Four annoying children work hard at becoming orphaned by their odious parents. Eventually, the parents abandon them to a capable nanny, and finally the children find their Happily Ever After.
I didn't look at the copyright date before starting the text, something I usually do. I was surprised to find the book was published so recently - it uses many themes and cliches of "classic" or "old fashioned" children's literature. There was far more snarking and silliness than I'd expected as well - not as much snarking and gloom-&-doom, perhaps, as in the Lemony Snicket books, but certainly enough to evoke a comparison to Roald Dahl here and there. This book definitely plays more to the parody though.
I'd be careful to which class or individuals I'd assign this book. This is a great book for fluent readers and good decoders of sarcasm and silliness. However, I think this could be a disastrous assignment for a less-fluent reader or a reader with more difficulty decoding for meaning, be it etymological or emotional.