The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

By Suzanne Collins

Overview: This prequel was really fun to read, even if I wasn’t captivated by all of the characters. Coriolanus is just so deliciously murderous and controlling. His imminent sanity break was obvious the whole time, and every time he did something sneaky I was just thinking, There’s the President Snow we all love to hate. Probably best for kids ages twelve and up. 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.

What’s it about? We all remember the terrible, unfeeling President Coriolanus Snow from the Hunger Games, but was he always so cold and evil? Find out what brought him to ruin as he is assigned to mentor a girl from district twelve in the tenth annual Hunger Games.

My thoughts: 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 really care about the main character and 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.

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