A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was a weird one. It’s not a bad book but I didn’t enjoy it. In this post, I will be reviewing Suzanne Collins’ latest book.
I’m going to warn you now – This review is going to be really full of spoilers.
The Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes Synopsis
In The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes we follow Coriolanus (Coin), Snow. He is preparing for one of the earlier (10th annual) Hunger Games and he is going to be a mentor.
His family have fallen on hard times and the games give Snow a slender chance to mentor the winning tribute.
Everything is against him and especially when he is given the female tribute from District 12. Especially when, Snow gets feelings for the doomed tribute.
Book Review: Why I didn’t like The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
The writing style
The writing style is more grown-up than the original trilogy. And it’s very different to the original books. If you were expecting a fast-paced, action-packed thrill-seeking adventure – then this isn’t the book for you.
This book is more of a character study. It gives you a more insightful look at Panem. The book delves into the history of Panem, The Hunger Games and how they came to be such a big spectacle.
The early development and psychology of the Hunger Games is a fresh take. Fans will love all the references to the original books.
I just wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting a faster pace. It also doesn’t explain everything you are expecting it to – the most notable being that you never find out exactly how Snow becomes President.
I hate Snow. He’s meant to be unlikable in this novel. And Collins has done a really good job.
Collins clearly takes great pains to show how much of a villain he is. We see how self-centred and manipulative it is.
In the first two chapters alone Snow much time worrying about his suit even though 24 people are going to die. The entire friendship with Sejanus just serves to prove how immoral Snow is.
‘The disgrace would kill his grandmother. It would be kinder to toss her out of the window of the penthouse. At least that would be quick.’
He is emotionally detached from much of the action. He constantly thinks about how he can present himself in the best possible light. After Arachne is brutally killed he talks about feeling strangely detached from the action.
I respect how Collins shows us that Snow was always a villain. It’s very clever. However, I find it hard to read a book when I hate the main character.
Also, it was difficult to like anyone else in the story. Snow’s perception of them tainted me. I couldn’t understand why Lucy Gray Baird would like Snow. It made her seem naive and ignorant.
What I loved about the original Hunger Games stories is -Katniss. Katniss is a strong, badass female lead who has been put in the worst possible position and still triumphs. Without anybody that I adored and respected I couldn’t enjoy it.
What are your thoughts? What did you think of a Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?
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