On Santa Claus Lane

Review by Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews


The distinction between “being unique” and “not fitting in” may sound subtle, but there is a world of difference between them. Being unique is considered something to be proud of, while not fitting in leads to feeling excluded and not quite knowing what you’re supposed to do with your life. Rudy has this issue in spades and I really felt for him. With his parents’ home address on Santa Claus Lane you’d think Rudy would have grown up happier than he did, but sometimes it takes longer for someone to find their spot in the world – and I was happy to see that this story ends up with Rudy finally figuring out his happy place.

Rudy is home with his parents and sister in a quaint little place in California for the first time in over a decade, but as happy as he is to see them all again, he misses his ex with a vengeance. He doesn’t want to long for a man who dumped him, but the breakup is too recent for Rudy to have dealt with it. And I can’t blame him – after twelve years of living with Boris in Finland and hoping they’d finally be able to get married when same-sex marriage became legal, Rudy is devastated that Boris refused.

Despite the loss and the longing Rudy feels for what he has lost, this story has a very warm feeling. There are lots of family details, some wonderful secondary characters, a setting that is as quirky as it is idyllic, and more than one surprise. The background story of “Santa Claus Lane” and what happened to it is real, and Rudy’s reactions and his shock are credible.

If you like original stories about unusual people and places, if you want to see some sweet family traditions, and if you’re looking for a read that is funny, sweet, and exactly right, then you will probably like this novella.