The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes By Suzanne Collins – A Book Review

Coriolanus Snow lives from moment to moment.

Living with his Grandmother and his cousin Tigris. Though they give the impression of grandeur, they are a stone throw away from ruin. However, Coriolanus has been tasked with being a mentor in the tenth Hunger Games. There may be hope for them yet.

There is one mentor per tribute. He is the mentor for the fierce Lucy Gray, a songstress from District 12. Though Coriolanus doesn’t think she will win, he is drawn towards her like a moth towards the flame. Soon, they form an unlikely duo as Coriolanus tries to steer her through the Hunger Games towards the end. He knows that it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s a shot he plans to take.

Things do not go as planned however and Coriolanus’ life takes a drastic turn for the worse and his future looks uncertain. Despite his challenges, Coriolanus isn’t worried.

Snow lands on top…

I’ll admit that when I first heard it was coming out, I pre-ordered it without a second thought. I didn’t even look at the book synopsis. I just knew that it was a new Hunger Games novel and that I wanted to be back in that world again.

One of my friends pointed out that the book was about Coriolanus Snow. Wait a minute, like President Snow? The one and only. I wondered what Suzanne Collins could possibly write that would make me want to read about one of the vilest people in literary history. It would be like reading a book about Voldemort only somehow worse.

However, I was hooked from the first page.

I’m wary of prequels and sequels. For example, I loved Divergent and read that book four times. I could barely get through Insurgent and almost didn’t finish Allegiant. When you look at the Harry Potter franchise, I mean I’ve read those books more times than I can count. The Cursed Child, the supposed eighth story in the cannon, was wonderful because it was nice to be back in the world, but it wasn’t without its problems (I keep thinking of the Trolly Witch).

Thankfully, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was the prequel that I didn’t know I needed. Collins skillfully draws us into Snow’s world, into Snow’s life. I couldn’t help but be moved by him and found myself rooting for him. However, Collins has shown us that no character or person is one dimensional. No one in this book is a caricature. The are all living, breathing people.

My only hope is that there are more books about Coriolanus and his rise through Panem which is something I never thought I’d say. I didn’t expect to like and hate a character so much at the same time yet still want to know more about him.

Collins has pulled of one incredible feat with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and now I want to go re-read the Hunger Games Trilogy all over again so that I can read The Ballad of Songs and Snakes once more.

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