Title: Save Me, Kurt Cobain
Author: Jenny Manzer
My Rating: ★★★★
Goodreads Summary: “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 was pulled in from the very page. Nico, the narrator, starts talking about the day her mother disappeared, which is sad of course. However, it makes me want to know more about her mother and the story behind her disappearance. The pacing is good after the beginning, too. Nothing felt too fast or too slow, and kept me interested throughout the book. Because of the pacing and the intriguing storyline, Save Me, Kurt Cobain was a fun and fast read.
One of the things I really liked about this book are the chapter titles, because they are Nirvana song titles. They helped give an idea of what the chapter would be about in a creative way. Additionally, I liked how there were some musical puns/references throughout the book. It helped tie the book together, and was just cool to read. For example:
“I hate myself and I want to die, I thought, trying it on for size. I’m not even sure the words held any meaning. I wondered if that was how Kurt Cobain felt singing the band’s big hits over and over.”
(I Hate Myself and I Want To Die is a Nirvana song).
The characters in Save Me, Kurt Cobain are nowhere near boring. Every character has an interesting story and quirks, which made them fun to read about. Not only are the characters interesting and intriguing, but they are also easy to relate to.
I haven’t made this disclaimer yet, so I guess I’ll make it now: although I would recommend this book to most people, if you dislike 90’s alternative rock music, I would definitely not recommend this book. (But if you don’t…why?! Not even Smells Like Teen Spirit? Not even Miss World?) Here’s why: (even though it’s pretty self explanatory), that’s exactly what the book is about. That being said, if you like Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, or any other 90’s alternative rock band, you will find yourself right at home here. Other than reminding me why I love Nirvana so much (too much. I think it’s actually bad for my health), this book reminded me that I really need to go listen to Mudhoney, Bikini Kill, Sonic Youth, etc. since I haven’t gotten around to that yet…
As many books do, this book hit me right in the feels. This book hit me in a different part of my feels though. It hit my Nirvana feels over and over again. (And passed them back and forth…)
(“Chew my meat for you/pass it back and forth in a passionate kiss/from my mouth to yours” are lyrics from Drain You, a song off of Nevermind. Also, the Foo Fighters have a great song called Back and Forth I would also recommend).
Anyway…the descriptions of Kurt and the band as a whole are so good and accurate. It reminded me of how great they really were and made me a little sad, too, because of what I just said. For example:
“When Kurt Cobain played his guitar, he looked weightless, like a blonde marionette. I can still picture the black-and-white concert photos of him. Rising up, slamming down the chords, then smashing stuff.”
Not only the way he performed, but also who he was as a person. For example:
“Cobain had shunned mainstream popularity on one hand while rabidly pursuing rock stardom with the other, berating his managers for inadequate promotion, and dumping Seattle’s Sub Pop for a bigger label. Cobain was, it seemed, the most ambitious twentysomething slacker you could ever meet.”
Overall, Save Me, Kurt Cobain was a good book that tells a unique story about loss, friendship and really good music.
Comment Below: Have you read a good book related to music you would recommend?