“Sometimes small and unspectacular things can be a universe.”
For most of high school best friends Delia and Josie have spent every Friday night transforming themselves into Delilah Darkwood and Rayne Ravenscroft, hosts of Midnite Matinee their public access show on TV Six where they show a campy B (or C) horror movie with their own shorts in between.
The movies are never good and Delia and Josie’s segments aren’t much better, but it’s their show that they built up from scratch which counts for a lot. Even if it isn’t enough to ensure the show will continue now that high school is ending.
Josie is eager to pursue her lifelong dream of being on television when she goes to college but isn’t sure what to do when her dreams might be leading her away from her hometown and her best friend.
Delia, meanwhile, is desperate to find a way to help Midnite Matinee grow beyond its current syndication so that Josie can pursue her dream without leaving Delia behind the way her father did.
With one last summer to make it big or call it quits, Delia and Josie’s friendship and their show will be tested as they confront old hurts, embrace new dreams, and take one epic road trip to a horror convention with the potential to change everything in Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee (2019) by Jeff Zentner.
Zentner’s latest standalone contemporary is a funny, strange story that explores all of the things that brought Josie and Delia together and all of the things that are starting to pull them in different directions.
Josie and Delia alternate first person narration in this story and by the end of the novel both girls completely won me over. Although Delia and Josie are facing some big decisions, they do it all with levity and obvious affection for each other as well as the other important people in their lives.
Zentner has filled this book with Easter eggs from his earlier novels as well as some amazing jokes–I can’t reveal too much but let’s just say I’m still cracking up about the baby Basset Hounds.
Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee is a story about big dreams, big chances, and the mediocre results we sometimes end up with as a result. Josie and Delia are hilarious, endearing, and some of my favorite characters to date. Highly recommended.
Possible Pairings: Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo, The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo, Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen, The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta, Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills, Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke, How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford, Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood