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Christmas Kitsch

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  2,528 ratings  ·  432 reviews
Sometimes the best thing you can get for Christmas is knowing what you really want.

Rusty Baker is a blond, rich, entitled football player in a high school full of them—just the type of oblivious jock all the bullied kids hate. And he might have stayed that way, except he develops a friendship with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. Rusty think
ebook, 256 pages
Published December 9th 2013 by Riptide Publishing (first published December 7th 2013)
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,528 ratings  ·  432 reviews

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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
I stayed up until 3:30 am to read this book and instead of feeling exhausted when I finished, I wanted to jump on my bed and sing "The hills are alive, with the sound of music!!!" and twirl and wake up my husband to squeal at him. I, in fact, did wake him up with my annoying Kindle Paperwhite glow and my muffled shrieks of glee. He ended up sleeping on the couch in the basement, grumbling about books and me losing my mind. I didn't care. Yes, THAT is how much I loved this book.

Did it make my fav
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
5 bright, gorgeous, wipe-your-tears-and-laugh-with-joy stars

We tell ourselves fairy tales to believe. Not all stories end well, but some do.

Christmas Kitsch is the best kind of fairy tale, the kind about real, lasting love.

It manages to be sweet and hopeful without being maudlin. Brace yourself, because you will cry, laugh, rage, and feel your heart bust out of your chest.

Rusty is a good-enough athlete with a big heart. He's not particularly book smart or introspective, but he tries hard. His
Kaje Harper
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Dammit, Amy, you made me cry. Again. This is my vote for Christmas story of the year, (at least so far.)

Rusty is another of Amy's trademark crack-your-heart-wide-open guys, doing his best, sometimes not sure what that is, trying so hard when life kicks him in the teeth. He's wounded, bleeding, and sometimes he doesn't even feel the blade slip in for another stab. But the people around him see it.

Rusty's not stupid, but he's not quick and he's taken that to be the equivalent of dumb. He has a bi
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is truly outstanding!!! Seriously one of the best books I have read this year, it is profoundly moving, poignant in its delivery and I literally picked it up and it did not leave my hands until it was finished, every page is filled with emotion and for the most part I was welling up with tears in my eyes or sitting here with a silly grin on my face. I love Amy Lane, as a writer she is incredibly talented and this book is AMAZING!!! I can’t even begin to tell you just how much I loved i ...more
*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time

This might be one of the sweetest, melt your heart stories I've ever read. There was some serious love in the air with this one!

Rusty, Rusty, poor, sweet, naive Rusty! I just wanted to give you the biggest hug ever!

This one was super feel good. Very coming of age. Maybe a bit on the YA side. But oh so sweet, and heart-warming. And gah, it just made me feel all gooey inside.

This new republished edition has only minor changes, but the story was just as good as ever. I love Rusty and Oliver.

Although I still wonder why Berkeley was changed to Stanford. That is such a weird detail to change.

Best Christmas story ever!

Rusty is a high school jock. But he's not the person his parents want him to be. He's not super smart, he's not a womanizer, nor is he excited about a future as a lawyer. But he's still trying to be everything they want him to be
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Damn you, Amy Lane.

This was an ugly beautiful story and you made me weep last night to the point where I had to stop reading my eyes were so swollen.

This is all about expectations, both trying to live up to those pushed at you and coming to realization that it's okay to make your own.

There's a lot of heavy emotion here and Rusty is fighting to balance out what he wants and what his parents want him to be. Oliver couldn't be a more perfect match for him.

The first 3/4 of this story was incr

Everyone who knows me knows I hate Christmas Kitsch... I want to pierce my eardrums when I hear Christmas music, I am bored to.. Well not death because death would be a release.. when dragged to see Christmas lights. I hate Red and Green together how does that even constitute a color scheme?

Amy Lane is my Reading Goddess I always, ALWAYS buy her books the day they come out but due to the title I was not as excited as usual.. oh ye of little faith.. especially during this time. I am sorry Ms. La
*** edited to include a mini review of the audio version by Nick J Russo, and what an awesome narration it was too!! I fell in love with Rusty and Oliver all over again...seriously, HIGHLY recommended!!***

Amy Lane, you'll be the death of me!! This Christmas story is ABSO-FREAKIN'-LUTELY ADORABLE, Rusty and Oliver...words fail me......

I've loved every word of every line on every page, I've laughed , I've cried buckets ...both happy and sad tears, and I honestly couldn't describe my feelings at
A sweet fairytale that mostly gave me the warm fuzzies. I loved so much of this story, but there were things that bothered me.

Some of the niggles:
I didn't like when Rusty thought of the boy he loved as the "little brown person". It felt like a lot of focus was put on Oliver's skin color.
I loved Oliver's family, but I wish the families weren't so one dimensional, one family so good and the other one so bad.
There were a couple instances where I thought it was weird how fixated Rusty was on hi
Amy Lane is fast becoming one of my favorite MM-authors! And I think this book was FUN and beautiful and heartwarming!

The blurb pretty much explains the story, and except for Rusty's parents this story was just: LOVELY!
It is worth mentioning that I have a 'thing' for clueless/oblivious characters and Rusty was just... Perfect in that sense.
That boy needed a hug, a new family and more than one smack in the back of the head, but STILL... *sigh*
THIS was an awesome feel-good christmas story, and i
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, mm-holidays
I'm on vacation so super short & sweet...

Read it in one sitting.Great characters & story. Gave me all the feels.♥

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Highly recommend it! 4.5 Stars!
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: br, lovely-romance, m-m

Another Amy Lane’s winner!

Rusty and Oliver are just meant for each …awww.

I love this book. It is so warm and full of heart. The characters are amazing. It is emotional and heartbreaking at times, but not overwhelming in angst. But there is so much love here, so much sweetness, hope and wonder, so I can say that Christmas Kitsch provide a good few hours of feel-good lasting way beyond the final page.

Thanks to my girls for reading it with me!
I recall a big hoopla for this book two years ago. I bought it, failed to read it before the holidays, therefore it was set aside. Then again last December I meant to read it again. Annnd, the new year came before I had a chance to read it so I neatly tucked it into my holiday collection folder unread….again. I FINALLY read it this year and I’d kick my own bum if I wasn’t in such a happy book buzz. Happy. This book makes my heart so damn full, I’m afraid it might burst. Heartitist. It’s a real t ...more
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
★★★★★ I found it - my 5 star Christmas story! ★★★★★

It was perfect. A wonderful emotional story that shows what love is really about.

Rusty comes from a well-to-do family. He has good looks and is in with the 'right' crowd. He may not be the brightest kid but he seems to have it all. That is until he meets Oliver and things take on a different perspective. "It's kind of sad when I think about it now. At the time, I thought I hung out with a bunch of okay kids. I figured we were spoiled and shelter
☆ Todd
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Amy Lane tends to be at the very top of my favorite MM authors and this book an example of the reason why.

Rusty & Oliver pulled me right in from the start and then when Rusty went to Berkeley and met his roommate, Rex, I was all in. Rex was so wrong with all of his outrageous escapades that I'd really love to read his story next.

Rusty's parents added just the right amount of drama, counterbalanced by Oliver's amazingly supportive extended family.

There were lots of wallowing opportunities in
Tanu Gill
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a super funny and super emotional read. But I wish the use of italics was a little less. As it was, they seemed a bit overdone. But apart from that, a really cute love story about Rusty and Oliver, and a great family to read about, and one not so great family but which tried to redeem itself for reasons unbeknownst to us and our sweet couple...
BWT (Belen)
Jul 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
5+ I-loved-every-word Stars!

Christmas Kitsch is one of my all time favorites stories. It wormed it's way so easily into my heart that I know I am forever changed by it. I loved every word.

Yes, the characters are young, around 18, and I suppose it's technically a Young Adult/New Adult novel, but don't let that put you off! This is Amy Lane, people. This author has a knack of taking the norm and setting in on it's ear...then pouring in all the love, emotion and feels in the world.

Rusty is a sweet
I thought this book was "dumb" & "stupid". You know why I thought that? Because the MC told me 22x he was dumb and 38x he was stupid (I counted). And that's not even counting all the declarations of things like "I'm not smart". I can't even with this book. I have never disliked an Amy Lane book before but I disliked this with the strength of 1000 fiery suns. I couldn't stand Rusty's "dumb" ass and while I did feel bad for him in places the "I'm a bumbling idiot" routine got old very fast. I ...more
BWT (Belen)
SO MANY FEELS! Christmas Kitsch is one of my favorite holiday stories of all time.

I have to confess...I listen to the first edition audiobook at least twice a year. There are whole sections of this book I can recite verbatim. I don't think I can properly convey how much I love this story and these characters. So...I'm not unbiased here, is what I'm saying.

Rusty is a senior in high school and very sweet, but more heart than brains. Rusty's charm is in the fact he knows he's slow, but will eventua
Logically I know that Amy doesn’t ACTUALLY write her books for ONLY me…But she MIGHT AS WELL! I loved this story. Totally and Completely. It’s a simple story really, and a familiar story to be sure. But it was so loving, and it was so warm. Rusty Baker is our narrator who tells us his story in the first person. Rusty is a high school senior, a jock, he’s not super deep, he’s got a kind heart, he was taught to be polite by his parents, he’s supposed to go to UC Berkeley in the fall to study somet ...more

Wow I liked this was way better than I expected. The reason I'm surprised is, that I don't normally like Christmas stories. Yep you've heard me Christmas stories for me

Susan however doesn't care about what I like and what I don't like and she made me read this one anyway. Ofcourse I listened because I'm a good friend like that :)

Anyways, this was a very sweet "friends to lovers" story and it didn't feel to christmasy to me.

Rusty and Oliver meet in high school and they are the bes
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a sweet and sometimes funny little Christmas read.

I loved Rusty to pieces. He is everything I adore in my fictional characters. So sweet and tries so hard, but he took things far to seriously for a young guy. He thinks of himself as stupid but in fact in my book he was pretty damn smart. He succeeded in all he attempted, and if his parents hadn't been so “stupid” I'm sure he could of finished Berkeley even if he only just made the grades.

Oliver was a perfect match for him. Loving and gi
¸. • * ° *❧Gwendolyn❧°**★°**★
4.5 Sweet Stars

And, I can see why everybody loved this read, it's cute, warm and fuzzy and all kinds of sweet.❤

And, gosh....

There are some moments in this book, that simply turned my heart to mush, and I love that.

So why not 4 or 5 Stars~

I simply had some issues~

Rusty, and his constant thoughts of " I'm stupid" " not the brightest bulb...ect. did not work for me it just depressed me. Yes, I wanted to hug him, but I wanted him to get a clue more. Yes, he did finally get a clue, but....I wante
Blessings are always mixed – I hadn’t known that as a kid. I was starting to know it now.

Death by Amy Lane…again. If you haven’t heard my speech on Amy Lane and how her words kill you…well it was on another review but it’s true. The woman knows how to pull you in and tug out your heart strings all while tearing your heart OUT! It’s the best type of vital organ being ripped from your body you ever want to have.

Christmas Kitsch…what a heartwarming story. Yes, this is given a title with Christ
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq
*4,5 stars*

What an amazing book! It ticks off so many boxes:

1.) adorable MCs:
I LOVED Rusty and hated that he keeps saying he is stupid, because that is what his parents have been insinuating forever. It hurt! He's never felt appreciated, loved for who he is by them, and his self worth is incredibly low. Not everyone is born a natural academic (and Thank God for that!) - we all have our strengths, and it doesn't have to be studying. This is something for Rusty to work out about himself. And he do
Absolutely LOVED this. I have no idea why I was so chicken shit to read it last year. Rusty KILLED me though. My heart broke for him.

Why parents think it's okay to dictate their children's lives, I have no idea. It pisses me off to no end. Is it really that big of a deal that your kid plays sports like you did goes to your Alma Mater? What about what your child wants? What about what your child NEEDS? I wanted to sucker punch Rusty's parents right in the throat. Rusty TOLD them he wasn't going t
Arch Bala
Seriously, this is like one of the best Christmas stories I’ve read this year and probably my third favorite from Amy Lane after Clear Water and Candy Man. I adore Oliver but Rusty just totally stole my heart here and I could totally marry him (and willingly be called a man-stealing bitch) if he’d come to life and I’ll be their (him and Ollie) neighbor. I just loved the good feeling that it brought me this Christmas day while everyone around me were freaking about the traffic, the one million pe ...more
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
A sweet, heartwarming read, with just the right amount of angst and drama, that had me tearing up a bit but left me smiling. It was lighter Amy Lane than I've read in the past, but still had that signature style that makes me feel so deeply for the characters. One of the things I find her writing does best is make me feel the characters' sadness and disappointment when faced with family rejection.

I loved Oliver's determination to get exactly what he wants, and Rusty's absolute devotion to Olive
Don Bradshaw
This was the best Christmas story that I have read. Ms Lane is known for her super sweet stories but this beauty left my teeth intact! Rusty's parents were both emotionally abusive and unfortunately, everyone paid for it Oliver was a godsend! The two men healed each other over time. The secondary characters were very well fleshed out and felt very real. I liked the running narrative told from Rusty's perspective. Nicole and Rex were both awesome. When you boil the whole story down, it was all ab ...more
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BR with friends from Monday 29 December 11 15 Jan 06, 2015 02:14AM  
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Amy Lane dodges an EDJ, mothers four children, and writes the occasional book. She, her brood, and her beloved mate, Mack, live in a crumbling mortgage in Citrus Heights, California, which is riddled with spiders, cats, and more than its share of fancy and weirdness. Feel free to visit her at, where she will ride the buzz of receiving your e-mail u ...more
“Seeing Oliver again—touching Oliver again—that was really all that was on my mind.

I threw open my door and tried to launch myself out of the car, but my seat belt brought me back with a jerk, and then I felt like a jerk, because, really, who does that? I unhooked my seat belt so quickly it snapped up hard, and the belt buckle caught my chin, and my elbow got tangled in it as I was trying to get out of the door and get out all at the same time, and . . . I sat back in my seat and took a deep breath, then looked at Oliver sheepishly through the open door. He was trying manfully not to roll on the ground in laughter. I could tell. I held up one finger, took another deep breath, and exited the car with slow, methodical movements before I hurt myself.”
“And I'm not going to be my dad's clone. And women don't turn me on. And Oliver is my home." -Rusty (Christmas Kitsch)” 0 likes
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