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

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: February 24, 2019
Source: Borrowed

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.

I’d never read a Jeff Zentner book before picking up Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee, and I ended up being so pleasantly surprised by it. The story focuses around two teenage girls who host a late public access horror movie show, one of which wants to be famous and the other who is just sort of along for the ride.

I never did anything quite so cool as hosting a late-night show with my best friend when I was in high school, but this book took me back to those days in the best kind of way. During your last year of high school, there’s so much uncertainty and so much hope (and fear) at what the future might bring. Zentner captured that perfectly in this book, and I loved it so much.

My favorite part of this book was the show that Delia and Josie created. These two teenage girls have done more with their life than I have, and I’m probably a good decade older than them! Their show airs in a few different markets, and they have enough viewers to get fan mail and reasonably try to take it a step further than public access. I’m not a horror movie fan at all, but I’d watch their show just for the sassy commentary.

The book did end up taking kind of a weird turn, which is why I didn’t give it five stars. There’s a side plot/tangent that goes on for a while and is a little odd. It’s almost funny when it’s not heartbreaking, but it kind of detracted from the main story.

Still, this book was a ton of fun and if you’re looking for a book about a strong friendship and going for your goals, I’d definitely recommend this.

Have you read Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee? Is it on your TBR?
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