The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Book Two

By Suzanne Collins

Plot: “It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, 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.” -Publisher

Writing: In my opinion, this book was a lot better than the Hunger Games. Coriolanus is just so well-written. At first, you think he’s kind of a good guy, but as the story goes on, you see these little instances of creepiness that clue you in to the fact that the future President Snow is pretty unstable. The story is really captivating in the beginning, and it was interesting to see how the Hunger Games was developed, and how the song from the Hunger Games, “Hanging Tree” came into being. The beginning was fast paced and interesting, but it got a little slow after the hunger games was over. Plenty of important things happened later in the book, but it just wasn’t as captivating. You never really developed an emotional bond with the characters either. In most books, the author tries to get you to rea care about the main character or the side characters. It was understandable that we wouldn’t bond with Coriolanus, but I wasn’t really feeling the other characters either, such as Lucy or his other friends.

Age Level: 13-17. Same amount of violence and blood, definitely a couple of graphic scenes. (I mean, this is a Hunger Games prequel, what do you expect?) I think there were a couple bad words, but nothing too bad.

Overall: This prequel was really fun to read, even if I wasn’t captivated by the characters. Coriolanus is just so deliciously murderous and controlling. His imminent sanity break was obvious the whole time, and everytime he did something sneaky I was just thinking, There’s the President Snow we all love to hate. Four stars, exciting and suspenseful!

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