5.27.2020

Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes www.hungergameslessons.com



Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
Original book jacket cover art by Elizabeth B. Parisi, © Scholastic Inc.

*WARNING: This post WILL contain spoilers.*

When Suzanne Collins ended Mockingjay with the line, "But there are much worse games to play," she was right. And here they are.

I've spent the past week reading and re-reading parts of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the newest release from author Suzanne Collins and the highly-anticipated prequel to The Hunger Games trilogy. Needless to say, there's a lot to digest in the 517-page book. The novel is written in third-person from 18-year old Coriolanus Snow's perspective. This differs from The Hunger Games trilogy, which is written in first-person from Katniss Everdeen's perspective. I did not have a problem with the way it was written since we still "see" things through Snow's point-of-view. I actually loved that the reader was able to see a young Snow and learn more about this man's rise to power. Of course, this is just a glimpse because the entire novel is only comprised of about three months of his life. Three very formative months, of course.

It begins on July 4th, Reaping Day for the 10th Hunger Games in the Capitol. From the beginning, I love how Collins gives us information we craved but didn't get in the original trilogy, like the date of the Reaping. We learn that Snow is being raised by his grandmother (his dad died in the war and his mom died during childbirth, along with his younger sibling). But what was the biggest revelation in the second paragraph is that his cousin is none other than Tigris, the former stylist who feeds and shelters Katniss, Peeta, and Gale on their quest to kill President Snow in Mockingjay. This surprise adds dimension to both characters and what I really love about this book. It really makes you want to reread the original trilogy with a fresh lens. And this is just the beginning!

We learn that the Hunger Games is not very popular with the citizens of the Capitol and that the district tributes for the past nine years have never had mentors. In fact, viewing of the Games is not mandatory for ANY citizens and the arena is a dilapidated coliseum. The "challenge" for the 10th Hunger Games is to get more people to not only view them but to engage with them. To do so, it is decided that the brightest youth from the Academy will mentor the tributes. Just as district children are reaped for participating in the Games, the Capitol youth are assigned their district tributes right before the Reaping. Snow is assigned the District 12 female tribute, which he takes as a slap in the face. But when it turns out his tribute is 17-year-old Lucy Gray Baird, a spunky singer with a touch of vulnerability that makes her an instant fan favorite, Snow has some hope that maybe he didn't get the absolute worse tribute.

Collins is able to let us feel smidgens of empathy for the young Snow; more importantly, though, we get to see why he does what he does. His family is no longer rich and he's desperate for a scholarship to the university. Being a mentor of a winning tribute will secure him a scholarship so he can continue his studies and hope to someday rule Panem. So whatever he feels for Lucy Gray, it's always in relation to how she can secure him the future he feels he is owed. He is the epitome of privilege. He even refers to her as "his." Their relationship is very complicated, of course, but it forces him to make changes to the Games to help Lucy Gray survive. I truly loved seeing the Games evolve in the first two parts of the novel. We see Snow struggle with ethical dilemmas between his classmate Sejanus Plinth–who definitely serves as a moral compass–and Head Gamemaker Dr. Volumnia Gaul–evil incarnate. The two polar opposites make Snow wrestle with his own ethics. And while we all know what becomes of Snow, there's that sliver of hope that he will choose good over evil.

Collins also introduces us to Dean Casca Highbottom, the mastermind who created the Hunger Games. He's a complex character who reminds me of Haymitch: he has the potential to be a good influence on Snow, to take a stand against the barbarism of the Games, and yet, he turns to alcohol and drugs instead. It made me wonder if he had taken Snow under his wing how differently things could have turned out? Alas, the heartbreak of the book is that we know all these opportunities for Snow never come to fruition.

Another thing I love about the book is that we get to return to District 12, which presents so many references to the trilogy. For instance, Lucy Gray composes the Hanging Tree song inspired by another character we see hung for attempting to spark another rebellion. How fitting that this same song is used in the rebellion in Mockingjay. And not only did Lucy Gray write that song, but she also composed the Meadow song, which Katniss sings as Rue dies in the 74th Games. All these little Easter eggs bring new understanding to Katniss' rebellion and Snow's utter aversion to District 12.

I can't say that I completely loved the book as much as the original trilogy. I didn't connect as deeply to the characters and part of me kept wondering how many years the book would cover and if we would fast-forward to the falling out between Tigris and Snow. The fact that the book contained an epilogue makes me believe that this is it for the series. 😭 But I wish we could have one more book from Tigris' point-of-view set about 50 or so years later that covers her falling out with her self-serving egotistical cousin. I think I would be much more emotionally invested in her perspective. It would also show us more of the behind-the-scenes workings to the Games, this time from a stylists' perspective. Even if we don't get Tigris' story, I love that Collins made her character more dynamic. In Mockingjay, Katniss describes her as another shallow Capitol showboat until she was banned from the Games. The Tigris we see in Ballad is nothing like that. I want more of her story.

I also found the catch-phrase "Snow lands on top" a little overdone. I don't know why it began to grate on me as the book went on, but somehow it did. Maybe it was Snow's all-consuming arrogance that was more annoying. I did appreciate Collins including the mockingjays and his hatred for them. The line from page 516 "...she and her mockingjays could never harm him again" struck me as funny because we know Katniss–as the mockingjay–will cause all sorts of problems for him, and yet, he is absolutely right. Katniss doesn't kill him in the end. Instead, it's his arrogance that kills him as he laughs so hard at Katniss killing Coin that he chokes himself to death. And then is trampled on. Definitely not landing on top.

In all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I definitely think it will be a great classroom staple and I will be creating teaching materials, as well. I think your students will love the richness it brings to the other novels.

What did YOU think of the novel? Post below in the comments. I would love to hear your thoughts!

128 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kami situs bandarqq online terpercaya selalu membayar hasil kemenangan pemain dengan penuh.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I want to know more about Tigris too! I kept hoping Snow would be good and there would be one definitive moment when he would turn evil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I agree! I think seeing how evil/unsympathetic his grandmother was, he definitely takes after that side. It makes you wonder if his mother had lived if he would have been a little more compassionate and less evil.

      Delete
  4. I simply must tell you that you have written an excellent and unique article that I really enjoyed reading. I’m fascinated by how well you laid out your material and presented your views. Thank you.
    Punjab News

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business. https://hustlefy.co/

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a really awesome post this is. Truly, one of the best posts I've ever witnessed to see in my whole life. Wow, just keep it up. rocket league ranks

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is an awesome motivating article.I am practically satisfied with your great work.You put truly extremely supportive data. Keep it up. 바카라사이트

    ReplyDelete
  8. So the activity cherishing individual won't appreciate it, however that doesn't make the riddle game terrible! sa gamingสมัคร

    ReplyDelete
  9. Stickers come in lots of varieties. They are fit and suitable for lots of situation; custom reflective sticker colourful designs & superior printing. No longer do you require purchasing stickers & wondering if they will hold up in your situations, our stickers will, & we guarantee it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. If we print hologram stickers and keep doing trade in the similar technique and make no alteration then sooner or later, we will be abandoned by our clients. Holograms assist your customers to know your products authenticity and reality. It is extremely vital and significant to select the correct hologram sticker printing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for your nice post I really like it and appreciate it. My work is about Quality Packaging Solution. If you need perfect quality boxes then you can visit our website.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your Post is very informative. If you are looking for the best Handmade Soap Boxes then Check out our Exculsive range of Custom Soap Boxes at wholesale Price with free home Delivery. We are serving thousands of businesses in the UK, Canada and USA.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your article is very useful for us. If you are looking for the Cheap Bespoke Boxes Manufacturer then Check out our Exculsive range of bespoke Boxes at wholesale Price.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I want to express my gratitude to you. I hope you don't just overlook it and read my article well. I solved my problem. Please visit my site and write.토토사이트

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for sharing.
    Do you need stock image downloader? Gorilla stocksbunny makes your wishes true.

    ReplyDelete
  16. We are the best packaging printing company to provide best packaging for CBD Industry. You may visit our website named custom boxes printing to get CBD display boxes for your soaps products. We provide quality boxes at affordable prices with free home delivery all across U.K

    ReplyDelete
  17. In my opinion, the item you posted is perfect for being selected as the best item of the year. You seem to be a genius to combine 안전놀이터 and . Please think of more new items in the future!

    ReplyDelete
  18. While looking for articles on these topics, I came across this article on the site here. As I read your article, I felt like an expert in this field. I have several articles on these topics posted on my site. Could you please visit my homepage? 온라인홀덤

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am regular visitor, how are you everybody?출장안마


    This article posted at this website is in fact good

    ReplyDelete


  20. You make it entertaining and you continue to care for to stay it smart.
    I can’t wait to learn far more from you.
    This is actually a wonderful web site. Slot

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've been looking for photos and articles on this topic over the past few days due to a school assignment, and I'm really happy to find a post with the material I was looking for! I bookmark and will come often! Thanks :D 토토사이트

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is a good article. You can also visit Article forge group buy. Article Forge is the smartest article writer ever created. Enter a keyword and their artificial intelligence automatically writes unique and readable articles.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I don't know how many hours I've been searching for articles of these answers. Glad to find your article.바카라사이트

    ReplyDelete
  24. I accidentally searched and visited your site. I still saw several posts during my visit, but the text was neat and readable. I will quote this post and post it on my blog. Would you like to visit my blog later? 우리카지노

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi there, You have done an excellent job. I will certainly dig it and personally suggest to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this web site. 스포츠토토

    ReplyDelete
  26. I was impressed by your writing. Your writing is impressive. I want to write like you.토토커뮤니티I hope you can read my post and let me know what to modify. My writing is in I would like you to visit my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  27. A person from an overall perspective assistance to make genuinely posts I'd state.This is the central occasion when I frequented your site page now?
    I covered with the assessment you made to cause this reliable to spread amazing.
    Incredible work! อนิเมะ

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here. 온라인포커

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. 바카라사이트 From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is the right site for everyone who would like to find out about this topic. 더킹카지노

    ReplyDelete
  31. Great Post for Beginner to understand. 카지노사이트
    I finally found great post here. Thanks for information.keep sharing more articles.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Simply unadulterated brilliance from you here. I have never expected something not as much as this from you and 먹튀검증 have not confounded me by any reach out of the inventive vitality. I acknowledge you will keep the quality work going on.

    ReplyDelete
  33. This is the perfect post.토토커뮤니티 It helped me a lot. If you have time, I hope you come to my site and share your opinions. Have a nice day.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Such a great post i like it very much thanks for sharing with us keep it up.
    Makeup boxes USA

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is extremely helpful for me 카지노사이트

    ReplyDelete
  36. I've seen articles on these topics a few times, but I think your writing is the cleanest I've ever seen. I would like to refer to your article on my blog and write it.먹튀검증커뮤니티

    ReplyDelete
  37. Dubai Fun Club for luxurious Dubai Escorts and entertainment services. You can easily find the best Escorts in Dubai on our website.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. 토토사이트

    ReplyDelete
  39. What a post I've been looking for! I'm very happy to finally read this post. 토토사이트 Thank you very much. Can I refer to your post on my website? Your post touched me a lot and helped me a lot. If you have any questions, please visit my site and read what kind of posts I am posting. I am sure it will be interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Have you heard about SEO Tools group buy?

    SEO Group Buy Tools offers some of the best selling SEO tools that can increase your website visibility and generate traffic for your site at affordable prices. SEO Tools Group Buys offers affordable SEO services through their wide range of SEO Marketing Tools. You can utilize a number of SEO Tools from this group at affordable prices.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Way cool! Some very valid points! 먹튀검증디비
    I appreciate you penning
    this write-up and the rest of the site is also really good.

    ReplyDelete
  42. 토토사이트 Right away I am ready to do my breakfast, later than having my
    breakfast coming again to read additional news.


    ReplyDelete
  43. Whats up! I just want to give a huge thumbs up for the good info you have got right here on this post. 스포츠토토I will be coming back to your weblog for extra soon.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I just want to say I’m very new to weblog and seriously loved your web page. 카지노사이트 More than likely I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . You actually have outstanding stories. Thanks for sharing with us your webpage.

    ReplyDelete
  45. 온라인카지노사이트 Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Looking at this article, I miss the time when I didn't wear a mask. 온라인바둑이 Hopefully this corona will end soon. My blog is a blog that mainly posts pictures of daily life before Corona and landscapes at that time. If you want to remember that time again, please visit us.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'm so happy to finally find a post with what I want. 안전놀이터순위 You have inspired me a lot. If you are satisfied, please visit my website and leave your feedback.

    ReplyDelete
  48. nice blog it help me a lot thank you
    http://www.pakistanjobs.pk/data-entry-jobs/

    ReplyDelete
  49. I need you to thank for your season of this awesome 먹튀검증!!! I definately appreciate each and every piece of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff of your blog an absolute necessity read blog!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Very good article! We will be linking to this great
    content on our site. Keep up the good writing.

    Here is my web site - 오피사이트


    ReplyDelete
  51. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that produce the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing! 파워볼

    ReplyDelete
  52. After looking into a few of the blog posts on your site, I seriously appreciate your way of blogging. 경마

    ReplyDelete
  53. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited this site before but after looking at a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. 슬롯머신

    ReplyDelete
  54. Great article. I’m dealing with a few of these issues as well.. 토토

    ReplyDelete
  55. I really like what you guys tend to be up too.
    This kind of clever work and exposure! Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to our blogroll.온라인카지노

    ReplyDelete
  56. Great article I enjoy reading your thoughts. More power to your website.

    Please visit mine too https://www.wooricasino.top

    ReplyDelete
  57. I am sure this article has touched all the internet viewers, its really really
    pleasant piece of writing on building up new website. 강남오피


    ReplyDelete
  58. Interesting and amazing how your post is! It Is Useful and helpful for me That I like it very much, and I am looking forward to Hearing from your next 바카라사이트

    ReplyDelete
  59. I saw your article well. You seem to enjoy 토토사이트추천 for some reason. We can help you enjoy more fun. Welcome anytime :-)

    ReplyDelete
  60. An archery package is more than just a bow and an arrow. This article delves into the mystery of why compound bows should be fitted with a stabilizer.
    Bow Stabilizer

    ReplyDelete
  61. Every weekend i used to go to see this site, as i want enjoyment 안전놀이터, since this this site conations genuinely fastidious funny data too.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Good day! I could have sworn I've been to this website
    before but after reading through some of the post I realized it's new
    to me. Nonetheless, I'm definitely glad I found it and I'll be bookmarking and checking
    back frequently!대구오피

    ReplyDelete
  63. Your internet site is superb. I believe visitors will certainly collect a great deal of info as well as understanding after reading this write-up. Based upon this understanding, I'm mosting likely to create one more one, you're my idolizer for providing me a big tip, thanks, I'm increasing a notch. 바카라사이트

    ReplyDelete
  64. hi!! Extremely fascinating examination happy that I ran over such instructive post. Keep doing awesome. Happy to be a piece of your net group. 온라인바카라


    ReplyDelete
  65. Yes i am completely concurred with this article and i simply need say this article is extremely decent and exceptionally useful article.I will make a point to be perusing your blog more. You made a decent point yet I can"t resist the urge to ponder, shouldn"t something be said about the other side? 안전놀이터.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great writing, have a nice weekend! 바카라사이트

    ReplyDelete
  67. I'm writing on this topic these days, , but I have stopped writing because there is no reference material. Then I accidentally found your article. I can refer to a variety of materials, so I think the work I was preparing will work! Thank you for your efforts. 먹튀사이트

    ReplyDelete
  68. First of all, thank you for your post. Bóng88 Your posts are neatly organized with the information I want, so there are plenty of resources to reference. I bookmark this site and will find your posts frequently in the future. Thanks again ^^

    ReplyDelete
  69. ฝากเงินด้วยยอดอย่างต่ำเพียงแต่ 100 บาทเพียงแค่นั้น
    ต่อจากนั้นเปิดเข้าเกม pg slot ที่ปรารถนาเข้าเล่น รวมทั้งเริ่มเกม 5- 10 รอบแรกด้วยเงินที่ใช้ในการเดิมพันอย่างน้อยสุดของเกม เมื่อมองเห็นแล้วว่าเกมนั้นเงินรางวัลออกดีรวมทั้งตลอดให้เพิ่มเงินที่ใช้ในการเดิมพันขึ้นมาอยู่ในระดับกลางของเกม ซึ่งแต่ละเกมบางทีก็อาจจะระบุยอดเงินแต่ละรอบแตกต่างกันเอาไว้ควรต้องเลือกตามสมควร
    เริ่มพนันจากน้อยไปๆมาๆก pg slot
    อย่างที่พวกเรากล่าวไว้ในข้างต้นแล้วว่าควรจะเริ่มพนันที่เงินลงทุนอย่างน้อยสุดไปก่อน และก็แล้วก็ค่อยเพิ่มเงินที่ใช้ในการเดิมพันขึ้นมาตามสมควร ทั้งเงินที่ใช้ในการเดิมพันสูงสุดของเกมก็สามารถดึงมาใช้ทำเงินได้ด้วยเหมือนกันแม้กระนั้นจะนิยมใช้เพียงตอนก่อนจะปิดเกมเพียงแค่นั้น เพื่อเพิ่มผลกำไรให้มากขึ้นนั้นเองและก็ปิดเกมได้เร็วขึ้นกว่าเดิม

    ReplyDelete
  70. This the most tender part of love, each other to forgive. By far the best proof is experience. Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose. ยูฟ่า168

    ReplyDelete

For you, the three-finger silent salute...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...