Review: Sensational by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

Welcome to day 1 of the Sensational blog tour! I was so excited to be a part of this blog tour, because I absolutely adored Jodie Lynn Zdrok’s first installment in this series, Spectacle. In fact, Spectacle was the first book I ever reviewed on this blog, so it holds a really special place for me. This duology is so much fun, and its full of really great characters and friendships. And it’s set in 1880s Paris, so what more could you want! It’s macabre and mysterious and full of delicious preternatural twists and turns, and it’s one of my favorite YA series in recent years.

Then he said, ‘You’d be astonished how quickly someone’s strengths and weaknesses are revealed through observation and polite banter.’

Sensational by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

Spectacle (#1)

by Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: February 12, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

A YA murder mystery in which a young reporter must use her supernatural visions to help track down a killer targeting the young women of Paris.

Paris, 1887.

Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize each day’s new arrivals, a task she finds both fascinating and routine. That is, until the day she has a vision of the newest body, a young woman, being murdered–from the perspective of the murderer himself.

When the body of another woman is retrieved from the Seine days later, Paris begins to buzz with rumors that this victim may not be the last. Nathalie’s search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the Parisian Catacombs. As the killer continues to haunt the streets of Paris, it becomes clear that Nathalie’s strange new ability may make her the only one who can discover the killer’s identity–and she’ll have to do it before she becomes a target herself.

Sensational (#2)

by Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: February 11, 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

Jodie Lynn Zdrok’s Sensational is the thrilling follow-up to Spectacle in which a killer haunts the Paris World’s Fair of 1889.

The 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris is full of innovations, cultural displays, and inventions. Millions of visitors attend over the course of several months…so no one would notice if a few were missing, right? Maybe—but someone is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the guillotine with a display of their own: beheaded victims in some of the Exposition’s most popular exhibits.

Nathalie Baudin’s ability to see murder scenes should help, but she’s suffering the effects of her magic more than ever before. Fortunately she has other Insightfuls to team up with—if they can be trusted.

She’s still strange. But now I like her.

Sensational by Jodie Lynn Zdrok


I loved Spectacle for its likeable characters and its grisly world-building set against the lavish backdrop of 1880s Paris. I’m so glad that what I loved so much about Spectacle is still very present in Sensational. Both Sensational and Spectacle have really great mysteries that develop and unfold in twisty-turny ways, and I was really satisfied with the conclusions to the mysteries of both stories.

What I love most about this duology, though, is the character developments. I loved seeing Nathalie and Christophe and Simone grow and develop into adults, and I love how realistic they all feel. I want to go shopping with Simone and have coffee with Christophe and eat a pan au chocolate with Nathalie. I was very attached to all these characters by the ending, and I was legitimately at tears in the Epilogue. The series was so great, and I’m so, so happy with the way the series ended.

Like Spectacle, this is a 4 star read for me! I think this is a great series for YA readers of all ages, and I loved that romance and angst is not the center of the story. If you’re at all intrigued by the premise of the series, give it a shot! I firmly believe this is one of the most underrated YA series currently out!

She drank in the vista before her. The ocean smelled saltier and more complex than she’d expected, and the roar was as fierce and encompassing as she’d imagined.

Sensational by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

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Jodie Lynn Zdrok holds two MAs in European History and an MBA. She enjoys rooting for Boston sports teams, traveling, doing races (to offset being a foodie), and posting cat photos to Instagram. She works in technology and lives in North Carolina by way of Massachusetts.

Thanks to The Fantastic Flying Book Club and the author for providing me a review copy of this book in exchange for this honest review!

Author: hhbennett

Book Blogger for all things science fiction, post-apocalyptic, near-future, speculative, horror or just otherwise weird and cool.

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