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The Ballard of Songbirds and Snakes

The first book I willfully chose to read for fun that made me fall in love with reading was The Hunger Games. So it was no surprise that when I found out Suzanne Collins was writing a prequel to the series that started it all for me, I lost my shit.

The Ballard of Songbirds and Snakes takes place in a Panem 64 years before we are ever introduced to Katniss Everdeen. Going back and reading from this perspective gives us readers a glimpse at how the fuck this dystopian civilization started.

The book follows a young, charming (soon to be) President Coriolanus Snow. We get an inside look at what made him into the monster we know him as and see the foundation of the games beginning to form.

Collins sure did try and make me feel bad for Snow in this book, showing us that he had like emotions and stuff. For a brief moment I had some empathy for the fucker. But then the book ended, I gathered my thoughts and remembered why I hate him with a burning passion.

Some of the things I absolutely loved about this book and was satisfied with was how full circle it was. Stories and songs that we learned from our time following Katniss are revisited, but now we get to read the origin about how they came to be. Seeing where these came from how they translated and appeared in The Hunger Games gave me chills.

I was also a big fan of all the new characters we were introduced too. The whole time reading I couldn’t help but try and picture who would play them in the movie adaption (because if I don’t see this on the big screen, I might spontaneously combust).

I would definitely recommend reading The Hunger Games trilogy before picking this one up because there are so many subtle references and foreshadowing clues that you wouldn’t understand. Having some prior knowledge of Panem and how these decisions made decades ago shaped an entire society.

If you liked the original 3 books, you’re going to love this one. It’s a fact. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be patiently waiting over here until the movie comes out.

Stars: 4/5

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