My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: February 26th, 2019
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Friendship, Family, WEIRDNESS
What the hell happened to Jeff Zentner? THE SERPENT KING was beautiful and well-written. GOODBYE DAYS was emotional and original and all sorts of great. But RAYNE & DELILAH’S MIDNITE MATINEE is nothing like those two books. It’s dull and kind of weird. I do believe Jeff Zentner has his own style, different from other Young Adult authors, but this is a new weird even for him.
I didn’t connect with any of it. I didn’t feel the sympathy, the empathy that the characters were trying(?) to convey. Josie and Delilah are best friends and the story is narrated by the two of them alternately and yet I struggled to distinguish their voices. If I wasn’t given clues in the story about whose point of view I was reading at a given moment, I could barely figure it out on my own based on the ‘‘voice’’ alone. Besides, although Josie and Delilah are there for each other, they very rarely have meaningful moments that point to their emotional ‘‘best friend’’ connection.
‘‘It gets exhausting mothering my mother.’’
‘‘I hear you,’’ Josie says. ‘‘But let me just say that having a mother who is always a mother is overrated.’’
It’s just so… meh. I debated giving it a one-star rating but I think I won’t because I’ve read worse and it’s not an awful story. It just gets so weird at times, especially with regards to the Midnite Matinee show. The first 50 pages are nuts, and I don’t mean in a good way. I’m not sure even children would find the Midnite Matinee amusing. It’s nothing but a collection of randomness that made me laugh at absolutely no point in the story.
Man, I don’t know what happened. I hope Jeff Zentner’s next book will be better because this was not one bit a winner. I want to say that I liked the premise and not the execution but even the premise is kind of dull. The writing style is good, but what is written about not really. Thank u, next.
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