Save Me Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer
YA Contemporary, 2016 by Delacorte Press, 272 Pages
What I Didn’t Like:
- There are some awkward jumps in time or story. I got used to it as the story wore on and I just accepted that this was the style of the narrator. But it was jarring the first few times.
- It felt like it was glossing over big feelings of suicide from the main character. I should say it’s NEVER EXPLICITLY mentioned that this was something she was considering, only hinted at. I think the clues were there that this is what she was thinking about, but I missed it at first. Even when I realized it, I had the thought that some readers may still not fully grasp that it was what we were talking about. I almost wanted it to be more explicit, if that makes sense. This is dangerous ground we’re tiptoeing down by opening this topic without having fully open conversations.
- The completely unfair aggression toward the father in this one made me a little irritated. Verne has been there for you your entire life. It’s pretty clear he’s sacrificed a lot to give you what you have. But she’s bratty and ungrateful, complaining about the lack of money and the second hand things. She even questions if he is really her father. It definitely didn’t make me like the main character.
What I Did Like:
- Music references. I had fun looking up and listening to some of the songs I either hadn’t heard or hadn’t heard in a long time.
- Cobain references, facts, and conspiracy theories. Obviously, this author did her research on Cobain and it came through loud and clear. I had fun with that.
- Really the idea of setting a story like this today was interesting. This is the kind of story I’d expect to see back in the 90s. The obsession with grunge, the collecting of CDs, traveling without a cell phone (or at least with it off), getting into trouble, and the lack of GPS all really made this feel like a 90s story. It was nostalgic in that way.
Who Should Read This One:
- That’s tricky because I feel like the people who would get the most out of this one are that little intersection of hardcore Cobain/Nirvana fans and teenagers struggling with big feelings. But if that’s you … HEY, I have a book for you!
My Rating: 2 Stars.
- For me the glossing over of something like suicidal thoughts in a book for teens is problematic. Even a helpline would be a welcome addition and, in my opinion, that is literally the least you can do.