Rayne & Delilah’s Midnight Matinee by Jeff Zentner

Writing: 4/5 Plot: 3/5 Characters: 3.5/5

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House Children’s through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The book will be published on Feb. 26, 2019.

A funny and poignant YA book about friendship and making your way in the world. Jackson, Tennessee High School seniors Josie Howard and Delia Wilkes are best friends who created and host their own public access television show. Midnight Matinee is a campy creature-feature complete with dorky attire, low budget “so-bad-it’s-good” horror movies, and two delightfully risible, costumed, witchy hosts named Rayne and Delilah.

As BFFs Josie and Delia work through what will happen to the show and their friendship after high school, the action is peppered with a search for a long-lost, deadbeat, dad; a cartoonishly over-the-top sequence with a has-been film producer and his Russian mafia sidekick; a slowly developing love story with the world’s greatest guy and wannabe MMA champion; and plenty of (gratuitous?) butt and fart jokes.

The writing is good — some hysterically funny live and text-based banter (the collection of one-line descriptions of country music alone is worth the price of admission) mixed with heartfelt scenes of connection, questioning, and resolve.

Great for fans of John Green.

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