Title: Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee
Written by: Jeff Zentner
Published by: Anderson Press
Originally, Delia was going to host a TV show with her best friend Jesmyn, but she moved to Nasville, leaving Josie to fill her shoes. Josie’s ambition is a dream career on mainstream TV with her flawless teeth, long honey-blond hair and Scarlett Johansen voice, but she knows absolutely nothing about horror movies. In contrast, Delia is a horror movie fanatic but lousy at TV. Together they make a great team. Every Friday night they become Rayne Ravenscroft and Delilah Darkwood hosts of their own public access TV show, Midnite Matinee, on the local cable station TV Six. They dress as vampires, perform crazy stunts involving skeleton raves and dog weddings, they show low budget horror movies which used to belong to Deliah’s dad and roast viewers letters about the show with the help of their trusty puppet, Frankenstein W. Frahn-ken-shteen.
Written in two voices, Josie and Deliah’s, this novel has a theme of loyalty and friendship verses following your dreams. Josie and Deliah are at a crossroads in their lives. It is their last year at school and they have some big decisions to make. Deliah is searching for her Dad who walked out on her and her mum ten years ago. Her last connection to him are the horror movies they show on Midnite Matinee, which they used to watch together before he left. She has hired a private investigator to find him. She believes, if Midnite Matinee becomes a success, her dad might see it and get in touch and Josie won’t leave for university and to get experience on the national Food Network. Josie is torn between staying and pursuing her television dreams in a new city. Meeting 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.
Jeff Zentner’s snappy dialogue is brilliant. He epitomises the character’s quirks and idiosyncrasies perfectly. I laughed out loud several times, especially at the Idiot twins, Colt and Hunter McAllen who only have a bit part, but in my opinion deserve their own book. The story gallops full speed ahead in an eclectic mix of narrative, emails, texts and letters that conveys a realistic picture of society today and how social media and instant communication rules over our lives.
A fun read that encompasses all the twists and turns of modern family life in a small American town.
This book review was previously published on the online Armadillo Children’s Book Review Magazine.