Review: Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee

Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee

Jeff Zentner is one of my all-time favorite authors. He is an auto-buy author for me and I will forever be one of his biggest supporters. That is why I was super excited about his latest release. So far this man has not written a bad book. A story about the power of friendships and coming of age? Sign me up.

This was the story of Josie and Delia. They were two friends who became hosts of a public access show dedicated to campy monster movies. It was a show that aired in the middle of the night and both of these girls dressed in character – and it worked. These two characters were different but they balanced each other out. Neither had come from an easy childhood nor had easy decisions to make for their future.

Delia’s reason for starting the public access show was for her father, who abandoned her when she was young. Watching campy classic monster movies was what they shared and Delia was desperate to hold on to what little she had left of him. She was also desperate to know why he left all of those years ago. Josie enjoyed being the co-host of the show but she knew it was not something she wanted to continue to do. She had to find a way to confess to her best friend that she was going to leave but her sense of responsibility may get the better of her.

This was another brilliant and complex story that kept me turning the pages well into the night. I could not get enough of this. I had not ever read a story set around a public access show and it was just so good. It was something I had not read before so the intrigue was certainly there. I know I’m going to struggle to let you, my faithful readers, know just how great this story was. I’m going to keep pushing on so bear with me…

The story was told in alternating POV and that helped give added depth to the characters. While I loved discovering how complex the characters were, I found I connected more with Delia. I felt Josie’s character and chapters had too much focus on her budding relationship with Lawson. I don’t know why I didn’t connect to them as much and I still cannot put my finger on it. My heart went out to Delia and the way she wanted to reconnect with her father. This poor girl really wanted to know why he left because she carried guilt that she was the reason he left. That could not have been easy to carry around. Her Mom also checked out so she went through most of her teenage years on her own. I would not wish that on anyone.

This story was not all cut-and-dry about two friends who were discovering their path in life… it also dealt with mental illness and the aftermath of being abandoned by a parent. Those are never easy topics but Zentner handled and addressed them with class and grace. The topics were addressed and came to resolution but there was humor also included. I found myself giggling and laughing, which is always a bonus for me. Please know that while there was humor, it did not take away from the serious topics. In a way, it helped to address them. I’m not sure how to word that properly but it all worked. Everything worked perfectly.

Zentner hit it out of the park with his latest novel. I will always highly recommend his books to everyone. If you haven’t already read his first two novels, The Serpent King and Goodbye Days, I urge you to do that now. They probably will make you ugly cry but you don’t want to miss out on them. You need them in your life, just like you need Delia and Josie. It will make you want to call your best friend and talk about everything and nothing at the same time. Pick up your copy of this one now.