Rabid Reader Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Posted July 8, 2021 by admin in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Rabid Reader Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and SnakesThe Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel) by Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #0.5
Published by Scholastic Inc. on May 19, 2020
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Physical & Emotional Abuse, Social Themes, Survival Stories, Young Adult Fiction
Pages: 528
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

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.

  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It’s complicated
  • Loveable characters? It’s complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It’s complicated

Let me start by saying that when I first found out this book even existed, I was super torn about what I thought initially. I mean, it’s The Hunger Games. And I enjoyed the series as a whole, I really did. So to be able to come back to the series to get some more “behind the scenes” kind of information, well… let’s just say my mind was whirring in a ton of different directions.

This is absolutely the most twisted out of all of the books in this series, although it certainly makes some things make a lot more sense. The background about Snow definitely makes you think about things differently, though not necessarily endearing you to the character. There were some familiar names and quite a few pieces that tie everything together, but at the same time, I’m some ways I have more questions than answers. 

What I was expecting and what I got in this book did not line up in the slightest. The characters were diverse. They were varied and interesting and exciting in many regards. But some were just people you would love to hate, do you know what I mean?

There were a lot of pieces of the puzzle that made some of the reasons why Snow acts the way that he does make sense. And there are answers to a few questions that I never thought I would get, like why the obsession with roses? Why is Snow so adamantly against District 12, in a way he doesn’t seem to be with any other district? What could possibly have happened to this man to turn him into the monster that he so blatantly appears to be? And could he possibly have any redeeming qualities?

But at the same time, the book has so many plot twists and turns that, for a prequel, it really just sends you into overdrive trying to keep up with all of it.

If you are a fan of the series, then you most definitely want to read this one and dive right back into the story, plot and characters all over again. There are some familiar names, and even a couple that will make your head have one of those, “Wait, what? How did I not know this?” kind of moments.

So there you have it folks, my first review on my triumphant return to the blogosphere. I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my reading life and the many twists and turns the ensuing tale will lead you on!


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