The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel)

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel) by Suzanne Collins Book Summary

The odds are against him. He's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined - every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel) (Suzanne Collins) Book Reviews

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- Huge hunger games fan4 star

So I’m just going to say that I came into this without very high standards. And I don’t mean this to say I thought Suzanne isn’t an amazing writer because she is, I just was a little worried it would be one of those sob stories where you are supposed to feel bad for a psychopath murderer. But it was more like an adventure into Snows twisted mind. And at times it really messed with me where I began to feel like I was him. Something I can say that I really appreciate was the way she wrote his thought process. He was shrewd, calculated and seemingly had no moral compass. And she didn’t try to hide that or sugarcoat it. He was a bad person putting up the facade of being innocent, benevolent and an advocate. But only when it benefited him. Lastly I really really hope to see more content released, specifically the backstory of Haymitch Abernathy and his personal experience in the games. I want to know more about him, given he was such a major character. And maybe even a spin-off of Gale Hawthornes backstory and then his new life in district two

- Twists and Turns5 star

I loved this book. It left me hoping for more about Snow. The way that Collins embeds little pieces of the Hunger Games story really makes for a rich read. I hope she writes more!

- Brilliant5 star

Brilliant! The character development of snow was superb and left me wanting more.

- Really worth a read5 star

I read The Hunger Games trilogy when I was younger and instantly fell in love with those books. Originally I was on the fence about reading this one when I found out it followed President Snow as a young adult but I can honestly say that it was the right call. Suzanne Collins really delivered on details about the early days of the games. Highly suggest you give this one a read if your a fan. All in all a great addition to a series I love.

- Good Show!4 star

This book was impressive. Following President Snow as a young man was a surprising journey into the elitist psyche that we came to hate in the previously published Hunger Games novels. What begins as a coming of age story becomes much more than that. Introducing moral quandaries, mystery, romance, and psychological thriller component keeps the reader engaged in a variety of ways. I always liked Coriolanus Snow as a character, and for those of you inquisitively eying him in the Hunger Games novels and wanting more, this book is for you. Aside from a few examples of what seems like on-the-nose fan service, this is a highly entertaining delve into the Snow we love to hate.

- Loved It!5 star

I hope this is made into a movie. I really enjoyed all of the backstory and suspense! Great book!

- Overall Good4 star

The book was overall very good. The first two parts were full of action, but the third part was a little slow. I think the reason why many people don’t like the third part of this book is why many people don’t like Mockingjay. The hunger Games and Catching fire are when katniss is actually in the arena. In Part 1 and Part 2 of this book it’s about the planning of the games and then we actually see it. Part 3 was still good, but I think that’s what ruined the book for most. And I think it’s also why I took me about 2 weeks to read. I loved the songs, but I hated the snakes. Keep up the good work!

- Underwhelming2 star

Really wanted to like this, but it was hard to get through

- Good but bad ending4 star

The hole book seems grate with a good lesson but the end leaves lots of open doors.

- Not!1 star

So predictable, irrelevant, and ghastly.

- Good, but...4 star

It was overall enjoyable and fairly interesting, but not as good as the Hunger Games series.... but people should read it, it does show how Snow has a history with district 12, and explains his view on things, and how the Hunger Games became to be the way it is. Ok this review might have a few spoilers: So I liked Lucy Gray’s and Snow’s relationship, however I think more could’ve come from it. I wish they kinda showed more of Snow’s life and the past. Maybe they should’ve showed more of his descent into the tyrant he became, and how he became President and drove off Tigris and his friends. The end was a bit too anticlimactic for me. I felt like it should’ve been more dramatic, emotional, and deeper. I was prepared for a villain’s story into evil, which I didn’t exactly get. However, that’s ok, and it was still good.

- Not what I wanted. Great read.3 star

But could have been amazing. Another trilogy could have been more fun to read.drjr11112

- awesome and...4 star

this book was great!!! a bit slow at first but once you get farther into it it has lots of twists and turns. piece of advice for the author though... make a book of peeta’s perspective of things... it would be a real hit, but anyways getting back to the ballad of songbirds and snakes. to put it short, it’s a great book but has it’s twirks.

- Decent3 star

Nowhere as good as the Hunger Games trilogy but the book had its moments.

- Awesome5 star

This was a fun book and has started so many thoughts! This book was one I could read over and over. Never thought there would be a batter book than the original ones, I enjoyed every part.

- NOT good1 star

Sorry but don’t listen to the 5 star reviews!!!! They’re based solely on the authors namesake. Before you hate me, I am a HUGE fan of the author and her previous works so I was VERY excited for this book to come out! YES I knew it was going to be a bad guy “origin story” and was excited for it! But I can’t lie just because I like the author. Perhaps Collins just isn’t ‘good’ at writing the opposite perspective . It’s just SO bland and really doesn’t do the characters justice. It’s like she was half heartedly writing bc she needed the money. REALLY don’t waste your money! Read this at a library. I wish I had! It’s is a shadow in comparison to the others. It lacks depth, mystery or any real motivation. It took me a week to read it when her other books took a day, maybe two. I couldn’t put them down! No seriously—- the plot drags every step of the way, dare I say to the point of becoming dull or boring in places. My attention drifted off multiple times. The songs were BAD. And I ADORED her previous ones!!! It got to the point where I wanted to BEG Lucy Grey to please STOP!!! Song after song after song. Sometimes the same song! The lyrics were just...lame. It was a cool that we got to see the Hanging Tree song origins but somehow this information didn’t add much to the tale. Also Snow’s hate for the Mockingjay’s seems appropriate to his character in the future but there’s never any logic as to WHY he does. BoS&S covers maybe the course of a couple weeks in Snow’s life but some how it managed to stretch over 50 chapters *shudder*. 20 or so chapters longer than her other books. Even tho it’s set from “unpredictable” Snow’s POV the ending is very...well, predictable. I was hoping for some good plot twists/drama/mystery or a larger span of Snow’s life..... Instead we’re left with disappointment and missing answers. For instance, how bout something like a relation to someone we already know being revealed or involved in a more serious way? Like Haymitch or Effie or the lady at the Hob?A beloved character who’s lesser known? At least being hinted at to keep interest. Or Sejanus’ family name having been changed to hide their true identities? They’re really rebels or have some deeper influence to the story somehow. ??? Or Snow having an affair with Lucy Grey(hinting that he’s Katniss grandfather or great grandfather which would explain why he seemed to favor—even like/admire her at times) and showing them—-over the course of several years—having a twisted(more so than a weak love interest) relationship where Lady Grey eventually realizes he’s evil but Snow never comes to that realization himself bc that’s what true narcissists do. They’re very good at hiding their true nature and never admit any wrongdoing. This would also make for a good comparison between their and Katniss-Peeta’s relationship. Anyways, Lady Grey secretly attempts to escape a warped life at the Capitol multiple times until she finally does. Snow of course makes up a cover story about how she tragically ‘dies’ while inwardly he vows to avenge himself on her children/grand-children. What??? You think the almighty Capitol can’t rig the tribute vote?! ORRR how bout more depth and interest with the relationship between Snow and Tigress. I was so eager to see what part she played in the turns out, other than being his baby nanny and surrogate sister, none. How bout showing how the rift in their relationship developed? Such as Tigress disapproves of and turns him in for having a relationship with Lucy Grey? Or she does something else to make him loose respect for her? Such as falling for a rebel or merely helping some rebels in need because she had a “kind heart”? Snow has to choose wether to turn her in or not? There was SO much potential for where this story could’ve gone. Instead we’re locked in Snow’s head, bounced between childish thoughts of school and the crazy antics of his nutjob teachers. I TRULY hope she doesn’t make a sequel to this. I want to go to bed and forget this book ever existed!

- Dark but soo GOOD5 star

First off I’m not a big reader but when I find a good series I get obsessed. While this book is definitely more darker than her others, I still enjoyed it. The darkness comes from the violence that occurs in the book. It felt more aggressive. It was triggering at times but that’s good writing. It gives a whole other perspective into the first three books and really opened my eyes up to who Snow is and how he became debased. If you liked the first three this is a MUST read, even if you hate Snow. Also I have a fear a snakes but pushed through because this book is GREAT!

- Great book4 star

This was a great book! I was there in the moment the whole time. The people who didn’t read it because it is about snow are stupid and should read it. Second best hunger games book needed more emotion and unsatisfying ending even though it was deep. Also. Nyki -nyk your review was stupid u hater I want to say so many bad things about u but I can’t.

- Violent and Depressing3 star

While the ending was satisfying the abuse and violence against children and people in general ruined it for me. Much much more graphic and horrible then the earlier books. Starving children and chaining them in a monkey cage is just too much for me. While it shows very well why Snow is how he is I think it could have been done without straight up child abuse. I also despise snakes so it was a tough read at times. Fans may love it, it was just too much suffering for my heart & soul.

- Absolutely fantastic5 star

I’ve been a fan of both the Hunger Games books and movies, so I was elated to find out about this prequel. Suzanne Collins is a literary genius and never disappoints. The character ark in this is truly fascinating and horrifying at the same time, and I am excited to see the movie adaptation of this. A must read!

- Overall AMAZING!4 star

I got the book two days after it came out and I recently finished it. I loved this prequel so much! It showed many different connections to Katniss Everdeen. It also somewhat explains why Snow had such a grudge on her. It’s hard to keep thinking that Snow is the evil guy in the Hunger games series. This book started to make me think he was a good guy which made me frustrated with myself. I loved the plot sequence and all of the twists. I also liked how Suzanne Collins was able to tie in names over family generations and it was cool to hear about some family members of the characters from the trilogy. However, I wasn’t a fan of the ending. It was getting to a really exciting point as if it was just reaching the peak and I was like, “wait there’s probably going to be a cliffhanger if there is this many loose ends not tied! That means there’s gonna be another book!” I was really disappointed of how it all kind of changed. And more, I want to know the answer to the mystery of Lucy Gray. WHAT HAPPENED TO LUCY GRAY? But overall, this was a great book and a MUST READ for all Hunger Games fans. I have some questions that weren’t really answered in the book such as why did Tigris help the rebels in The Mockingjay? What happened between her and Coriolanus? I also began to wonder after I read the prequel if Katniss was related to people in the Covey if she knew about the hanging tree song because the Covey only sang it once. I think that because Maude Ivory like the song a lot in the book, she might have been Katniss’s grandmother if they heard the song from their father. I don’t think it was meant to be that way but that is what I think. I hope Suzanne Collins writes more books!!! 📚📖

- Nothing redeeming about Snow2 star

I thought this would be an interesting take on one of the main “villains” from the original series, but it really fell flat. At no point did I care about Snow as a main character. The book also has careless loose ends. In hindsight, I wish I could get back the time I spent reading, because at no point did I care enough about any of these characters.

- Great5 star

Should have known how good it would be, but could have know it would be this great. Thrice as good as the other three combined.

- So good! (Can’t wait for the movie)5 star

This book was so good. I couldn’t put it down! It’s a must read during this quarantine.

- A MUST READ5 star

This book was phenomenal! A lot of people are giving it less stars because it’s about snow, but I think that makes it a great book. In the trilogy, we all hated Snow because why wouldn’t we? But the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes gives you a whole new perspective on him and you get to see what led up to his power. I also loved how there were so many areas that tied into the trilogy and how you’d be reading a normal page and realize “hey, that’s in the first books!!” I think Suzanne Collins did an amazing job and the book is well worth 5 stars!


pre-review july 11, 2019: i love love love this trilogy and am soo glad there’s a prequel! there’s not much info out yet but im hoping that it’s in first person pov and so excited for a new set of characters! maybe the tenth hunger games was when the other victor from district twelve won! counting down the days 💕🤞 edit june 11: OKAY. I was so disappointed when I realized this was about snow. But you know what? Like all the other hunger games books, I WAS BLOWN AWAY. This book was amazing, and it had just enough connections to katniss (ex. the songs that she sings.) I was hoping for first person POV, but suzanne was still able to KILL ME with this book in third person. Absolutely recommend, 5 stars.

- Ahh so good!5 star

This might be my favorite hunger games book! It is so amazing and well written, it was just so good. You should definitely read it! I loved the story and the characters, you learn some interesting things about panem and the early hunger games, and stuff that tie in with the original trilogy. So good guys! I recommend

- so so good5 star

this book was so well written and i liked how it was different from the original books. i’m SO excited for this to be made into a movie and i am so happy that suzanne collins released this it made me feel allll the feels

- Glad I finished it so I can stop reading it!3 star

I LOVE the Hunger Games Trilogy, however, I struggled getting through this book when the main character was an awful antagonist. It felt creepy and slimy to read and I just wanted it to be over.

- A jaw dropping look into the past5 star

Looking into Coriolanus Snow’s past shows the reader just how cold he is. It shows you how Coryo, the harmless teenager dies, and how Snow, the man who cared for nothing but staying on top, is born. The Ballad of the Song Bird and the Snake will keep you captivated every second you read it. It is an amazing beginning of the modern Hunger Games

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- Yes. Just yes.5 star

I loved this. People say that I am too young to read young adult books but they’re really good. In the main series we didn’t get a lot of information on Snow, and we sort of just thought he was a baddie but in this it goes in to detail about what he was like before he became “evil”. I also absolutely adored how Lucy Gray and Coryo slowly came to love each other until the point where they were fully fledged boyfriend and girlfriend. I also liked how they showed that not all c as pistol citizens were ruthless. And last but not least, I liked how a capitol boy and a non-capitol girl got together. It really shows that if the capitol worked hard enough, they could all be friends with districts and everyone could live alongside each other in peace. To that one person who read all of this through, I thank you sincerely for your time. Goodbye.


I had watched the first 4 Hunger games movies and was appalled when I saw this book the day it came out. I loved the progression and the way the focus of the book is less in the games and more on the tale and story of the characters. I will forever hate the way Lamina died but overall this book is fantastic, amazing, suspenseful, captivating and remarkable. When the movie adaptation is released I will watch it 100 times over and still find new clues and theories.

- Okay3 star

Filled in a lot of blanks in terms of story line but not the best of her books.

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- I would give it 50 if I could.5 star

I was excited for this book for months before it came out, and I’m not in any way disappointed.

- I’m soooooo exited to read5 star

Omg the seconde I heard it was out I bought it can’t wait to start reading!!! I won’t be surprised if it’s the best books ever existed!!! Ok I wrote enough now I’m gonna go read it!!!!!

- Long winded and boring2 star

I was excited to read this book. However, I struggled to finish it. I found it dragged in parts and was overly a long and boring read.

- Wow5 star

I LUV this book. I can’t wait for the movie and I just love the series and I’m a crazy super excited fan.

- A look into the early days of Panem5 star

Suzanne Collins has seamlessly given us not only a glimpse into the Dark Days of the war, but early post-war Panem and how the country attempted to keep hold of its citizens. Without going deep into spoilers, the treatment of the tributes in the 10th games, the ruthlessness of Dr. Gaul, and of course Coriolanus’ own moral dilemmas, were all amazing facets of this book. I loved a peek into a Panem where citizens of the Capitol were poor and hungry. What a trip. 10/10 will read again. I hope to see more in the hunger games universe, maybe some short stories.

- Not what I was hoping2 star

Spoilers Ahead This book did not precede my expectations. Snow is not a very likable character towards the end, which makes it hard to keep on reading till the end. This book also does not explain things further that happened in the original trilogy. It never explains how Snow became president, and why Tigris is separated from him. One thing that really bothered me, was WHAT HAPPENED TO LUCY GRAY!!!! However, it does explain Snows hatred for mockingjays, which becomes Katniss’ symbol later on. It also explains the nature behind the song, “The Hanging Tree,” and the lullaby, “Deep in the Meadow,” is included. Katniss plants are mentioned and ironically are the plants that give Lucy Gray her cover story for leaving Snow. Towards the end of the book, Snow becomes a more hateful person. He BETRAYS HIS BEST FRIEND, which causes his friend to be hanged. He also killed four people. The first time was for self defense, and Snow felt horrible after that one. But the second death he thought was easier than the first. The third death results in betraying his friend. The last death is to get back at someone for holding a grudge. REALLY!

- SO GOOD5 star

I LOVE this book. It’s amazing!!!! I bought it even before it came our i was so excited!!!!! I was worried that it would be one of those book that made you feel sorry for the bad guy, but it was exactly the opposite! I stayed up untill 3:00 a.m. reading it😂.By the end of the book i hated snow even more than i had at the end of mockingjay😬. even after i finished the book, i stayed awake for a long time just thinking about it. i keep on wondering about tigris. I assume shes the same one from mockingjay, but what happened to her that made her end up in an underwear shop? What did snow do to her? i hope Suzanne collins comes out with another book explaining that cuz it left me rlly confused. This is really is one of the best books ive ever read (other than the other three hunger games books) ITS SO GOOD! p.s. conspiracy theory: lucy grey is katniss’s grandmother

- Dopd5 star

By the end I hated snow more than I did after finishing mockingjay 😬

- 💗 Love then all!💗5 star

I love every book that I stubble upon that’s by Suzanne Collins. She’s a fantastic author!

- Unexpected5 star

Love the book, my only problem was that the last part of the book was so long, but still was great and really unexpected.

- Spectacular!5 star

When I realized that this book was going to be about President Snow, I had no idea if I was going to love or hate it. However, I was greeted with a tale that fleshes out just how “The Hunger Games” came to be. Along with a detailed, riveting backstory about the young life of Coriolanus Snow. I was pleasantly surprised with appearances from some of our favorite characters’ ancestors, along with exciting foreshadowing and plot twists. It world builds on a war ravaged Panem, and gives the reader many instances to ponder just how everything unfolded by the time we meet Katniss years later. By the last few chapters, I was seriously wondering how the novel would end! As a longtime fan of “The Hunger Games”, I am very happy to say that it brought back my love for the series (I’m about to go re-read them for old times sake). Great, great read!

- 100%5 star

This book was amazing 100% recommend can’t wait for the movie


I have been waiting for this book since February! Once I was done with the trilogy I saw that this book is coming out! I was so exited! And now it’s out and I can’t wait to read!!! But I have one question, is the main character haymich??? CANT WAIT THOUGH!!!

- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes3 star

Excited it’s hunger games related. Not so excited it’s about Snow. Please do Haymitch, Joanna, Finnick, Annie, etc. Those prequels are what I am waiting for!!

- Yesss finally!!!!5 star

I can’t wait to read this I’m buying it rn!!!!!!

- She did that5 star

So good

- Hopeful 😍😍5 star

This book 📖 sounds so good!! I read the series in 4 days and am excited for the prequel!!!!! Hopefully it Will be as good as the series! I’ve been crossing off the days till it arrives!! :-)!! 😝😝

- Just Got It!!5 star

So excited to read, I love Suzanne Collins so much!

- Amazing5 star

It is so good some people don’t like that snow is the main character but give it a chance because it is simply amazing 😉

- I have been waiting for so long! Capecoder5 star

I have already read the trilogy this year to get my self prepared! I can’t wait to love this book! Thank you Suzanne Collins!

- Circumstance5 star

I happened upon this book by accident. I love this series.

- Amazing5 star

Great book, worth the read

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@Booktrust: We're sending super-duper birthday wishes to The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins 🎈 Now seems like a good time to enter…

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@Booktrust: We're sending super-duper birthday wishes to The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins 🎈 Now seems like a good time to enter…

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@Booktrust: We're sending super-duper birthday wishes to The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins 🎈 Now seems like a good time to enter…

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Today's post is a review of Suzanne Collin's long awaited novel - The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes! This is a pre…

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