STARRED REVIEW
March 2019

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee

By Jeff Zentner
Review by

Josie and Delia are so similar that they’re often confused for sisters, especially when they’re decked out as their alter egos Rayne Ravenscroft and Delilah Darkwood in order to host their campy public access horror show, “Midnite Matinee.” But as graduation approaches, Josie dreads having to choose between staying in her hometown with Delia and leaving to pursue her TV career. Delia, meanwhile, is desperate to find a way to make each Saturday broadcast of “Midnite Matinee” good enough to hold Josie’s attention and maybe even bring back her own estranged father. 

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Josie and Delia are so similar that they’re often confused for sisters, especially when they’re decked out as their alter egos Rayne Ravenscroft and Delilah Darkwood in order to host their campy public access horror show, “Midnite Matinee.” But as graduation approaches, Josie dreads having to choose between staying in her hometown with Delia and leaving to pursue her TV career. Delia, meanwhile, is desperate to find a way to make each Saturday broadcast of “Midnite Matinee” good enough to hold Josie’s attention and maybe even bring back her own estranged father. 

Tensions come to a head, but eventually the friends realize that moving on doesn’t have to mean breaking up. In Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee, bestselling author Jeff Zentner (Goodbye Days) trades in his signature weightiness for a story filled with campy humor and a dash of feminism as he takes us behind the scenes of Josie and Delia’s public access show—and their friendship. But in making the shift in tone, Zentner has successfully retained his knack for crafting unique and charming teen characters who are tackling tough issues—like abandonment and mental illness—with grace and wit.

Josie and Delia’s spitfire dialogue will have readers in stitches, while the tough lessons they learn about growing up (despite all their best efforts) will be a powerful catharsis for anyone who’s felt the pain and loss that so often comes with changing friendships.

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