The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Book - 2020
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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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middlemonkey
Mar 01, 2021

This is a worthy prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy featuring Coriolanus Snow's life before presidency over Panem. This book ends in a way that I at first believed was "unfinished," because it left room for thinking about "what could have happened." Somehow, in this book, that didn't annoy me as much as most books do when they leave the ending open to the speculation of the reader, but it made sense for the mysterious aspect to the story. Overall excellent book. Suggested for ages 13+

jcljessicaj Feb 01, 2021

The Hunger Games series is the only thing I've reread multiple times. The story is truly fascinating, and I uncover something new with each reread, so I was THRILLED to get my hands on this prequel. President Snow is such a ruthless, intriguing character, and one can't help but wonder what makes him tick. This story gives you a peek inside. I wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I just loved the story. Suzanne Collins is an incredible author. The story had me wondering, theorizing, and connecting the dots until the very last page. Now I have to read the series again, so I can catch all the call backs!

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Eva0502
Jan 31, 2021

One word: confusing.
Or maybe it was because I skimmed it. It was personally a bit boring...
Everyone’s giving it such good reviews tho...

IndyPL_TammieB Jan 27, 2021

It was fun unpacking more of Panem's history and sharing the origin of the early Hunger Games: the source of the hanging tree song, why Snow despised Katniss so much from the get-go, and how certain features of the games were implemented, etc. It was really interesting. If you’re someone who knows the original books super well, then I think you’ll get the most enjoyment out of it. There’s so many references and nods to the original books that made me so excited! I also thought Snow’s perspective was super interesting to be in and it gave us loads of information about the world of Panem.

lgmosher Jan 23, 2021

The best thing about this book was the title....
.... And little else.

Disappointment, disappointment all around!

You thought Snows character sucked in the trilogy.... Oh Collins gas taken it to a whole new level!

He not only wants to make you pull your hair out now but also BASH your head against the wall until you fall unconscious to save yourself from the boredom of this book.

I LOVED the hunger games, it's one of my go to references... But honestly, I'm hoping I can forget that this happened.

It was a lot of nothing happening..... I felt like I was at the DMV waiting for my number to be called. Sure, the workers look busy... But they're really playing solitaire instead of calling my number.

---- boring ----

She set herself up for failure because her trilogy was just so great. Move on to another story and leave the hunger games to be the wonderfulness that it is.

Aaaannnnnddddddd.... I'm just gonna be real for a moment, no one NOT ONE read the hunger games and went

"huh, I really want to know more about Snow".

Nah, we all wanted him to die a 100 deaths *shrug* sucks to suck Snow.

Just, don't bother.... It ain't worth it.

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CalebCulbertson
Jan 22, 2021

Amazing book, almost as good as the original series.

SAPL_Teens Jan 20, 2021

We all know the horrendous President Snow. The one that had no heart, who tried to kill Katniss many times, encouraged the slaughter of youth, and murdered Prim. Well, he wasn’t always this way. This sequel to the Hunger Games trilogy dives into the origin story of one of the series most hated characters. Did you know Snow started off dirt poor. He kept a good name and reputation using charm. A slippery one. He is a snake after all, weaving words and looks. Saying what the people want to hear. Manipulation is an easy task if it means survival. Suzanne Collins took my breath away more times than I could count in this twisted story. There are so many things I wish I could warn you about before picking up this novel. It will play with your emotions and make you question whose side you’re on. I can only advise that you keep your wits about you. And remember; May the odds be ever in your favour. 3.5/5 stars - SAPL Read It & Review Contributor

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Linyarai
Jan 20, 2021

I am so in love with this book I am hesitant to start something else. I loved The Hunger Games, but found this to be almost better. Between the characters and the world building it was really well done, and even though the ending was a bit rushed and very "wait, what's happening" it explains a lot about him and their future.

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FPL_CassieW
Jan 16, 2021

This Hunger Games prequel really allows the reader to see Snow in a different light. Now I must re-read the series!

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PeteCarrollsboy
Jan 04, 2021

With this book being a prequel, I have to say it was amazing. Knowing what Snow had to go through I view him in a different way now.

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Schultze1104
Dec 28, 2020

As an adult reader of the original trilogy, I thought this was an interesting read. It drags for long stretches, but then slams the reader with bits of wisdom and truth about power, popularity, and human nature. Neatly ties into the trilogy which I have been inspired to go back and re-read to find all the connecting threads.

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JelloLuck
Dec 24, 2020

Lots of adventure, a bit of slasher and blood.

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lavender_creek
Dec 23, 2020

This prequel to Hunger Games is about teenage Snow, the future-to-be president of Panem. The book is written in third person, which makes it more streamlined and clean-cut than the original trilogy of Hunger Games. Yet, the story is more subdued, and you won't find the same intensity of the trilogy. It is not exactly a page turner, but I assure you will not be disappointed by the ending, much like that in Mockingjay. If you liked reading Hunger Games, you would enjoy this book.

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abbib_0
Dec 08, 2020

As an adult who enjoyed the original trilogy, I found this prequel FANTASTIC. It's a very unique pro, centering a novel around a villain, and fittingly it's a wild ride as he develops from an average (even sweet at times) youth to megalomaniac. I did not find a single part "boring," as some reviewers felt, and as that's a subjective - I rather felt each and every paragraph was literary genius painting a deep portrait.

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sofiathomas013
Dec 07, 2020

Gripping and shocking are the best words to describe this book. You empathize with Coriolanus in the beginning and feel pity for his situation. But at the end you realize you have been empathizing with an extremely unreliable narrator. A mad man who tried and maybe succeeded at murdering his girlfriend, who he told us he was in love with. And set his friend up to be hanged. In reading this book you will see and choose for yourself how bad people and situations can affect someone, even if their soul was black from the beginning. Coriolanus Snow is a villain, as we all know. But this book tried to trick us into taking his side, and it almost worked.

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2280nRz
Nov 22, 2020

love it. there are some boring parts. in general, tho, gripping and exciting!

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Nov 16, 2020

When I first heard of the new prequel to the amazing Hunger Games series, I was ecstatic, and after reading, I was not disappointed. The book follows Coriolanus Snow, as he is a mentor of a tribute in the 10th Hunger Games. It shows his history, as he plays a major role in the original Hunger Games Series. This prequel also shows the evolution of the Games, and how it came to be so popular. It includes many references to the Hunger Games and explains them further, and on a deeper level. Reading this book made me very happy, as I love The Hunger Games books and was so excited to find out that there were more. When reading this book, there were some parts that I found quite slow, yet there were also parts that I could not put the book down. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed The Hunger Games series. @teen_reader19 of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

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Binning85
Nov 15, 2020

Boring Boring Boring

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booksmile
Nov 08, 2020

Ohmigosh, an 18-yr-old Snow as protagonist??? Whyyy choose the point of view of a murderer instead of almost anyone else living in the same time/place??
Even as a young man he was so self-centered, bigoted, lacking in empathy, and sooo calculating already. Friends, love, and other people's lives were all less important than his control/power/status.
Agh, I wound up reading it all anyway just because the world back-history and other characters were interesting...sigh...

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jonahdrake
Nov 07, 2020

The story "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" is about a top-performing student at the academy, and one of the selected people for being a mentor for the Hunger Games competition, which is Coriolanus Snow. He came from a well known wealthy family, but over time, they had slowly faded into commoners. Doing a good job at being a mentor could spot him at the University, which could allow him to receive a better job than a commoner. The mentor’s job is to guide a tribute and come up with strategies to have the upper hand in the Hunger Games competition, a free for all last one standing fight to the death battle of tributes from each district. It is the 10th Hunger Games, and there is a new system that allows tributes to have a mentor for the games. Coriolanus’s tribute is Lucy Gray Barid, a tribute from the district known for having bad contestants, District 12. Before the Hunger Games began, bombs were placed and ignited at the arena as a protest/rebellion against the Hunger Games. About 13 tributes and mentors died from the bombing, making it the first time that so many tributes had died before the games had even begun. I really enjoyed the first 300 pages or so of this book, so about a little bit after the Hunger Games competition ended. This was because I felt like the resolution/plot of the story after the Hunger Games weren’t that interesting for me at least. However, the Hunger Games competition itself was really entertaining and intense, and the descriptive words matched how the story was told in the original “Hunger Games” book. Overall, I would suggest this book to 6th grade and up, for it is pretty easy to read, and the content is great.

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priya_i
Nov 04, 2020

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this book because I had heard mixed reviews, but I was pleasantly surprised when I read it for myself. I thought it was a very interesting prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy that provided a really interesting insight into the life of President Snow. I liked reading about what had happened in his life leading up to the events of the main trilogy and thought it was pretty good. If you liked the Hunger Games, I’d recommend checking this prequel out too.

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Ninja_kitty
Oct 23, 2020

everybody says its boring. it is, a little bit. only die-hard thg fans will stay interested

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lingling_wang
Oct 20, 2020

This prequel to the bestselling Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins has been her best yet, I would say. The story follows Coriolanus Snow, who is chosen to mentor one of the tributes in their 10th Hunger Games. He has hopes of being the mentor of the winning tribute, which would grant him his university tuition, free of cost.

As stakes grow higher and Coriolanus and his District 12 girl tribute's fates intertwine, this page-turner of a book has readers all over hooked!

I really liked how TBOSAS incorporated things we've seen from the other three books, and elaborated on them. As a prequel, it did a fairly good job of expanding on their dystopia world, and showing what happened, 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games.

Hunger Games fans, dystopian, action/adventure fans might enjoy this book.

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Bugzysmom
Oct 11, 2020

My comment is going to echo a lot of them on here. I Blazed thru the 1st 3 Hunger Games and have read them/watched the movies more than I care to admit ;) When I learned about this I immediately placed a hold and waited 8 months. I've read it ... I liked the history and Easter Eggs and I can see the author is setting herself for at least 2 more books as this was the 10th Games and Katniss came along in the 74th... A lot of changes happened ie: Feeding, housing and presenting the tributes did a complete 360... So those of us that enjoy this saga will most likely be compelled to at least check out the next but it did not come close to the 1st 3 - In My Opinion.


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