The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes | Book Review

Synopsis

“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.”

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53034698-the-ballad-of-songbirds-and-snakes

My Thoughts

Suzanne Collins is a genius.

We all know of The Hunger Games, whether we have read then or not. I understand they are not for everyone! They weren’t my favourite novels ever. However, I was really excited for this prequel. I preordered it as soon as I heard the news.

I have no regrets.

This book is one of the best things I’ve read all year.

I enjoyed it more than the entire series combined. Even if you haven’t seen/read The Hunger Games, it serves well as a stand alone. That final sentence made the entire book complete. I just… if anyone else has read this book, please talk to me about it. I just- I loved it.

Suzanne Collins made a pretty brave and bold move, to rediscover the world she wrote 10 years ago and make a prequel for it. You’d expect nothing less than a flop, which is understandable. This is a rare and beautiful exception. 

In the original novels Snow was this side-line character. We didn’t learn much about him, but he was the President of the Capitol. He encouraged the Games. In essence, the ‘bad guy’.

Though this novel was written in third person, we learned a lot about Coriolanus Snow. Collins wrote it in a way that made the reader think they knew Coriolanus, but we didn’t really know him at all. 

If I were to use one simply word to describe him, it would be: cunning.

Of course, the bulk of this novel concentrates on Coriolanus being a mentor in the Hunger Games. His tribute, Lucy Gray, was a very exciting character. Following her story was definitely a journey. I loved the way she complimented Coriolanus but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for her in the end.

Who Would I Recommend This To?

Any fans of dystopian or fantasy would eagerly eat up this book. It’s a great all-rounder, and if you’re not very familiar with dystopian as a genre I think this is a perfect road into it. You’d probably have to familiarise yourself with the Hunger Games world (Panem) before heading into this. Although, if you take the first few chapters slowly, you will be able to plunge in at the deep end. 

Audience wise, I’d say 11-16? The only reason I could see a young adult reading this is if the Hunger Games meant a lot to them. I have seen a fair few people in their 20s enjoy this (over on bookstagram) but, as I said, I don’t think they’d pick it up unless they already had a good relationship with the Hunger Games original series.

This book is one of the best I’ve read all year! It was a great escape in those weeks where academia got a bit stressful. I couldn’t put it down – and the satisfaction after finishing it is like eating up an entire Christmas dinner. 

What are you reading at the moment, or what do you want to read next?

Hope you have a lovely week,

Catherine x

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