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Non-Spoiler Review | The Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes… This book made me so mad.


| Published: 2020 by Scholastic |
| Genre: Dystopia |
| Themes: War, Hunger Games, Poverty |
| Length: 528 Pages |
| My Rating: ⭐ |

*Before I get into this review I want to say that there are probably a lot of reasons why I ended up giving this one star, which I’m going to try and explain. Hopefully I am in the minority here!

Hi Readers…

I could pretty much tell from the first paragraph of this book how I would end up feeling about it. From the beginning it set off a tone I wasn’t a fan of and I’m so gutted to say how disappointed I am in it.

When it was announced this was about Snow’s beginnings, I was intrigued. But that first paragraph had me playing those tiny violins and I just couldn’t get them out of my head.

It was just so, ‘why should I care?’ Aww, he’s suffered? That’s a shame. Maybe I’ll let Katniss and the other 1,800 children that were sent to their deaths know and ALL will be forgiven.

I think not.


It’s the 10th Hunger Games and a young Coriolanus Snow has been made a Mentor for the girl from District 12. These games are very different to the techy, celebrated games we see Katniss take part in however.

The Capital is still feeling the effects of the rebel uprising and the games themselves aren’t celebrated or even really watched by a lot in the Capital. They need to get viewing figures up or their show’s going to get cancelled.

What a shame that would have been…

What do I like about it? I liked seeing how the Games have evolved. I just wish it had been done differently. I felt so uncomfortable with the idea of feeling sympathtic for Snow and the Capital and it really left a bad taste in my mouth.


You are introduced to SO MANY new characters in this and I did not care for a single one. None of them stuck with me and I honestly think that comes down to the person Collins decided to tell this story through.

I think Lucy, the girl from District 12, was supposed to be that character you root for but she really wasn’t my cup of tea (although I can see why others may disagree). Honestly I found her slightly annoying and out of place in this series.


I hate to say this, but the writing just didn’t do it for me either. I mean, this is an actual sentence (quite early on in the book) that made me burst out laughing it was so cringey:

The cabbage began to boil, filling the kitchen with the smell of poverty”.

Ugh. She’s just trying so hard to get us to sympathise with Snow the way we sympathised with Katniss and it just didn’t work for me.

I also wasn’t a fan of the pacing. This is told in three parts and the first two, while I still didn’t enjoy them, kept my attention because they were largely about the games. But part three started and I was just done. I didn’t care about the characters or the story and I just couldn’t wait for the book to be finished.

The ending was also anti-climatic, but it also kind of made my blood boil a little. If you’ve read it I’m hoping you understand but I’m going to do a spoiler review soon so we can talk about it more then!

Overall Thoughts

It’s not very often I feel so negatively about a book and I know it’s partly because I’m comparing the story and the characters to that of The Hunger Games, and can anything ever really compare to that? I think this book has just proved to me it can’t.

It also fell victim to my general opinion on prequels which is, are they really necessary? Like I said I think it was interesting reading about how different the Games were in their early stages, but I personally think that could’ve been done in a novella. This didn’t need to be a 500+ page book.

I don’t know if maybe it’s my fault. Did I hype it up too much in head? Should I have not reread THG and reminded myself of all the manipulative and cruel things Snow has done to characters who I LOVE?

Honestly though, I just don’t think this book was ever going to be for me.

I would love to know your thoughts about this! Hopefully you enjoy it more than me!

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X


8 thoughts on “Non-Spoiler Review | The Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes… This book made me so mad.

  1. I didn’t feel much sympathy for Snow either, and that actually made the book a better read for me. I had been worried that the book would build him up as some kind of hero and then push him into a cataclysmic fall, which is a plot structure that, while sometimes successful, is spectacularly bad when it fails. I’m very glad that isn’t the route Collins took. While I could (mostly) understand his rationale for the choices Snow made, I didn’t feel any pressure to agree with them. Writing the book in third person was definitely a good call, because it allowed the reader to have a little more distance from the character.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that may be the point; Snow maybe Capitol-poor, but as a Capitol citizen, he still has privileges that other poorer characters (esp. in the Districts) don’t. In illustrating how Snow navigates poverty and other issues he came across, I think Collins is showing that Snow could’ve been an empathic, that he knows what hardships feel like so he should be championing for the districts, but (spoilers) his choices, even in the first moments of the book, show how he’s not a redeemable or too much of a sympathetic character through and through.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really on the fence about reading this book because I loved the Hunger Games and don’t really want to ruin the memory of it πŸ˜‚ But at the same time, I’m sort of intrigued to read this.

    Liked by 1 person

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