Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner

Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee

by Jeff Zentner

"Anyone can break your heart--Jeff Zentner can also make you laugh out loud!" --RAINBOW ROWELL, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Carry On and Eleanor & Park

From the Morris Award-winning author of The Serpent King comes 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 laughed, cried, and fell over-the-moon in love with Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee." --JENNIFER NIVEN, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe

"A testament to the power of friendship and big dreams, Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee had me laughing aloud on one page and sobbing on the next. A resounding triumph." --NIC STONE, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin

"Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee starts as comedy about the wildly imperfect, and ends as poetry about the ever-hoping heart. I don't know how you write that book. Fortunately, Jeff Zentner does." --JESSE ANDREWS, New York Times bestselling author of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Reviewed by [email protected] on

5 of 5 stars

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THIS book is yet another example of why I will continue to read every book Jeff Zentner writes. He made me laugh, he made me cry, he made me care, and he did so well.

Many upper YA books take on those BIG life changes that teens that age face. The end of high school brings many new beginnings, but some beginnings are accompanied by endings. Delia and Josie may have been best friends, but they now found themselves on divergent paths.

For Josie it meant leaving home and leaving Delia. She would have to adjust to a new city, a new school, new friends, a new job, and a life with a lot less Delia. She was dealing with all the anxiety that accompanies leaving the nest, but she was also weighed down with a lot of guilt when it came to Delia.

Delia had been dealing with feelings of abandonment for over a decade since her father left and never looked back. He left, her other best friend left, and now Josie was going to leave too. My heart totally went out to Delia. It's never fun being the one left behind, and when your own father can up and sever all ties with you, what would keep someone, who is only a friend from doing the same? She just broke my heart, and I wanted to give her the most fierce hugs a person could give, over and over again.

BUT, not to worry, because let me tell you, most of this book is chockfull of hilarity. Delia and Josie were such a fantastic pair. I adored the way they played off each other and their Seinfeldesque discussions about nothing were a thing of beauty.

He also gave us a most wonderful love interest with Lawson. Gosh! He immediately captured my heart, and my love for him just grew and grew with everyone of his on page appearances. He had all those soft boy qualities I love, as well as being an MMA fighter and an avid SFF reader. He was sweet and lovely and he wore his heart on his sleeve. Oh, and, the romance was precious and perfect.

I will admit, Orlando was a mixed bag for me. The stuff with Devine took a real over the top turn, but the chapters that followed were so beautiful and emotional, that I just didn't really care what happened before that. Zentner did some wonderful things for these characters in those last few characters. I found myself simultaneously shedding happy and sad tears as I sported a HUGE grin.

Other things I loved:

• Buford
• Arliss
• The Random Josie Observations test
• Improbable animal encounters 🐘 + 🐬
• "Fan" mail
• Road trip
• Nods to The Serpent King and Goodbye Days

Overall: This was a beautiful story about friendship, love, moving on, and letting go. It was about beginnings and endings and appreciating the lessons learned along the way.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 17 February, 2019: Finished reading
  • 17 February, 2019: Reviewed