I Read “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” And It Was A Lot
Start writing a post

I Read “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” And It Was A Lot

I hope the odds are in Suzanne Collins's favor because you'll either love this story or hate it.

I Read “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” And It Was A Lot
Emma East
There are a few things you need to know before jumping into TBOSAS:
- So, this story takes place during the 10th Hunger Games which makes it a prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy, but you can enjoy this book without reading the originals!

- The protagonist is Coriolanus Snow (aka President Snow)!

- Suzanne Collins, the author, never disappoints.

Now on to the important stuff!

It's big.

As soon as I ripped open my Barnes and Noble box, I noticed this book is big just like the title. The stories of Panem have typically been around 400 pages, but "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" consists of 528 pages packed with information. I only felt its length about ¾ of the way through, but the pacing overall was immaculate.

It's brutal.

As a reader, the familiar patterns of Suzanne Collins's pen were the only comfort in reliving yet another Hunger Games. It was brutal. And, that's kind of the point. My face scrunched up uncomfortably reading paragraph after paragraph of violent actions. At first, I wondered why put us through this again? It must be torturous to write. Then it hit me. Suzanne Collins is commenting on the fact that familiarity with violence should not desensitize its effect. This is not our first time in an arena, but it is the first time we see how familiarity affects our perception of violence.

The 10th Hunger Games is a large part of this book, but it is not the sole component of the narrative. Memories of the war and the devastation that followed are frequently relived. Violence is the ghost that haunts nearly every page of this prequel. War is not glamorous. Collins expertly leads readers through painful experiences with her characters, but she does it tastefully and without excessive gore.

It's new.

Although this world is familiar, it is NOT a repeat of past stories. The best part is that Coriolanus Snow is a modern villain. Collins drops us in the very soul of Snow, and his motives and internal monologue are now ours to interpret. Long gone are the days when a villain was evil for the sake of being evil. Seeing into Snow's mind and feeling his emotions creates a constant tension within readers. Humanizing a villain is something readers rarely see, but this risk creates a depth in both the storyline and the reader.

It requires reflection. 

"The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" encourages personal reflection in order to be felt and understood properly. If you are looking for a basic narrative to entertain you, this book is for you! But, it is so much more than a few hours of entertainment. This book guides your mind through roads rarely walked on.

If you're looking for something deeper, this book is for you too! At the end of the book, a Q&A with Suzanne Collins is included. She explains how philosophers such as Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau are incorporated into her work along with poets like William Wordsworth. If you want to dive even deeper, she reflects on why different people believe in different styles of government. Honestly, Suzanne Collins's discussion questions are THE BEST! Do not skip over them!


Collins delivers a narrative that comments on human nature, violence, and government. All while challenging individuals to define their own believes on such matters. Such complex ideas packaged in a YA fictional book is not only entertaining but a timely lesson for us all.

Rating: 4.5/5

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Haunted Houses For Halloween In New Jersey

The Top Scariest Haunted Houses In New Jersey


Residing in New Jersey enables you to participate in various activities, and everyone has a favorite. In New Jersey, Halloween is also celebrated in a spooky way. There are many scariest haunted houses in NJ to celebrate Halloween. If you want to confront your greatest fears, Halloween Scariest haunted houses are ideal.

Keep Reading... Show less

Leaving My Backpack In The Library

Views about society and the stranger sitting right across from me


As a college student, my backpack is an extension of myself in many ways. It contains my notes, pens, and computer vital for my success in college. It contains the snacks and water bottle I need to survive long days on campus. It also contains the "in-case" items that help put my mind at rest if I forgot something from home: extra hair ties, masks, and that backup-backup snack. With so much in my backpack important to me and my life on campus, it is no wonder that I can get apprehensive about it when it is not with me or in my line of sight. And that makes me wonder.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Cool Gadgets To Make Your Car Smart

Don't let this stop you from making your car smart. You can change the one you have using smart gadgets that transform your car into a smart car.


Cars are no longer just a mode of transport, where you only worry about the engine and how beautiful its interior is. These days, everyone wants to make their cars smarter, those with advanced technology systems. It makes sense for several reasons. It can make your vehicle more efficient and safer when you need to drive.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Inevitable Truth of Loss

You're going to be okay.


As we humans face loss and grief on a daily basis, it's challenging to see the good in all the change. Here's a better perspective on how we can deal with this inevitable feeling and why it could help us grow.

Keep Reading... Show less

'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' Film Review

Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson lead a tigher, more fun sequel to 2018's 'Venom'

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmWuCgJmxo

When Sony announced that Venom would be getting a stand-alone movie, outside of the Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man films, and intended to start its own separate shared universe of films, the reactions were generally not that kind. Even if Tom Hardy was going to take on the role, why would you take Venom, so intrinsically connected to Spider-Man's comic book roots, and remove all of that for cheap action spectacle?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments