The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes | Book Review


“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.”

My Thoughts

Suzanne Collins is a genius.

We all know of The Hunger Games, whether we have read then or not. I understand they are not for everyone! They weren’t my favourite novels ever. However, I was really excited for this prequel. I preordered it as soon as I heard the news.

I have no regrets.

This book is one of the best things I’ve read all year.

I enjoyed it more than the entire series combined. Even if you haven’t seen/read The Hunger Games, it serves well as a stand alone. That final sentence made the entire book complete. I just… if anyone else has read this book, please talk to me about it. I just- I loved it.

Suzanne Collins made a pretty brave and bold move, to rediscover the world she wrote 10 years ago and make a prequel for it. You’d expect nothing less than a flop, which is understandable. This is a rare and beautiful exception. 

In the original novels Snow was this side-line character. We didn’t learn much about him, but he was the President of the Capitol. He encouraged the Games. In essence, the ‘bad guy’.

Though this novel was written in third person, we learned a lot about Coriolanus Snow. Collins wrote it in a way that made the reader think they knew Coriolanus, but we didn’t really know him at all. 

If I were to use one simply word to describe him, it would be: cunning.

Of course, the bulk of this novel concentrates on Coriolanus being a mentor in the Hunger Games. His tribute, Lucy Gray, was a very exciting character. Following her story was definitely a journey. I loved the way she complimented Coriolanus but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for her in the end.

Who Would I Recommend This To?

Any fans of dystopian or fantasy would eagerly eat up this book. It’s a great all-rounder, and if you’re not very familiar with dystopian as a genre I think this is a perfect road into it. You’d probably have to familiarise yourself with the Hunger Games world (Panem) before heading into this. Although, if you take the first few chapters slowly, you will be able to plunge in at the deep end. 

Audience wise, I’d say 11-16? The only reason I could see a young adult reading this is if the Hunger Games meant a lot to them. I have seen a fair few people in their 20s enjoy this (over on bookstagram) but, as I said, I don’t think they’d pick it up unless they already had a good relationship with the Hunger Games original series.

This book is one of the best I’ve read all year! It was a great escape in those weeks where academia got a bit stressful. I couldn’t put it down – and the satisfaction after finishing it is like eating up an entire Christmas dinner. 

What are you reading at the moment, or what do you want to read next?

Hope you have a lovely week,

Catherine x

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16 thoughts on “The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes | Book Review

  1. I bought this book when it first came out and haven’t read it yet. I LOVE The Hunger Games series and worried that I’d be disappointed. Now I’m thinking I should start it ASAP. Great review! 🙂


  2. Your writing as always never fails to capture my attention! Praiseworthy. I’ll have to check out this newest book. It sounds like Suzanne was very dedicated to the series and was able to pick up where she left off. What a beautiful thing- she was so invested in this fictional world she’d created that she made it real for so many people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That first line Maryam. Made my whole week. If not month… I’ve had a pretty rubbish day but you really uplifted me!

      I hope you enjoy this book just as much as I did. Despite its length I didn’t feel intimidated by it ❤ x


      • Oh, I see. I’m glad I could do that for you! Sorry to hear you aren’t feeling the best. Would you like to chat? Always here if you need me x

        That’s great! Just about giving books a chance really. You never know, they could surprise you and become a firm favourite!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I really appreciate that, but I am feeling better now. Yesterday I properly sorted out my room and it was really nice not to do anything in particular – just watch Doctor Who and tidy up ❤

        Do you have any book recommendations you think I might enjoy? x

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m really enjoying poetry and interior design books at the moment! I’m currently reading the three birds renovation guide. I doubt that’s up your alley but it is full of pretty pictures and handy tips!

        I’m just resting and watching YouTube at the moment. It’s been so hot in Sydney today- 40 Celsius!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Renovations are so satisfying, I sometimes watch them on TV. Although I’m not even close to calling myself an interior designer, I know I could do better than some of those people XD People get so excited by open plans that I think it can ruin the charm of an older property. Do you know what I mean?

        Goodness Maryam – I don’t know how you can survive in such high temperatures! I’d crumble ❤

        Thank you for reading and your kind comments as always! x


  3. I absolutely loved this post Catherine (not that I ever expect any less hehe)! I had had ‘The Hungar Games’ sitting on my book shelf for around 3 years before I finally decided to read them (in lockdown) and honestly I loved them! So much, haha, that my friend bought me all the movies for my birthday. I haven’t read ‘The Balled of Songbirds & Snakes’ yet however I am going to borrow it off my friend as soon she’s finished reading yet!! Lots of love, Meg x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww – you’re so incredibly kind Meg! They are really clever books. Wow – enjoy the movies. I’ve not watched them all but they have been sitting on my shelf for a while. I’ve watched the first one a couple of times though. And let me know if you like The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes just as much ❤ x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I saw A LOT of bad feedback about it so I was very hesitant to purchase it. I liked the first book in the series but not the other two. What was this book most like, the first book in the Hunger Games series or the other two??? I can’t decide if I should take the risk tbh 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Take the risk!!! It was just as magical as the first Hunger Games. I enjoyed it more than the entire series combined. The following two books were a bit of a let-down – agreed. Still a very interesting world and this book is fantastic (at least in my opinion) x


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