The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games #0)

Suzanne Collins


It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, 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.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) This was my highest anticipated new release this year. I was so incredibly excited to dive into the world of Panem again. This book was good but it didn’t fulfill all my expectations. 

We follow Snow as a teen and learn about his life and experiences of the 10th Games. He is a mentor (mentors are new that year) and it’s interesting to read his experiences and how the Games were different.

Everyone is still rattled by the war and the starvation and recovering from the atrocities. The Snows were hit very hard and are still struggling. While Snow is very interesting, I’ve decided he wasn’t interesting enough for me and my expectations. I never connected with him and I was left with a feeling of wanting more. I’m not sure why there wasn’t the connection though because while arrogant, he was generally kind and caring. It did start the beginning of molding into the Snow we know.

It was still an enjoyable read and I’m glad I read it but it didn’t have quite the intrigue that the initial books had. Did Katniss carry the story? Was it initially the shock value? I’m not sure. But even the Games (still horrifying) did not grab me. I missed the inventive and deliberate arenas. I missed the horrifying intellect that flowed through the Games. 

Many times I felt the desire for a book at the start of the war. I want more info into what happened that led to so many atrocities and the upheaval of their society. The minute details of this would fascinate me.

The content was very high for violence. There were dead and live bodies strung up above crowds or people being hanged. Obviously, young people are killing young people and that in itself is very violent. The war brought on many horrors such as cannibalism. Yep, you read that right! I don’t believe there was any language or much intimacy at all except a few kisses. The violence is similar to those of the other books. 

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