Book Review: “ The Ballad of SongBirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins

There are so many ways to describe this book , but one word is not enough to embody what this text depicts. The parallels to our current worlds and the climate of the world issues around us are metaphorical shown throughout the 30 chapters of this novel.

It was very refreshing to get Snow aka Coriolanus perspective and backstory when it comes to his experiences, upbringing, life story, and how he came to be a part of the Hunger Games throughout the novels.

In the beginning of the story , Coriolanus begins his journey to be a mentor for the Hunger Games for a young lady named Lucy Gray. Despite the dynamics of the game, Coriolanus and Lucy Gray are instantly connected in a way they never thought. This was very shocking for me to see, and I was a bit bias being that I have read the other books in the series before this one years ago.

We can all agree that “Snow” left us all with a bitter taste in our mouths and a sense of numbness, so to feel any bit of sympathy for him throughout this story was very shocking and different for me. Coriolanus came from humble beginnings and a broken childhood. I love that Suzanne Collins adds this psychological part to the story which helps readers understand why Snow is the way that he is and it’s isn’t just this is who he is but this is why he is the way that he is portrayed throughout the many books in the series.

I am going to admit that I had to read this book chapter by chapter. Mainly one or two or day. It is a very good read but the themes are so heavy that I found myself needing to take a break, but all in all I did enjoy this book. The book is about 515 pages, and has small lettering, so it is a lot to digest in even a few hours.

As I was reading, I found myself connecting the Hunger Games to social media and reality tv. The viewers of the Hunger Game in the story get so intrigued by the Hunger Games and having a winner to represent the districts that they forget to show empathy for the harsh treatments and problems of the Hunger Games. They see them as animals instead of humans. This is the same way “cancel culture” and reality tv has made their “stars” aka “victims” the center of abuse and ridicule in exchange for views, fame, and money. As you read try to connect these topics and you will see more and more how Suzanne Collins has always been far ahead of the times, and could further your thinking and make you wonder while at the same time entertaining you.

The Hunger Games is not just another young adult novel, it’s a social issues book that can easily teach valuable lessons for many of us such as: greed, friendship, selfishness, dealing with egos, wealth and social class.

Without the threat of death, it wouldn’t have been much of a lesson. What happened in the arena? That’s humanity undressed. The tributes. And you, too. How quickly civilization disappears. All your fine manners, education, family background, everything you pride yourself on, stripped away in the blink of an eye, revealing everything you actually are. A boy with a club who beats another boy to death. That’s mankind in its natural state.”

Page 243 – The a Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

This is one of my favorite quotes from the book. This quote truly embodies the themes of the Hunger Games and again emulates the dynamics of society today throughout different lenses.

Have you read the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes yet ? Are you a fan of the series ? Comment down below your thoughts.

If you haven’t purchased the book yet, feel free to purchase it here at BookShop.org . It is definitely worth it and will recommend the hardcover!

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