Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

How I Read It: Print/ Audibook

Dates Read: 8/15/20-8/27/20

How I Found It: Goodreads

Okay, so I was genuinely upset when I first started reading this book because I didn’t want to humanize such a monster as President Snow. But as I kept reading, it took all I could do to get through the whiny ramblings of the 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow. I personally don’t think that this book was as good as the trilogy and here’s why:

We flash back to the 10th annual Hunger Games. In an effort to make the Hunger Games more of a spectacle, the Capital is making a group of seniors as the mentors. Corialanus was chosen to be the mentor for District 12’s female tribute, Lucy Gray Baird. Lucy Gray was the most well-liked tribute for the year, mainly due to her ability to sing. This year is also the first year where Capitals can bet and send gifts to the tributes, two aspects of the Games that will continue for all Games to come. So Coriolanus does everything he can to get Lucy Gray in front of a spotlight in order for her to get a lot of sponsors.

Here’s the thing about Coriolanus, his family is broke. While he had standing before the war, most of their money was in District 13, which means that he is now the only male heir and the only person who can try and salvage his life into something worthy in the Capital. The mentor to the winner of the Games gets a scholarship to University, so Coriolanus is pushing for Lucy Gray to win. And at some point he claims to “fall in love” or whatever dumb bs he says, but really he is just a horny 18-year-old who has power over this girl and therefore thinks that since she is dependent on him to succeed, he has ownership of her (can you tell I don’t like him?).

While all this is going on, Coriolanus is in a special class where he gets to work alongside the Head Gamemaker (sorta). He spent a lot of time with her, learning about the Games and making suggestions along the way, and this puts him in a position where he knows too much about how the Games work, thereby giving him the power to cheat. Oh, there is a guy, Sejanus, who grew up in the Districts, but became the heir to an ammunitions dynasty after the war. He thinks the Games are stupid, especially when one of his childhood friends is reaped as a tribute. And Coriolanus ends up having to clean up Sejanus’ messes, including when he sneaks into the Games, Coriolanus finds himself dealing with a lot more than he could bargain for.

In comparison to the series, I think that this book is the worst one. I personally don’t think that we needed another Hunger Games novel, and the prequel didn’t do much for the series as a whole. And while I am being really negative, I also think that the writing for this book was incredible. I understand why she wrote this book, but I personally was not a huge fan. I would, however, love a history of the Games book, where she described each of the Games as the victor for each, I think that would be really cool. But she made Coriolanus so unlikable in the trilogy that I couldn’t even try to get into this book.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!