Posted in Book Review

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins


Publisher: Scholastic Press

Published: May 19, 2020

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 528

“Wars are won with heads, not hearts.”


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 intertwinedβ€”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.


There has been a mixed review of this book even before it came out. People had been speculating because what else would it be than a villain origin story? For me, I am just excited to get back in the world. To know more and to see how the Games evolved. So, I have little to no expectation for the story of the book. However, when I heard that the prequel would revolve around Snow, I was hoping for the story Finnick told during his broadcast. I wanted to see the decent to power and the various things Snow had done to be where he was now.

However, I am pleasantly surprised by the plot of the book. We see another game, one so very different from the one that we got used to. It’s fun to see how the Games changed and what it looked like before. Definitely a fun experience.

Moreover, the story sucked me in and transported me to a world that I loved for a long time. It felt like coming home, although it was a different welcoming. Seeing Panem in different eyes than how Katniss saw it, and being in Snow’s head for a change was not so pleasant at all.

Plus, we not only get to see a Snow backstory, but Lucy Gray as well. Lucy was mentioned in the original trilogy, but I never bothered to wonder what happened to her. I just assumed she died of old aged or something. But after reading this book and what Lucy not only meant for District 12 but to Snow added a new layer to The Hunger Games world for me. Not to mention why Snow kept an eye on Katniss back then. He must have seen the spirit of Lucy in Katniss.

What I didn’t like about the book is the love story. I am not even sure if it was a love at first sight type of romance, but it seemed like a Stockholm Syndrome Lucy Gray version for me. It felt forced and I didn’t see the spark. I might have rooted for the couple if it gave me the feels, but there is none. But I see why the author decided to take that path and the impact of the relationship in the overall story of Snow and his character development.

All in all, this is a fun book. It added another layer to Panem and the Games we knew and loved. I am even glad that this is not the Snow origin story that I thought it will be. Not gonna lie though, I wish Suzanne Collins would write another prequel book, one that revolves around the rebellion of District 13.

Give this book a shot if you love The Hunger Games like I did! Maybe you are one of those people who loved it, or maybe you are not. As for me, I am still in the in between. I didn’t hate it, but I wouldn’t say that I love it as much as the original trilogy.

Until next time!



A reader who becomes a villain, a queen, a princess, a heroine, and a warrior depends on the story that she reads. A dreamer who wishes to dwell in the world that she visited through the pages of her book. A frustrated blogger who wishes to put into words the frustration, boredom, and excitement that she felt throughout her many journeys outside the real world.

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