Book Reviews · Books

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

theballadofsongbirdsandsnakes The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
by Suzanne Collins

Released: 19th May 2020
Keywords: YA, Dystopian, Hunger Games, Violence, War, Deception

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.
The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

I was so excited when this book was originally announced as The Hunger Games is one of my favourite book series of all time, slightly less excited when it was announced that it would focus on the origins of President Snow. Nonetheless I knew I was still going to read the book and hoped that it wouldn’t try to make me feel sympathetic towards this horrid character, I wanted to finish the book disliking him more than I already did, and the book achieved that.

The first half details the lead up to the 10th annual Hunger Games, when it was still very basic, no fancy technology or sponsorships, the kids were literally just thrown into an old colosseum style building that used to be used for circus shows before the war. It’s the first year that the tributes were to have mentors aswell, with snow ofcourse having the girl from District 12. It was interesting to see the similarities and events that happened that made more sense to how he felt about/treated Katniss in the trilogy. Being able to get inside of Snow’s head and follow his thought processes really got to show off how selfish, obsessive and disgusting his character is.

Although the District 12 girl, Lucy Gray, is nothing like Katniss and was by far my favourite part of this book. I really feel like the author made us fall in love with Lucy to fully relate the message to the readers of just how selfish and cruel Snow has always been, this is also shown in his other “friendships”.

I love how the author finishes every chapter with a mini cliff hanger that makes it hard to stop reading, there is also a decent amount of violence, gore, shocking moments and not everything was predictable.

Overall I had a good time reading this and will also read any other books that the author decides to publish set in the Hunger Games timeline.

My rating: 4/5 stars

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