The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins
I am a huge fan of the Hunger Games, so when I saw this prequel came out, I had to read it. It takes you back to the (almost) beginning, featuring a young not-yet-President Snow and his journey through being one of the first mentors of the games. At the 10th Hunger Games, they enlisted students of the Capitol in an effort to enhance the games; brainstorm ways to make them more interesting, as well as reinforce the importance of them to keep the rebels in place.
It was interesting to see the basic beginnings, and how it shifted from basic killings to a much more elaborate affair, thanks in part by the out-of-the-box thinking of Coriolanus Snow himself.
Snow’s tribute, District 12’s Lucy Gray Baird, didn’t have much promise to be a winner, but as a charming songstress with a way with snakes, she was not all she seemed. Neither was Snow, who was very different than the ruthless leader we had come to know. You saw his innocence as a child of the system, and how time and circumstance molded him. You watched how this sweet girl had a knack for overcoming obstacles, while slowly learning the truth of who she really was.
The book takes interesting twists and turns, and it was just as fascinating as the rest of the series. What I loved most about this book were the references to future events and happenings that add an even deeper level of understanding – like why he hated the concept of the mockingjay, where some songs originated, what katniss was (not the girl) and insight into certain district and Capitol behaviors.
Absolutely intriguing prequel to an already fabulous series. For anyone a fan of Suzanne Collins, this is a must-read!
To hear more about my thoughts on and how I connected the female tribute, Lucy, check out my video book review, Find Yourself in a Character:
To learn more about this week’s author, Suzanne Collins, you can find her here: http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/
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