Book Reviews

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Review)

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, written by Suzanne Collins, was released on May 19, 2020. It is a “prequel” to her most popular trilogy The Hunger Games. In this book, readers get to go back in time nearly fifty-five years before Prim’s name is called on Reaping Day and learn all about their favorite villain, President Coriolanus Snow when he was a young man. Here’s the description!

Ambition will fuel him.
Competition will drive him.
But power has its price.
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.

My incredible husband bought me this book when it was first released as a birthday gift, then came COVID and online learning. The book was placed on the back burner. Then finally, I was released for summer and I began working on my WIP (The Runic Saga) and I did not want anything to distract or influence my writing. So, again the reading of this book was delayed as it sat on my bedside dresser taunting me all summer long. When I finally finished my WIP, I rewarded myself by opening up to the first page of this marvelous book. I did not put it down until twenty-four hours later when I turned the last page.

I turned to my husband and said, “Well dang, you knew it all had to go to Hell in a handbasket, but dang.”

I was absolutely blown away, not only by the story, but by Collins’ writing! She really takes you into the mind of a young man who truly believes himself to be the good guy, and even crazier, at times, the readers believe it too! Did I catch myself rooting for Snow? You bet ya! Did I also catch myself yelling at his stupidity? Most definitely!

This is a story all about how morality and corruption can intertwine so intimately without a person even realizing it. There is so much that I want to say and discuss about this book, but I know many of my readers still have not read their copies yet so I will refrain from spoiling anything.

I will however say that this book confirms some of the suspicions I mentioned in my book Agency in the Hunger Games about the “odds” of reaping day. This books also provides layers upon layers of connection and explanation as to how Katniss Everdeen, the Mockingjay, was able to get under President Snow’s skin in such a way that only one other had before.

I know there were some grumbles when the cover first came out and people were worried that this book would disappoint. They were WRONG!

If you haven’t read it, it’s time to read it!

If you haven’t bought it, it’s time to buy it!

You cannot be a fan of The Hunger Games and not read this book. It’s THAT good!



© KaylaAnn and, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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