Book Review: Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner

Rayne & Delilah's Midnite MatineeTitle: Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee
Author: Jeff Zentner
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary

A contemporary novel about two best friends who must make tough decisions about their futures--and the TV show they host--in their senior year of high school. Every Friday night, best friends Delia and Josie become Rayne Ravenscroft and Delilah Darkwood, hosts of the campy creature feature show Midnite Matinee on the local cable station TV Six. But with the end of senior year quickly approaching, the girls face tough decisions about their futures. Josie has been dreading graduation, as she tries to decide whether to leave for a big university and chase her dream career in mainstream TV. And Lawson, one of the show's guest performers, a talented MMA fighter with weaknesses for pancakes, fantasy novels, and Josie, is making her tough decision even harder. Scary movies are the last connection Delia has to her dad, who abandoned the family years ago. If Midnite Matinee becomes a hit, maybe he'll see it and want to be a part of her life again. And maybe Josie will stay with the show instead of leaving her behind, too. As the tug-of-war between growing up and growing apart tests the bonds of their friendship, Josie and Delia start to realize that an uncertain future can be both monstrous...and momentous.

When I thought I couldn't love Jeff Zentner's book any more than I do, he goes and puts this amazing story out in the world. Tell me, tell me, how do you do it, sir?

Josie and Delia are our two point-of-view characters. It took me a little to catch on to their individual voices and thought patterns, but once I did, I had no trouble distinguishing the two. They are both as different as two people can be except they have one thing in common - they put on a weekly Saturday public access television program that's quirky, cheesy, nerdy, and a wonderful mess. Their alter egos are Rayne Ravenscroft (Josie) and Delilah Darkwood (Delia). The public access show is the star of this story as things are revealed that directly connects the dots to the character arcs.

I also thought that both personalities acted as a foil for one another, as Delia is going through a more significant and dramatic time in her life, trying to fill a void left by the dad that abandoned her. On the other hand, Josie is going through a more mellow, but no less important, time as she's trying to decide what she wants to do post high school. But both perspectives absolutely are true to the raw angst we experience when we're 17-18 years old. It's been a while since I've related to a contemporary YA containing the exact same emotions and thoughts that floated my young mind my senior year of high school.

This book does some amazing things. It presents an honest female friendship, it gives us a swoon-worthy romance, and we are blessed with a set of secondary characters that not easily forgettable. (One of my favorites was Arliss.) The story eventually leads to this ridiculous scene that involves the Russian mafia and such an outlandish scenario that I couldn't help but love it all.

This book made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions (which is difficult to do), it also made me cry, and ultimately, it made me feel so many emotions that amped up my nostalgia. I sped through this one pretty fast but stopped a couple of times to mark quotes I loved. 

I hope you all have a chance to pick this one up because I promise, you will not be disappointed. It has something for every reader.

As always, happy reading!


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