Review: The Incredible Aunty Awesomesauce by J. S. Frankel

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☆☆➹⁀☆5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

What It’s About:

Sam Aushumness, sixteen, orphan and high school outcast, meets his long-lost aunt at his parents’ funeral—or the woman he thinks is his aunt. It turns out that she isn’t his aunt, isn’t from around here, and isn’t even from this galaxy.

It seems the person masquerading as his aunt is a refugee from a faraway world, and she’s being pursued by a small band of mercenaries who have been hired to bring her back dead or alive—preferably dead. Secrets have to be kept, and only Sam and his girlfriend, Kym Kim, know who Aunty Aushumness—nickname Aunty Awesomesauce—really is.

However, the secret soon gets out, and soon the mercenaries, the police, and every branch of the government are on the hunt to find Aunty Awesomesauce, what she knows, and what secrets she carries. Aunty A, though, isn’t one to back down from a fight, and when push comes to shove, the mercenaries find out how bad she can be.

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My Thoughts:

The Incredible Aunty Awesomesauce is an incredibly funny YA science fiction novel by J.S. Frankel.  Science Fiction is not usually a genre I choose to read, but I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Frankel’s characters and their antics.  The writing quality drew me into the story, and the fast-paced plot and original story line kept me engaged.

The name of the main character, Sam Aushumness, is a messy mouthful, and it matches the book’s young hero.  He is a weak geek who is wholly ineffectual and completely forgettable. He epitomizes the awkward ‘tween/teen years, and his school life represents that of many kids who don’t “rule the school”. Sam is recently orphaned and soon to be “in the system”. Kym Kim, Sam’s girlfriend, is absolutely adorable!  I loved her quirkiness and sass.

When Sam’s long-forgotten Aunt returns from Croatia, the story really takes off.  Intergalactic trouble follows Aunty A like the school bullies follow Sam.  The only difference is that the alien known as Aunty A has Kym’s sass, The Terminator’s fighting skills, and MacGyver’s ingenuity. Under Aunty A’s tutelage, Sam transforms from bullied geek to a confident young man who stands up for himself and his girlfriend (although, Kym remains the more dangerous of the two with her strong kick and good aim).

The Incredible Aunty Awesomesauce is action packed, and a clean escape for young adult readers.  It is also peppered with some subtle coming-of-age messages that parents will appreciate.  This creative read touches on acceptance of self and of others as well as loyalty, and friendship.  Relatable characters and the original, imaginative storyline, make The Incredible Aunty Awesomesauce a fantastic read.

About the author: J.S. Frankel was born in Toronto, Canada, many moons ago and managed to scrape through high school and university, earning a BA in English Literature and leaving no book unopened during his time at the University of Toronto. Shortly after graduation, he moved to Japan in order to teach English to the hapless residents of whichever city he happened to be living at the time.  Frankel and his family make their home in Osaka where he teaches during the day and attempts to write YA fiction at night.


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