I’m here with a review for a book that has been massively long awaited for me today! I had second thought about reading this as I got it about a week or two after it was released and the twitter response was mixed to say the least. But I caved and did it anyway. I’ve loved the Hunger Games ever since the first trilogy came out, it was one of my favourite series as a teen. So I was extremely excited and a little nostalgic to read this.
I feel like most people will know what this book is but just incase you don’t I’ll include a bit of background any way. So The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a young adult dystopian fiction novel. It was published May 2020 by Scholastic Press. It is based in a post rebel war America. Here’s the Goodreads Summary:
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the 10th annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, 18-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 out charm, 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.
So in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes we find out why President Snow is who he is and how he came to be. We see a young Snow trying to overcome his family’s devastation in the war with hopes of becoming president one day. It’s the tenth annual Hunger Games and the students of Snow’s class are expected to be mentors to the tributes for the first time in history. We watch as Snow learns the reasons of the games and how his actions and decisions shapes the games for the future.
I feel like my opinion is one that is uncommon to a lot of other bloggers when it comes to this book, but I really loved it. I felt like the prequel lined up well with the trilogy, it explained a lot of how things came to be and why. I liked the correlation between Snow and 12, which makes you look at his relationship between Katniss in the trilogy in a different light. The similarities between Katniss and Lucy Grey are unmistakable. The way this shadows circumstances of the original book, I really, really liked.
I also liked how we saw the development of Snow becoming more cold and callous as people aren’t just born like that. So I like how Collins explained the how’s and why’s of how he came to be like he is. I know a lot of people didn’t like the relationship between Snow and Lucy Grey, the saw it as one of insincerity, but I feel like that is the point. If it was a perfect, romantic relationship and they fell in love, it would have had different results for Snow and his personality. I feel like the point of the relationship was to test Snow and to bring out the more sinister aspects to his personality. How he doesn’t like being vulnerable, his jealousy and distrust and how, not matter what happens to him his unbreakable distaste for District.
I feel like whatever I say about this book could easily be argued against. But I think that is also such a beauty about this book. It’s so different for everyone. I would recommend to just read it with an open mind to form your own opinion. Especially, if like me you loved the trilogy I feel you should definitely give it a read.
All in all, I really enjoyed it and I am so glad that I read it. I intend to read it again in the future. I would like to see more though. I would like to know what happens between the end of the book and Snow becoming President. I want to know more. But it was definitely, for me at least, worth reading.
Star Rating /5