The Ballad of Song Birds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

September 3, 2021

Title: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 439
ISBN: 9781338635171
Publication Date: May 19th, 2020

About the 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.

My Thoughts:
I've enjoyed the Hunger Games since they came out years ago. I have read and re-read the series multiple times. However, they have sat on my shelves for the last couple of years as I've been reading other books as they have been delivered to the door. That changed when my daughter wanted to read them after we had finished Harry Potter. We made it through The Hunger Games Trilogy, she loved it! She wanted to read the prequel next, so we dove on in. 

I think if we had read the prequel first, it would have definitly changed up the views on the series some, but since we were traveling back in time, it was interesting to see how Suzanne Collins was able to morph this well known story into something new. 

I will admit, I read quite a few reviews on this story before reading it, I had to see what people were saying. I didn't agree with a lot of them. I actually enjoyed looking back on Snow's life. I like seeing what decisions led him to where he went. Granted I like villians too. Snow from the beginning is a guy who knows what he wants, and feel entitled to it. He is smart, he is cunning, and he knows he's good looking and willing to use that and whatever conections, real or fake he has created to get what he wants. 

I actually enjoyed reading through him. It wasn't the action packed books that The Hunger Games were, but it was a tactical book. It was a thoughtful book. How can one person do as much as they did? When you have the mindset and fortitude, and desire, it can be done. 

On the other side, we had Lucy Gray. She was an interesting character for sure, but I didn't like her as much as Snow. She wasn't an innocent girl. She was just as sneaky and underhanded as Snow, just in another way. She knew how to play to people and gain sympothy and attention. 

When you brought the two together, they played well off of each other. Both had weakness and strengths. They each used them to their advantages. And the two of them made the Games into what we know of them. 

Next, we have Sejanus, a classmate of Snow. Overly sympatheitc. He moved to the Capitol when was young, but never became Capitol. It was through his actions, that showed, changes that needed to happen with the tributes, but it was also the changes that he definitly wasn't thinking. He was thought of as district sympathizer. At the beginning I got what he was saying and thinking, however, as the story progressed, he leaned heavily to the extreme, and in all honesty, I agreed with Snow on how Sejanus was acting and where it would lead to. Sejanus focuesed too much on feelings and didn't use his brains to bring around the change he wanted.

I enjoyed this book. I kind of hope that there is another, I liked seeing how the ideas were built off of each other. The new characters that were introduced. There is so much more to this world that can be explored. I also get the ending was a play on the song, but I still want solid answers as well! Give me another book please!

4 out of 5

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