The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Book - 2020
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"Revisits the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York : Scholastic Press, ©2020.
ISBN: 9781338635171
Characteristics: 517 pages ;,22 cm.

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m
min13
Apr 09, 2021

Coriolanus Snow, 18, is preparing for his one chance at glory as a coach in the Hunger Games at the start of the tenth annual Hunger Games. He's been assigned the humiliating task of mentoring the lowest of the low tribute from District 12. Their fates are now inseparably connected. This is a book that Suzanne Collins decided to publish, about a decade after the last installment of the Hunger Games, Mockingjay. I was looking forward to reading this book because I was curious as to what else Collins had to add ten years after the ending. Alongside this, I was excited to see how this book would play out since it was about President Snow who was known to be the face of the ruthless Capitol’s dystopian government. I found this book not as exciting as the Hunger Games trilogy as it felt pretty slow and dull at times. However, it was interesting how Suzanne Collins wrote 18-year-old Snow’s character. She didn’t justify any of his actions or outright write him as a villain but instead makes the point that villainy does not emerge out of thin air, and there might not be a single point at which someone becomes evil, it’s just a series of actions that may lead down that path. I would recommend Hunger Games fans to read this book because it was interesting to read more about Snow as well as read the Hunger Games in a different style and tone.

I wasn't sure how I'd feel about reentering the world of the Hunger Games, but I enjoyed it immensely. I love how Suzanne Collins can work such structure into her novels and mixes the familiar with the new. What drives this from an engrossing, intense read up to the level of a fave for me is the moral philosophy that Collins weaves through her words.

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indigo_butterfly
Apr 06, 2021

The Ballad of the Songbirds & Snakes shows us the life of young Corolanious Snow. Yep! This book is about President Snow, as a teen. It explains to us why he turns out the way he is.
The book shows us a love story between Snow, and another girl from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird.
By the end of the story, we see how power and pride can change a person.

We get to see how the Hunger Games are formulated, how the authorities make it more interesting for the citizens of the Capital - and a lot of it is from Snow's ideas.
We meet the character, that I think, personally, shaped President Snow - Dr. Gaul.

We realize why the Capital likes the Hunger Games, because they think they suffered a lot in the war, they don't realize the Districts had suffered too.

Remember Tigris from Mockingjay? Well, she's in this story too - and if you've read the other books already, it's a surprising position she's in now, compared to later, in the Mockingjay novel.

The book is a bit slow at times, but nonetheless, I enjoyed it well! :)

b
brucechrumka
Mar 27, 2021

This book was a painful 'back-to-the trough' sequel that has no humor, no imagination and brings nothing to the original trilogy. Frankly, it's poorly written torture porn, half-baked for an audience stunned by 'reality' TV and real-world violence.

s
Suzanne_A
Mar 26, 2021

As soon as the book came to a close and my mind was blown, I knew for sure this was and is my new favourite book. The plot was so enticing and incredibly played out and I really admire the boldness of the author with the characters (if you know what I mean).
As well as continually putting me on the edge of my seat, the interesting ideas, questions and conflicts had me deep in thought along with Coriolanus. The author didn't fail to surprise me and this prequel sets the base for Coriolanus' character seen in the other books in the Hunger Games series excellently. I can easily say it's the best book in the series (in my opinion) - great writing and delivery!

d
darladoodles
Mar 25, 2021

Is Snow falling down? Or will Snow land on top? I put off reading this prequel. After all, Snow is probably one of if not my least favorite characters. Give it 50 pages, I told myself. If it is not working, you can DNF and return it to the library. Then I started reading. Suzanne Collins did an amazing job of sketching out the origins of the Hunger Games we know and still hiding surprises galore. I gave up trying to guess how it would end. When I got to that last page, the ending was even more appropriate than I imagined. So many pieces have been put in place. It is like a laser pointer aimed straight at Katniss Everdeen. This would be a fascinating book to discuss with a book group. The debates that could be had regarding courage, conflict and contract. . . I know I am going against popular opinion, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Barrie_Teen_Lists Mar 22, 2021

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins is the fourth book to be released in the Hunger Games series. It acts as a prequel to the other three books, taking place more than a half-century before. It details the life and struggles of a then young President Snow of Panem. This book was highly anticipated by many readers, including myself.

a
Andreaquach
Mar 16, 2021

In this prequel of The Hunger Games, we see Panem and the 10th annual Hunger Games through the eyes of teenager Coriolanus Snow. The Academy’s top 24 students are selected to mentor the 24 tributes chosen for the Hunger Games, one boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts. Lucy Gray, the girl from District 12, is Coriolanus’s tribute, and immediately she shines like a star. Together, Coriolanus and Lucy Gray win the Capitol’s favor through her singing and character, and along the way build a relationship stronger with each other. When the time arises for the tributes to fight for lives in the Games, Coriolanus takes measures that keep Lucy Gray alive- risky measures that won’t go without consequence.
I was so hooked on this story and especially the past of Panem’s future president, Coriolanus Snow. He was such a strong character to watch develop more and more, using his wits and intelligence to stay on top. His life was anything but glamorous, but he excelled despite his rough past and poverty. I also really loved his relationship with Tigris- it makes him seem more human.
The ending was a twist I didn’t expect and truly reveals the Coriolanus Snow that we know and see in the Hunger Games series, despite everything he endured. If you love The Hunger Games books, this prequel will only make you love this series more- but of course you don’t have to read the Hunger Games to immerse yourself in this book. I recommend this book for teens/young adults into dystopian, adventure, and action.

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lizardkitten
Mar 09, 2021

First of all, I loved the hunger games trilogy! I also really enjoyed this book as well. Getting insight into Snow’s childhood and backstory was heartbreakingly eye-opening and after reading this I immediately started reading the hunger games again. Definitely worth reading, and learning how the hunger games evolve into the games we find Kathiss in years later. Give it a try, it’s an easy read and interested me from the start.

s
Silver_Moon_7
Mar 01, 2021

I would rate this book 4/5 stars. It is a prequel to the Hunger Games series and is about the backstory of the cold-blooded villain Coriolanus Snow. Coriolanus is an 18-year-old living in the Capitol, preparing to be a mentor to a tribute in the Hunger Games. Coriolanus’ family has fallen on hard times, and he has to try his best to mentor the winning tribute to win a full scholarship to the University. Coriolanus is also determined to outshine his fellow classmate, Sejanus Plinth, who is wealthy and well-known.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the Hunger Games series and to fans of dystopian novels. Coriolanus Snow is an intricate character who takes his public image very seriously and takes any measure to preserve it. There was some violence, but the book leaves most of it to your imagination. It was a little bit slow-moving at some points, but most of the book keeps you engaged and interested.

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Age Suitability

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i
indigo_wolf_391
Mar 25, 2021

indigo_wolf_391 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

IndyPL_TammieB Jan 27, 2021

IndyPL_TammieB thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

e
edbodnar
Jan 26, 2021

edbodnar thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

c
CalebCulbertson
Jan 22, 2021

CalebCulbertson thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

n
Ninja_kitty
Oct 23, 2020

Ninja_kitty thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

d
DOITLIKEAPRO
Sep 26, 2020

DOITLIKEAPRO thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

h
Hannah Acabal
Sep 11, 2020

Hannah Acabal thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

j
Jessicading_0
Aug 26, 2020

Jessicading_0 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

j
JHope24601
Aug 15, 2020

JHope24601 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

b
blue_dog_42057
Jul 26, 2020

blue_dog_42057 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Notices

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n
Ninja_kitty
Oct 23, 2020

Coarse Language: a*s jack*** p**s

n
Ninja_kitty
Oct 23, 2020

Frightening or Intense Scenes: heck ton of violence. descriptive and disturbing violence.

a
Arattay
Jul 24, 2020

Violence: Very bloody, but good overall

j
JelloLuck
Jul 21, 2020

Violence: This book contains blood, killings, slasher, thriller and horror. But if it was in a movie, it would be even worse (14+).

r
readingfairy
Jun 08, 2020

Violence: Like the original Hunger Games trilogy, this book features lots of gore and violence, as characters are killed, hit, battered and bloodied, tortured, and hanged. However, I wouldn't say it's very vividly described, instead, it leaves many details to the imagination.

Quotes

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It's sooner than later that I'm six feet under.
It's sooner than later that you'll be alone.
So who will you turn to tomorrow, I wonder?
For when the bell rings, lover, you're on your own.

And I am the one who you let see you weeping.
I know the soul that you struggle to save.
Too bad I'm the bet that you lost in the reaping.
Now what will you do when I go to my grave?

i
indigo_wolf_391
Mar 25, 2021

“That is the thing with giving your heart. You never wait for someone to ask. You hold it out and hope they want it”

IndyPL_TammieB Jan 27, 2021

“Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping.”

v
violet_gorilla_79
Oct 05, 2020

"Down in the valley, valley so low,
Late in the evening, hear the train blow.
The Train, love, hear the train blow.
Late in the evening, hear the train blow.

Go build me a mansion, build it so high,
So I can see my true love go by.
See him go by, love, see him go by.
So I can see my true love go by.

Go write a letter, send it by mail.
Bake it and stamp it to the Capital jail.
Capital jail, love, to the Capital jail.
Bake it and stamp it o the Capital jail.

Roses are red, love; violets are blue.
Birds in the heavens know I love you.
Know I love you, oh, know I love you,
Birds in the heavens know I love you." - Lucy Gray

h
Hannah Acabal
Sep 11, 2020

"Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping."

Summary

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IndyPL_TammieB Jan 27, 2021

This books is a prequel to the original series. In this story, President Snow is only Coriolanus Snow. His family has fallen on hard times in popularity and survival and he has a chance to bring them back to their glory. He is a mentor in the Hunger Games and hopes to help bring a tribute to a win. Unfortunately, the odds were not in his favor. He is humiliated to be assigned to mentor the tribute from district 12. Will he lead her to victory? Will he help her survive? Will he actually begin to care about his tribute?

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