Book: The Ballard of Songbirds and Snakes
Author: Suzanne Collins
This is my 98th read for the year
I want to start this review by saying that I read this book back in 2020 when it came out HOWEVER - I somehow never blogged about it. We moved shortly after I read it, and maybe I just forgot? I searched for it the other day to see how I felt about it the first time I read it and was surprised to find I missed writing about it. So here we are. I decided to read it again right before I went to see the movie and was pleasantly surprised that I remembered more about it than I thought I would.
This is the Prequel to the Hunger Games book and the story of Cornelius Snow. It is the 10th Hunger Games. The Capital is still trying to recover from the war. This year, the game makers decide to bring in top students from the capital to be mentors of the tributes from the districts. If the mentor's tribute wins the games, they can win a coveted prize, and Cornelius is desparate to win. His family has struggled since his parents died and they need the money that is offered from the games. When Cornelius gets assigned to Lucy Gray from District 12, he feels his chances of winning are slim. He decides to do everything in his power to help Lucy win and in doing so, discovers something about himself - that his desire to win trumps all.
I liked this book. I am a big Hunger Games fan, and am always happy when an author takes us deeper into their world to help explain how characters became the way they were. It is a well thought out story of Cornelius and the beginnings of the Hunger Games. The way they were in the beginning is very different than they play out in the most recent books when it is 65 years into the future. I actually would have liked to have seen Collins take Cornelius' story a bit further to when he actually becomes President and when he starts to treat the tributes "better" (for lack of a better term) in regards to the lead up to the games.
Great book - both times.