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Canyon Echoes

The Student News Site of Canyon Vista Middle School

Canyon Echoes

The Student News Site of Canyon Vista Middle School

Canyon Echoes

Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

There will be spoilers and it is opinionated
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While some believe that The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is amazing and even better than the trilogy, others believe it doesn’t even hold a candle to it. I believe it is a great book, but I don’t think it is better than the trilogy. In the trilogy, we only see one side of Coriolanus Snow, but in the book, we learn more about the twisted mind of Snow, District 12, Tigris, the Capitol, and the Hunger Games.

The book is split into 3 parts: “The Mentor”, “The Prize”, and “The Peacekeeper”.  The only thing I do not like about the book being split is how the second part of the book is called “The Prize”, maybe because it is the part that focuses on the actual Hunger Games, but I felt that she could have found a better name.

In addition to Coriolanus, there are a few very important people in the book. There’s Sejanus, an annoying friend to Coriolanus from the Districts, Snow’s kind and fashionable cousin Tigris, Dr. Gual who will groom Snow into the heartless Snow we see in the books, and the Academie’s Principal Casca Highbottom, who created the idea of the Hunger Games for Dr. Gual when he was her student and dislike Coriolanus because of his father.

The book begins with young Snow having the chance to mentor the tribute from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird, to whom he soon has an “attraction”. He and his family have struggled to make ends meet and mentoring is his only way to a better quality of life.

He cheats and kills to help Lucy Gray and himself. However, they do become victorious, but not before Coriolanus is forced to become a peacekeeper in District 12.

We see Lucy Gray Baird and meet the Covey in District 12. We also see Sejanus who becomes a peacekeeper as well. Snow likes peacekeeping, loves the structure and little freedom of choice, and believes he could come to power from the military. 

Until Sejanus tells him he wants to escape, which ends in a brutal crime scene with Coriolanus killing Mayfair, the mayor’s only daughter. Coriolanus ends up killing Sejanus, using the Jabberjays. Coriolanus and Lucy Gray flee to the North. Not wanting to tell her he was the one responsible for Sejanus Plinth’s execution, Snow lies that he killed his old self to flee with her. Lucy Gray realizing he is lying flees, Coriolanus follows her and when she doesn’t answer his calls and tricks him, he opens fire. 

I think that Coriolanus Snow genuinely believed he loved Lucy Gray, “His possessive and jealous tendencies cast doubts on the authenticity of his love. Snow’s possessiveness extended to other people he loved, such as his cousin Tigris, demonstrating a dangerous and possessive pattern in his relationships.” said a source from imdb.com.

It feels completely different from the Trilogy, and even though it is a good book it was a slow page-turner, and I didn’t enjoy it. It was extremely boring until Sejanus’s death, and that was when the excitement picked up. I would rate it 2.4 out of 5.

There are many theories on what happened to Lucy Gray Baird, some say she just died there, or she made it back to District Twelve and is Katnisse’s grandmother because her father was known for singing the Hanging Tree, and having a good voice, or his the women who gave Katniss the Mockingjay pin in the Hunger Games movies. Others say she made it to District Thirteen and is President Coin’s mother.

Snow returns to the Capitol, and works on making the Hunger Games with Dr. Gual. Making the Games more like what we know from the Trilogy. He will become the President of Panem, and with his, strategic and sadistic mind, he will rule over Panem until the “76 Hunger Games”.

The Hunger Games is an amazing series and I hope you enjoy the books and the movies too. And if you don’t I hope your children have to fight to the death in the Hunger Games.

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About the Contributor
Emily Keller, Staffer
Hey, I am Emily, and I am excited to be a part of Journalism this year. I love to play sports, read, and binge-watch series.

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