Morning, book nerds!
Guess who’s posting two days in a row? It’s me! It’s me!
In all honesty it’s not really that shocking given Hubby was out of town for the weekend, which left me a lot of solo time between my nightly engagements (read: seeing 🎶HAMILTON🎶 and attending the last 💚Dallas Stars💚 regular season game!).
So basically I spent Friday night in awe and crying at the perfection that is Hamilton, Saturday screaming and cheering for my boys, and Sunday reading and catching up on reviews. Here’s hoping this is a step in the right direction! 😊
Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
Title & Author: Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: February 26, 2019 (Hubby’s birthday 🥰)
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Series Details: Standalone
Page Count: 400 pages
Thank you so much to Crown Books for Young Readers for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
“Goooooooooood evening, boys and ghouls, zombies and zombettes, witches and warlocks, this is Midnite Matinee…”
All it takes is that punny intro from Rayne & Delilah’s TV Six Studio show, and we’re immediately informed of what kind of humor — and characters — we’ll be interacting with throughout this coming-of-age contemporary.
(And that’s not to knock it. I genuinely laughed. Often.)
Josie (a.k.a. Rayne Ravenscroft) and Delia (Delilah Darkwood) are best friends that run a weekly horror movie skit and commentary show at their local public access station. And while their back-and-forth zingers kept me chuckling, there’s not much else this duo has in common:
“I think it means there’s something great inside me, something extraordinary and mysterious and undiscovered.”
Josie is the confident, charismatic, female lead that seems to have the world by the balls. She comes from a wealthy (and seemingly happy) family with the connections to make her TV-centric dreams attainable. And though at times (read: often!) she came across as snobby and flirted with the “manic pixie dream girl” characterization, she does attempt to change her ways (thanks to exposure to new situations and social groups) by the end of the novel.
“You know what the worst part is about your dad leaving you? It makes you scared to trust anyone or anything, because if your dad can leave you, who wont?”
Delia, on the other hand, is basically Josie’s polar opposite (read: far more interesting character). Suffering from depression and rejection issues that stem from her father abandoning her at a young age, she finds solace in the B-grade horror films he left behind. Desperate to reconnect with her father, Delia puts all her hopes and dreams into her skit show in hopes that he’ll see it one day and come and find her. And even though she feels damaged and often places her frustrations on the wrong people, we see her on the path to healing by the end.
Set in Jackson, Tennessee the novel is a love letter to teens from both sides of the tracks trying to figure out “what comes next” after high school. What universities should they attend, if any? What should they do with their growing public access show? Should they pursue romantic relationships if there’s an end-of-summer expiration date? Will they stay friends if distance is thrown into the mix? Were they ever really friends in the first place?
While Zentner answers these questions, we come to really know these girls, their humor, and their doubts and fears. He sprinkles in a strong cast of side characters (here’s looking at you and the steamy pancake scene Lawson 😍), solid mental health and poverty rep, and an overly cheesy yet satisfying ending.
And while I’d love to give my first foray into Zentener’s works all 5-Stars I had to dock a star for the ENTIRE Jack Devine/Shivercon portions. You know what this book didn’t need? Russian mob subplots. I honestly STILL don’t have words to explain that writing tangent. So let’s just move on, shall we?
“It’s comforting to know that you don’t have to be excellent to not be completely forgotten.”
At the end of the day this novel made me laugh, reminiscence, and reminded me that sometimes the “small and unspectacular things can be a universe.” It stresses the importance of finding your light and shining it as best you can for yourself, because at the end of the day you finding worth in yourself is what matters most.
All quotes were taken from an advanced copy and may not match the final release.
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