I wasn't totally sure what to expect when I started Freaks, by Kiernan Larwood but I would up loving it!
Like I said, I loved this book. The plot was full of twists and turns, and I loved the way Larwood described London and the characters. For instance, when describing the owner of the side-show, Larwood writes, "The stranger was a fat man. It was as if an avalanche of pie crust and gravy had run through a haberdasher's and come out in a dodgy frock coat and a pair of size eleven boots. Grunchgirdle would have fit inside him seven times with room to spare. He was also deeply unattractive. His nose was bulbous and scarlet, a wild tangle of orange hair stuck out all around the edges of his stovepipe hat, and he was wearing a scowl that could have curdled milk." I loved that description and the way it painted the character in my mind - and yes, he turns out to be just as horrid as he sounds! I also loved the descriptions of London and of the children who worked along the river - Larwood described the creep and stench of it all wonderfully. The only thing I'd change about this book is that I wish it had a different title. Freaks just seems a little too predictable.
Also Try: The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm, by Nancy Farmer and Wonder Show, by Hannah Barnaby