Here is an example of one of our staff reviews. Enjoy.
The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1) by Maryrose Wood.
This is an excellent book, although not for everyone. Most of the plot revolves not around the titular mysterious howling (it doesn’t mean quite what you think it does–or does it?) but around Penelope and her attempts to turn three children who seem to have been literally raised by wolves into respectable guests for a high society Christmas party. Penelope is a funny and endearing mix of self-assured determination and uncertainty–she’s intelligent and has a passion for taking care of children (and fortunately animals), but she’s also only fifteen, and this is her first job after graduating from an orphanage school.
It’s pretty obvious that a number things, such as why the children were abandoned and where they came from, Penelope’s own history, and the “secrets” of Ashton Place that are continually referred to, are there to set up for future books in the series. Almost nothing is wrapped up by the end. That, along with the fact that the plot is pretty slow-moving, will undoubtedly bother some readers. (I did mention that this isn’t a book for everyone.)
So, why did I still give it five stars? The quality of the writing–intelligent but accessible, with a subtle, sarcastic, almost non-stop humor–kept me so entertained that the slowness of the plot didn’t bother me at all. I found it similar to Roald Dahl, and other reviewers have already drawn comparisons to Jane Austen and Lemony Snicket. The vocabulary is rich. The characters are fairly simple, but well executed. (You end up loving Penelope and the Incorrigibles, and loving to hate the Ashtons.) Penelope’s internal musings and the instances where she has to struggle to keep them to herself are hilarious.
I feel like this book would be a very fun read-aloud.