rarely speaks of her, her mother’s presence weighs heavily on Nico every day. As a result of a growing desperat ...more
Brooks Benjamin
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Okay, this book whupped me. I cracked open the cover expecting a fun, quick read, but this was so much more. SO. MUCH. MORE. In honor of this story, I decided to list the top five reasons I loved this book, using carefully selected Nirvana tracks as my lead-ins.

Here they are:

1) "Talk to Me"
The descriptions in this book floored me. They're fantastic. Poetic. Delicious. We live in the world Nico's in, yet Jenny drenches it in such gor
Sarah Ahiers
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Nico is a girl who just feels lost, much of the time. Her mom vanished when she was a child, her father, while he tries hard, is only so good at being a dad. She has a single friend and together they shop for vintage clothes and grunge music, mostly Nirvana, Nico's favorite band.
But when on a holiday trip, Nico finds out that her mother met Kurt Cobain at a concert once, so she begins to search for clues for her mother's disappearance, which lead her to a cabin in the woods with a man who seems
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Jenny Manzer is the author of SAVE ME, KURT COBAIN, which was nominated for the Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize. She has a degree in Creative Writing and was a finalist for the 2013 CBC Creative Non-Fiction Prize, one of Canada’s most prestigious literary competitions. She lives with her family in Victoria, British Columbia and spends a lot of time at baseball games.