Review | The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games #0) by Suzanne Collins

“Snow lands on top. 3.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: iridescent snakes, untailored clothes, white long stem roses, mentors, zoo cages, rainbow dresses, essays, guitars, songs, mockingjays, water bottles, compact mirrors and freedom.

When it comes to complete series, I’m always skeptical when an author decides to introduce a new book. And that’s exactly what I felt when I knew this book was coming. On the one hand, I was excited to relive the Hunger Games experience again because it’s one of my favorite stories, but on the other hand I knew there was a great possibility that this addition would be a flop. And to be completely honest, I still don’t know entirely what to feel about this book.

In case you don’t know, this book is about president Snow when he was younger. I wasn’t very excited when I found out it was about him, but I actually enjoyed it more than I thought it would. I liked him when the book started. He was very ambitious and you could tell he was very smart, but what really stood out the most for me were his social skills. The guy could walk into a room and make every single person like him. But I quickly understood he was actually a two-faced b*tch, and this is one of the elements I have mixed feelings about. I respect the way he worked hard to get what he wanted but at the same time, he was such a phony to people he didn’t care about. I just don’t know what to feel about him! I was also really surprised to see how much he influenced the Hunger Games. It was very unexpected to see him suggesting the use of sponsors and gifts to help the tributes and encourage more people to watch the Games.

Lucy Gray was the kind of a character I wasn’t expecting to get in a book like this. She was interesting and colorful and full of life! I spent most of the time thinking about if she was related to Katniss in some way since she’s also from District 12, and what would be her destiny when the book ended – because we all know how Snow turned out in the end. With this said, I don’t have mixed feelings about her, but I do have mixed feelings about the ending. I mean… how am I supposed to feel after that ending?

One thing I found interesting was how we got to see how the Hunger Games were made before. This was the first time where they had a mentors/gifts system going on and the technology was not as advanced. I also thought it was crazy how they kept the tributes in zoo cages and they called veterinarians if someone needed assistance. That’s crazy! I was expecting the book to follow the Hunger Games entirely, but since the book is about Snow, I guess it made sense there would be more to it other than the Games.It was really cool to go back to this story because it’s one of my favorites, and I loved the references to the original trilogy – like the hanging tree song, for example. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it as well. It gives you a good glimpse of what Snow was like when he was younger so if you’re interested in that, you should check the book out… but keep in mind he’s not a likeable character!

xoxo, Neide

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