The League of Beastly Dreadfuls: 01/28/18
The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant is the first in a new tween series about Anastasia who is suddenly thrust into an extraordinary adventure after being told her parents are dead.
Anastasia who had gone to public school every day and lived with her parents and squabbled with them too is picked up one day by a pair of elderly women claiming to be her aunts. They take her to their home, a former insane asylum that is so expensive to run that she's forced to eat nothing by gruel.
Of course whenever a main character is given instructions to not go into specific rooms, she's going to there. Anastasia is no different. And there are enough clues around to suspect that her "aunts" are up to something sinister.
It took a little while for the plot to settle into the kind of story it was telling. The opening takes longer than it needs to push Anastasia to the point of rebellion. Given how very different her life suddenly is and how unconvincing her aunts are, I'm surprised she lasts as long as she does before deciding to investigate.
But once it settles down it becomes a classic sort of mad scientist, haunted building type horror / mystery. It's somewhere akin to Coraline by Neil Gaiman.