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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020)

par Suzanne Collins

Autres auteurs: Voir la section autres auteur(e)s.

Séries: The Hunger Games (Prequel)

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2,176885,592 (3.67)26
A beautiful foiled, hardback journal to coincide with the release of the new novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
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Affichage de 1-5 de 87 (suivant | tout afficher)
I loved The Hunger Games when it originally came out. I reread the book when Catching Fire was released the next year and then read both when Mockingjay came out. I was wary about reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, especially after a few people said it didn't end; it does end. I really enjoyed the origin story of Coriolanus Snow. Now I need to re-read the trilogy:)

People want characters to have some quality that redeems him/her. If we only met Corio through other characters' eyes, we would feel he has some redeeming traits. By being inside his head, we know what he's really thinking and can determine the degree to which Corio does or does not have redeeming traits. Corio values prestige. Living through the war, being hungry, and hiding their economic decline grates on him. He "plays" for his audience at all times, always thinking what will serve him best. We meet the people he attends school with and discover that he often says what he thinks they want to hear. He hopes to pull his family up to where they belong, so he strives to succeed. This year, there are changes to the hunger games and the students will mentor/sponsor a participant. Corio gets one of the worst districts: District 12. He'll never win. It's time to make a plan.

The lady in charge of the hunger games, Dr. Gaul, has little humanity. She finds Coriolanus an interesting specimen, watching him closely, performing a few experiments to see how he behaves and/or adapts. The students receive an assignment to think of ways to make the hunger games more successful. Coriolanus excels with this thinking. Gambling and allowing people to send gifts to participants would make it more interesting. These are immediately accepted and enacted by Dr. Gaul. Thankfully, Corio ends up with a girl, Lucy Gray, who knows how to work an audience. He's got something to work with. He needs to sway the audience to get money and gifts for her.

I'll stop there. I don't believe in spoilers unless writing an analytical essay! The actual hunger games take up a small portion of the novel. After the games, we see the consequences of Corio's choices, hoping he is forced to change because of circumstances. In the end, the novel completely develops Coriolanus Snow's character and how he becomes the man he presents in the Hunger Games trilogy. If people think there are loose ends, there are none for his character, which is the point of the novel--his character. You understand why the hunger games exist as they do in the trilogy and why he makes the decisions his makes in regards to the districts and Catniss. Enjoy the journey into his unbending mind. ( )
  acargile | Dec 1, 2021 |
This book lays the background and ground work for the hunger game series and filled in why President Snow became what he was after a series of unfortunate events. The cold and ambitious protagonist did not endear me to the book, the abused became the abuser, and it is all about power, staying on top. However, it did fill the background with how the hunger game evolved. I also have problem with the evil scientist, psychopathic Dr. Gaul. The book painted a bleak picture of scientists, even though most of the scientists are ethical and compassionate. ( )
  Baochuan | Dec 1, 2021 |
Monsters aren't born - they're made.
They are the sum total of all that happened to them.

Now we know where President Snow's journey into monster-dom began.

We first meet Snow as a more or less typical kid concerned with school, friends, getting into college ... he may not be entirely likable, but he is just a kid. A kid who already has his eye set on becoming President.

What happens in the pages of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes are the first few steps into what created the monster who eventually ruled Panem. ( )
  DonnaDeck | Nov 20, 2021 |
Where does this fit in the Hunger Games series?
The Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins is the prequel to the Hunger Games series. This book takes place 64 years before Collins’ The Hunger Games. If you have read or seen the movies, you are familiar with President Snow, the ruler of Panem and The Capital. The Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes is his backstory, and it is filled with surprises and tie-ins to the series. Much of the story revolves around the 10th Hunger Games, Coriolunus’ struggles with the lead Gamemaster, Coriolanus’ friendships, Coriolanus’ family, and Coriolanus’ relationship with his tribute. At first, Coriolanus sees being a mentor for the Hunger Games as a privilege, but over time, he realizes he is more of a pawn in a bigger game being played. He realizes who his real friends are compared to those who are also using him for their personal betterment.

Should you read it?
Yes, I would definitely recommend The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, but I would offer a disclaimer first. This book was more graphic than I remember the other Hunger Games books being, and that is saying a lot. Like the other books, too, be wary of getting too connected to characters, because there is a lot of death, too. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone younger than 8th grade. If a student has read The Hunger Games and its following books, this book will give them a whole different perspective of not only Coriolanus Snow but also the progression of the Hunger Games and the Capital. I would recommend reading the original series first and coming back to this one rather than starting the series with it.

An image of the edition I read can be found above on this page.

Curious what NPR had to say about this prequel? https://www.npr.org/2020/05/19/858059553/the-ballad-of-songbirds-and-snakes-is-a... ( )
  Walsh4KoMets | Nov 15, 2021 |
I was dubious when I learned that this book would be the "origin story" of one of the main villains of the Hunger Games trilogy, but honestly it was a bold move. As a reader, one goes into the story already loathing the "protagonist" (which is as nonsensical as it sounds, at first). However, Collins masterfully portrays Snow in a way that the reader is torn between sympathy and disgust for the decisions he continually makes. It's disjarring, to say the least, and yet it made it difficult for me to stop reading the book to do other things.

I will say, some of it was pretty predictable, but part of that does stem from being a prequel that was written well after the original books (and films) were released. The audience ultimately knows what happens to Snow, and they expect to dislike him no matter what. The strength in this book is that it makes you want to know more about him, and how his involvement in the tenth Hunger Games led to even more disturbing incarnations of the Hunger Games in the following years, up to the ones that readers first experienced with Katniss Everdeen.

I didn't think I'd like this book, and part of me is still disturbed by what I've read so I can't say I enjoyed it exactly, but I do have to admit to a greater appreciation of Suzanne Collins' writing abilities. (I should add though: it dragged at times and could have been shortened without losing anything integral to the overall story.) ( )
  bookwyrmqueen | Oct 25, 2021 |
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Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Suzanne Collinsauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionscalculé
Fontana, SantinoNarrateurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé

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A beautiful foiled, hardback journal to coincide with the release of the new novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

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