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 was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book from NetGalley to read in return for an honest review. This is one of my highly anticipated 2019 releases completely because of Chelsea Dolling Reads talking about it on her channel all the time. So, when I saw it on NetGalley I couldn’t resist hitting that request button. Much to my surprise, I was approved and immediately dove into the story. I have to mention, there was an author’s note in the beginning that I’m not sure if it will be in the final copy, but it talked about where the inspiration for this story came from and that it was intended to be funny with a few serious moments here and there (the opposite of the rest of his books that focus on heavy topics with a few moments of funny). I mention this because I have to say that Jeff Zentner NAILED it. I do most of my ebook reading when my daughter is napping, she’s usually falling asleep in my arms before I put her down. Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee was the WRONG book to read during naptime. I was legitimately laughing out loud at times and praying I hadn’t woken up my child. Thankfully, I didn’t but there were some really close calls.
I loved our two main characters. I’ll start with Josie. Josie reminds me of parts of myself in high school. All the good and positive (read: angsty) parts of myself. She’s happy with her friends she mostly knows what she’s doing with her life, she meets a great guy that she tries not to let take over her life despite the strong feelings she has for him. She also tries really hard to please everyone. She wants to make her parents happy, but making them happy means disappointing Delia which is the last thing she wants to do. She was also sassy and unapologetic about what she loves and wants. I really loved Josie.
As much as I enjoyed Josie, Delia was most definitely my favorite. I could relate all too well to the things she was going through. Dealing with the fact that her father left when she was a kid and she never knew why, she clings to his memory with their shared love of old horror movies. She spends this book clinging to those in her life that she loves and trying to come to terms with the fact that her father left. She is terrified that everyone she loves will always leave her. This is something I went through in high school and even parts of college. Having an absentee parent, one that leaves when you’re young, really leaves you with a lasting fear that if your own parent won’t stick around, why would anyone else? I felt for Delia because I have struggled with the same feelings that she is trying to accept and move past in these pages. But like Delia, I had a best friend that did her best to hold me together. We shared a love of books and she’s my partner in crime (Yes, I’m talking about Antonia.)
I think the friendship between Josie and Delia was the heart and soul of this book. The dynamic they have was everything. They made me laugh and warmed my heart with their love for one another. They fight and forgive and laugh and cry and I loved every page with my whole heart.
Overall, I adored this book. I recommend it to anyone that loves a friendship-based story. This was well written and full of everything good. Excellent and well-developed characters, funny moments, sad moments, heartwarming moments. I really couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.