“It’s comforting to know that you don’t have to be excellent to not be completely forgotten.”


rayne and delilah

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner

Josie and Delia are best friends, often mistaken for sisters, and hosts of the public access bad-horror-movie-featuring-show Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee. When new relationships enter the equation for Josie, and old ones get dug up with Delia, both girls feel like their perfect world is cracking. While Rayne Ravenscroft and Delilah Darkwood are immortal, both Josie and Delia are forced to reconcile with what it means to watch something end and that, just like in the movies they’re so familiar with, everything dies.

I was previously unfamiliar with Jeff Zentner’s writing, aware of The Serpent King, but never having actually read it. Frankly, I was blown away. The emotion and humor in his writing is nearly perfect, his characters nuanced while still being entertaining. My only complaint is that the pacing felt off, the first and second half of the book distinctly different.

While not everyone is as familiar with the world of horror hosting as Josie and Delia, there’s a show like Midnite Matinee for everyone. Something, maybe on public access TV, or local theatre, or the internet, that maybe isn’t the most high-quality production, packed with dumb jokes and fits of laughter, but with filled so much earnest enthusiasm that you can’t help but enjoy it. That’s one of the main things that I think makes this book so relatable. As Delia says, “Isn’t it amazing we live in a time when we have access to crappy art?”

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee was pleasantly surprising, Jeff Zentner once again proving himself to be one of the most thoughtful and talented YA authors today. The powerful characters and relatable circumstances made the book all the more enjoyable, on top of the smart writing and detailed metaphors.

Rating: 5 cheap plastic candelabras/5


Favorite Quotes:


  • “But the thing with a best friend is that you’re never talking about nothing. Even when you’re talking about nothing, it’s something. The times when you think you’re talking about nothing, you’re actually talking about how you have someone with whom you can talk about nothing, and it’s fine.”
  • “I’m glad things end, though. It forces you to love them ferociously while you have them. There’s nothing worth having that doesn’t die.”
  • “No one ever says on their deathbed they wish they’d loved fewer people.”




Review by: Ivy

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