Blog Tours, book reviews, spoiler free

Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee

40645629Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner

Rating: XXX

Published: March 7th 2019 by Andersen

“I want to keep living in this moment forever…take the hourglass and lay it on its side.”

Josie and Delia are best friends and co-hosts on their own public access TV show, Midnite Matinee. They dress as vampires Rayne and Delilah, perform daft skits involving skeleton raves and dog weddings, and introduce the weekly so-bad-it’s-good low-budget horror movie. But the end of senior year is coming, and Josie is torn between pursuing her television dreams in a new city or staying making TV with her BFF. What’s more, she’s just met a boy, Lawson, who is totally not her type, but is just a little bit intriguing . . . Meanwhile, Delia is searching for her dad, who walked out on her and her mom ten years ago. When the private investigator she hired unearths his contact details, she agonises over digging up the past.

A road trip to ShiverCon, a convention for horror filmmakers, may just have the answers the two need – but will Josie and Delia be prepared for life taking some seriously unexpected plot-twists?

I was gifted an early finished copy of Rayne and Delilah’s midnite Matinee by the lovely people at Andersen Press, alongside a lovely box of snacks perfect for film watching, in exchange for an honest review. As you quite possibly already know if you’ve been reading my blog for a little while, I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary books but when I heard about this one I knew it was for me. When I still lived at home with my parents, me, my best friend and my mum would watch scary or crappy films together all night on Saturday or Sunday night. We did this for years, even for a little while after I moved out and it’s only been the past four years since I had my son that we haven’t really found the time to be able to do so. I figured this book would recapture some of that and it did but at the same time told it’s own story.

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Rayne and Deliah’s Midnite Matinee is a bit of everything you would expect in a YA contemporary novel, there’s a strong friendship that is tested by what life throws at it, lessons to be learnt, hard choices to be made and a little bit of romance. The friendship dynamic between Josie and Delia felt off balance but I almost kind of liked that about them, on paper they probably shouldn’t work and it shows that often times they don’t but they care about each other enough to try and work through their differences. I did find I came to favour Delia much more than Josie and as a result, I was often angry at Josie and felt horrid for the situation Delia was stuck in. It’s certainly a complex friendship and a difficult message to convey about following your dreams, taking risks and really thinking about the consequences of your choices.

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For me personally I actually really enjoyed a lot of the ‘supporting’ characters, Delia’s mother in particular (and their relationship) was a chracters I found myself hugely invested in, not to mention Arliss and of course the real star of this book, Lawson. Obviously, this isn’t really his story but he quickly became my favourite thing about this book, his character feels complex, possibly more so than Josie, he has wants and goals of his own and he’s just so damn sweet and understanding. I could honestly go on about him for the whole of this review.

As for the overall plot, there were some slow moments, some emotional moments but also the occasional annoying moment when a character (usually Josie) really got on my nerves. By the end, we do get a few moments that feel genuinely tense but for the most part, the last third is absoloutley crackers and super over the top. The ending is however totally redeemed for me by the conclusion, where each character ends up, emotionally and physically by the end warmed my heart and gave me a terrible idea…

A month or so ago after I finished reading Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee, me and my mum found time, we gathered snacks, we picked films (well I let mum pick films because I’m a coward), turned off the lights, turned up the surround sound (which is evil) and sat down to watch some “scary” films. In a moment of weakness, I figured we’d film our reactions as an extra bit to spice up this blog tour post. Apparently, I scream and yell a lot while my mum laughs at me and this is what I missed the most about our evenings together, just being silly and hanging out with my mum while we watch terrible special effects, succumb to jump scares and stuff our faces.

(The good stuff, i.e the screaming and jumping starts around 6:06. I will not judge for skipping me and my mum chatting about horror films for six minutes.)

We all love some cruddy films, I personally adore Jupiter Ascending and would watch that garbage fire of writing, croaky yet shouty Eddie Redmayne and questionable dog person any day. Also, did I mention Sean Bean is a bee person? Because yeah. Either way, there’s always something we love that is not considered to be good but we love it in spite of or maybe because of that. Below author of Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee has written a review for one of this favourite ‘bad’ films and another one that my family have taken to watching every year, Polar Express.

Polar Express is a modern holiday classic and, it must be said, a very bad movie.
Let’s get the most obvious observation out of the way: the characters in this movie
look like garbage. They’re walking nightmares with the dead, glassy eyes of
reanimated corpses. Never before has something intended to be cute so badly
misfired.
Let’s talk about Tom Hanks for a second. This won’t win me any friends: I like Tom
Hanks in maybe half of what he’s ever done. I hated Forrest Gump. He does the
worst Southern accent on the planet, next to Kevin Spacey, but aside from ill-advised
YouTube videos, I think we’re pretty much done hearing it. It’s his cellmate’s problem
soon.
Back to Tom Hanks. He inexplicably plays every adult in this movie and he’s terrible
in every role. He’s a massive prick as the train conductor. Like, seriously, you’re
going to throw a kid off the magic train because they don’t have a ticket? It’s not like
they paid for the ticket, so WTF do you care? You plucked them from their house in
the middle of the night and then you’re going to abandon them in the snowy tundra
because they don’t have a ticket? Why did you stop to pick them up? But his
awfulness as the train conductor is nothing compared to his ghastliness as the ghost
hobo. Why is he playing a hurdy-gurdy? What a bizarre choice. Also, his “Santa
Claus” impression is as frightening as anything that’s ever been committed to film.
Don’t even get me started on how hard he laughs at his own leering joke about
looking for a girl. He sounds like he’s talking about looking for a girl to murder and
wear her skin.
This movie is all over the place tonally. There’s that hot chocolate song-and-dance
scene, which rules, but it also sets you up to think, “oh this is gonna be some kind of
musical with spectacular choreographic set pieces.” But nope! There’s one more
sorta subdued song and that’s it. It’s like they did “hot chocolate” and they were like
“wow, that was entirely too much work.” And then there are the two goofy train

conductor guys who look like cartoon characters amidst the other zombie characters.
They’ve come straight out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
I’ve seen this movie probably nine times. The scene where the Polar Express goes
down that steep grade puts my stomach in my throat every time. The scene where
the ticket flies out of the train and ends up back in it? Makes my heart soar. This
movie is terrible. I absolutely love it.

Thank you so much to Andersen Press for my gifted copy and including me in this fun blog tour! Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour which you can find in the graphic below.

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Do you have a favourite ‘bad’ film, tv show or book? Tell me more about it! Tell me what makes you love it so much and what makes it so terrible at the same time.

 

 

 

book reviews, book talk, spoiler free

Only Love Can Break Your Heart Review

37903962.jpgOnly Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber

Rating: XXXXX

Published August 2nd 2018 by Walker Books Ltd.

Sometimes a broken heart is all you need to set you free… Reiko loves the endless sky and electric colours of the Californian desert. It is a refuge from an increasingly claustrophobic life of family pressures and her own secrets. Then she meets Seth, a boy who shares a love of the desert and her yearning for a different kind of life. But Reiko and Seth both want something the other can’t give them. As summer ends, things begin to fall apart. But the end of love can sometimes be the beginning of you…

From the title I kind of figured this book would break my heart. What I experienced instead was so much more and although I love a good cry from a book (and there was certainly that don’t get me wrong) Only Love Can Break Your Heart was so much more than heartbreaking, it was infuriating and confusing and uplifting, heartwarming, wise and special. The only other book I’ve read that felt similar to this for me was Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman and although it doesn’t quite cover mental health and other aspects in quite the same way the book made me feel some of the same things and left the same feeling in my gut when I finished it, like a deep breath as you ready yourself for whatever the future holds.

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Only Love Can Break Your Heart is a tough book to read in some ways, well at least it was for me. It may look deceptively pretty, fluffy and not too big a read but let me tell you the stuff that is in this book kind of blew my mind a little. For the longest time I did not like Reiko and certainly not Seth.They are, however written FANTASTICALLY! It’s hard to describe because it’s not a case of I love to hate them or anything and they’re certainly not nice people but you know what ARE ANY OF US? A big thing I took away from this book is absolutely none of us are perfect and that’s okay! We learn when we mess up, we deal with things and sometimes we need help and only we can really choose what we take away from the day-to-day events in our lives and the lives of those around us.

Getting towards the end of this book and looking back at the person I was when I started reading it was startling, my feelings changed so much throughout and I wish I had taken more notes because it was a rollercoaster of a ride. I love a book that can make you feel and a book that can make you think but isn’t weighed down by the weight of it. This book deals with the death/loss of a loved one on a very personal level and approaches a lot of other things like self-worth and the way you want others to perceive you along with more I’m sure I’ve missed.

This is definitely a book worth reading, the characters are developed well and very easy to visualise and remember. They are some gorgeous settings and moments throughout and as someone who hates dry sand and the heat it’s made me want to go explore the desert. Katherine’s writing style is smooth and flows with a particular brilliance to it, scenes move well and she’s great at moving the story along and trimming the parts that are important enough to be mentioned but not enough to need a play by-play without making us as readers feel like we’re missing out. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, another favourite I feel and a solid XXXXX  rating.