For April's junior high book club, the students agreed to read at least one of the 2013 Newbery books. I read Splendor and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz. It is one of those books where you ask as you say: "I liked it.?.?."
The book includes interesting detail and characters. It is rather dark, with an element of fantasy. Actually--it is a little too creepy for younger readers (I'd say 5th or 6th grade and up) because of the fabulous writing the draws you into the book. When I was looking for more information about the author, I found the below picture--and it seemed perfect.