Ambition will fuel him. Competition will drive him. But power has its price.
Title: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Format: Physical book
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 have read so many mixed reviews on this book and for that reason I honestly went into it with really low expectations! I was ever questioning this book before reading any reviews at all. I felt like I didn’t need this prequel and just felt that The Hunger Games were over and done and didn’t need to be brought up again.
But you guys… I really liked it! Don’t get me wrong – THIS IS NOT A HUNGER GAMES BOOK. This is before the series and it is MUCH different. Do not go into this expecting the crazy action packed books like before. This takes on a whole new approach and new view of the games.
What I liked the most:
- Seeing Snow’s character before he is the horrible president that everyone loves to hate
- Finding out what the Hunger Games used to be like and how it evolved
- Getting some information about what it’s like to be a Peace Keeper
- Finding out why Snow is the way he is and piecing it all together!
For me, I like some good background information. This book did just that! We follow Snow while he is a student and also part of the very first mentor program for the games. It was interesting to see how the games unfold and learn how the games became this HUGE event later on. I loved seeing Snow change and evolve. Snow has quite a few personality flaws that really clear up why he is so horrible in the future but also his life was not some simple, easy, perfect life and a part of me felt for him and understood. Snow faces a lot of challenges in this story and a lot of them are moral and ethical dilemmas. As much as I love a character that is out there to make the world a better place, it is also fun to have a morally gray character too. Snow is the MOST morally gray character ever haha sometimes he seems “good” and other times he actually shocks you with his decisions. In the end, none of it is much of a shock because we all know who he turns out to be later on.
While there wasn’t a ton of action I still felt the story to be fast paced enough that I was invested in it. There were definitely sometimes I was on the edge of my seat! There was no lack of suspense at all. I will say though that there is a romance that happens during the story and for me I felt it could have been left out OR not had such a large part. It just didn’t seem important and at the end it didn’t really add anything useful. It was cute though at parts but… meh.
I would say read this book if you loved The Hunger Games and you are interested in seeing it from a different lens. Read this book if you want to know more about Snow and how the heck he became the man he did. Read this book if you like a good origin story! I think overall, if you liked the series, this is worth the read.
Have you read this? What did you think? If not, is this something you want to read?
Chat with me in the comments 😊