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Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Jeselys Vazquez

Volume 4 Issue 2

January 16, 2024

Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

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Are you a Hunger Games enthusiast who has seen the movies and loves the thrill and suspense of who wins? Then the novel, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes by Suzanne Collins, released on May 19, 2020, would be a wise choice for you. This novel is a prequel to The Hunger Games about Coriolanus Snow’s life when he was 18 years old and introduces his story about being a mentor for the 10th Hunger Games. 

Throughout the beginning of Part One, you learn about his background, where he lives, how the Games used to work, and get to learn about who the Gamemaker is, including secret discoveries as told from the first-person point of view of Coriolanus about the secrets he uncovers; he must keep the secrets or else he loses everything. As you read along to find out what happens next, you feel like you are really in Panem and the arena in moments you can create clear images of in your head. 

As you reach Part Two of the book, you start to engage in the thrill, suspense, and romance that Coriolanus experiences, but intervenes with his desire to win the game at any cost. That man vs. man conflict with himself causes his personality to change makes readers question whether he is a reasonable person or just denying reality of who he is turning into. 

As you reach Part Three, there is a twist that grabs your attention more and makes you want to find out how the story ends and if he gets what he deserves. Throughout the book you learn about his life when he was a young adult, find out who he was before any titles were given to him, and how he developed into the Head Gamemaker. Before, you would believe the villain came from a harsh environment or followed the wrong people down the road, but you come to be proven wrong in this story and develop unexpected sorrow for him. 

Suzanne Collins’s writing strategy makes it difficult for the reader to pick between considering him a reasonable person for the choices he had to make along to way or a villain who cannot accept that he is turning into his father who he does not want to become. Overall, I recommend you try this book. It is a 10/10 for any independent reading project and will be a unique read compared to other books you have read. There are free audiobooks on YouTube to make you feel more involved in the story, and a movie that came out a couple of weeks ago that you can watch with your friends and family in movie theaters! 


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