Review of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

“The show’s not over until the mockingjay sings” – Lucy Gray Baird

Happy Reaping and may the odds ever be in your favor! It is the morning of the reaping for the 10th annual Hunger Games and an eighteen-year old Coriolanus “Coryo” Snow is waiting anxiously to find out which of the 24 tributes he will be assigned to mentor. Hoping for a strong tribute so that he has a shot at winning and bringing the Snow family back into its former glory. To his dismay, he is assigned the girl tribute from District 12, the tribute who is least likely to win the games. With his future on the line, Coriolanus does his best to make his tribute look appealing to the citizens of The Capitol, despite knowing that he doesn’t have a chance of winning.

It has been ten years since Mockingjay was released, and with this prequel book, we see the early years of the Hunger Games and glimpses of the war that lead to its creation. There has been a huge divide on this book, but for me, this was enjoyable for the story itself, and for this glimpse of Panem before Katniss. I have no sympathy for Snow, either as a teenager or as the president we see in the trilogy. However, I found it fascinating seeing how the tenth Hunger Games affected him, his thoughts on how to improve the games, and his opinions on the tributes, the districts, and his fellow classmates. In a way, Coriolanus Snow reminds me of Prince Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Without giving anything away, they are both similar but at the same time very different in the choices they made.

Ballad was certainly not as action packed and fast paced as the trilogy, but it still had some major moments. And while learning about a villain’s past is not to everyone’s liking, I really enjoyed it and learning more about Panem.

Read: 5/19/2020 – 6/1/2020
Release date: May 19th 2020
Page count: 540
Rating: ★★★★
Genre: Dystopian
Audience: Young Adult

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