Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #0.5
Genre(s): Dystopian, Romance, YA
For: Personal Interest
It's 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 out-charm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute, but the odds are against him because he's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low.
I wanted to read THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES before the movie came out last year. Unfortunately, my reading mojo wasn’t where it normally is so I committed the cardinal sin of watching the movie before reading the book. I liked the movie so much I finally decided to start listening to the audio book.
I thought THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES was really fascinating and a fantastic prequel to The Hunger Games trilogy. I especially loved learning about Panem after the first war between the Capitol and the districts. I thought it was interesting to see how the Hunger Games operated before they became what they were in the 74th Hunger Games.
I loved the characters in THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES. Lucy Gray was my favorite, of course. I love how much she loves life, her defiant spirit, her go-with-the-flow personality, and her when-life-gives-you-lemons-make-lemonade outlook. I felt sorry for Sejanus, having to leave his beloved District 2 and become a citizen of the Capitol. I loved learning more about Tigris and I’m curious why and when she and Coriolanus had a falling out.
Watching Coriolanus Snow’s life unfold in THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES is a lot like watching Anakin Skywalker become Darth Vader in the Star Wars prequels. You keep hoping it won’t happen, but know there’s no hope. I thought it was interesting to be in his head, to hear the conflict of remaining loyal to the Capitol and regaining his status and wealth or siding with the districts and Lucy Gray.
Overall, I really enjoyed THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES. However, I’m only rating it 4 stars because I thought Coriolanus’ transition to the “Dark Side” was a little abrupt, especially how fast he and Lucy Gray turned on one another.
I also thought the audiobook was awesome. I loved Santino Fontana’s deep voice. I just wished he sang all the songs in the book, like Jim Dale does in the Harry Potter audio books.
Have you read THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES? If so, what did you think?
There is a trigger warning for violence against children, loss of a parent, cannibalism, and animal deaths.