My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

ARC Review & Author Giveaway: Save Me, Kurt Cobain

Please Note: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher as part of Irish Banana's Blog tour in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence my opinions in my review in any way.

Synopsis (From GoodReads):

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.


I have a small confession to make:  I don't know anything about Nirvana or Kurt Cobain.  How can that be, you ask?  Were you living under a rock during the 90's?  Well, actually I was living in Japan from 1991 to 1994, so I completely missed Nirvana's rise and implosion.  So as I read Save Me, Kurt Cobain, it was like discovering a secret treasure trove of music.

The story begins with Nico obsessing over her long-gone mother.  Disappearing ten years earlier,  Nico doesn't really know if her Mom abandoned her family, or if something terrible happened to her.  She loves music and begins to realize her mom was obsessed with Kurt Cobain and Nirvana.  

Each chapter of the book is named after one of Nirvana's songs.  As I read the book, I turned on Pandora and found most of the songs.  I recommend listening to each song as you read the chapters.  They are very relevant to the story and add depth to the experience.

Nico's attentions go from wondering about her mom to thinking knowing a man she runs into on the ferry IS Kurt Cobain.  And could he actually be her father?  Apparently Nico's mom was a groupie and the timing is about right.  Nico looks a lot like Kurt Cobain.

I felt as though I was either witnessing Nico descend into delusion,  or having this book go from realistic YA fiction to YA fantasy.  It made me really uncomfortable and confused.  The reader really doesn't know until almost the end of the book if this guy is Kurt Cobain or not.

It may seem as though I did not like this book. But I really did like it.  It was so different from other books I have read and had a very poignant ending.  I rooted for Nico the entire time and wanted her to have a life out of the shadow of her missing mom.  It is a heart-breaking, but very satisfying novel.  

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.


Release Date:  March 8th, 2016

Source:  Publisher

Format:  Hardcover ARC book (Thank you!)

Recommendation: A powerful book that blends a love of music with the confusion of finding your own way in life.  This is a wonderful book.

The author is graciously hosting a rafflecopter giveaway!

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  1. Awesome review! I am also one of the few people who isn't very familiar with Kurt Cobain's music myself. I was born in 1994 and I didn't listen to much music growing up. I didn't learn about Nirvana until I was older.

    1. Thank you1 Wasn't listening to them a revelation? I kind of felt like Nico, discovering this wonderful sound along with her. I hope you will read the book and enjoy it.

  2. Your review is spot on with other reviewers I've read. I love that this book is unique and emotional. Music is such a powerful part of our lives and I can't wait to read how this author uses that.

    1. Each chapter is titled with a different Nirvana song, which is relevant to what happens. It is very clever.

    2. I read another review of this and the reviewer wasn't too fond of it. However, I do think it sounds interesting. I was born in 1990 so I didn't really witness the whole Nirvana rise and fame either.

      Majanka @ I Heart Reading

    3. Hi Manjanka. I was confused for a while reading this book. Could the author actually be suggesting that Nico's dad was Kurt Cobain? But after I finished it, I realized that reading this book was a journey that I was taking along with the main character. My confusion was her confusion. As it was resolved, I could feel how things were falling into place for Nico. It was a very satisfying ending.


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