ballad songbirds and snakes

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

World: Panem

Author: Suzanne Collins

Prequel to The Hunger Games

For the book review of The Hunger Games, check out that link you just passed, back, there you go, that one. 🙂

Now, let’s get this party started, beginning as usual (almost usual) with my thoughts as I read the book. It was not easy to stop and jot down some thoughts while reading this one, especially because it was my first time reading on my phone, on Amazon Kindle, but I made it work, and the note thing on Kindle made it much easier. Though I was saving up ‘quotes’ too, so bear with me.

Spoilers ahead, if you have not read this one.

ballad of song birds and snakes book cover

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Thoughts

  • ‘Lucy Gray was one thing belonging to Coriolanus that he would never, ever get. “Sorry, my friend,” he said mildly. “But I think I’ll keep her.’ And that was at the start of the book, and he was already saying she was a thing.
  • ‘She’s a wily little thing who began to manipulate you the minute you met. Tread carefully, my boy – that’s all I’m saying.’ And they thought the Gradma’am was nuts.
  • ‘So you’d like it if we gave odds on the tributes? Coriolanus joked.’ and so it began.
  • ‘Strangely, he found the only person he wanted to talk to was Lucy Gray, who was both clever and unlikely to repeat his words.’
  • ‘It’s just the kind of story that catches fire.’ This one I couldn’t help but think of “Catching Fire” because come on!
  • Ch 12, in the beginning, after Lucy Gray’s song, and how Coriolanus thought she was a thing and owned her, and realized she had a life before him, and he didn’t like that. Man, come on! Crazy party of 1.
  • ‘You Lucy Gray Baird, as a person. As my friend. As my -” What was the word for it? Sweetheart? Girlfriend?’ I would have gone with nothing but he was in love apparently.
  • Buy away, thought Coriolanus, thinking of next year’s tuition.’ And this was one of the few times that I thought, Okay so I might be a little like Coryo.
  • When Sejanus was inside the arena, poor guy, he thought he could make a statement, please.
  • How awful, Corionalus thought, To have you be the first person in the world a baby sees.‘ About Dr Gaul, and lol.
  • So Tigris, apparently the cousin of Snow, I mean, at first it was like, what? And then as the story progressed, it became clear that they could not be more different, and she doted on him, and he on her? Sort of. On Ch 17. ‘That my baby cousin, who wouldn’t hurt a fly, has to fight for his life in the arena.’ He wouldn’t hurt a fly? Really? Who is she talking about?
  • The mantra. ‘Snow lands on top’ and I thought, So this a story of how he became the SOB he is the 74th Hunger Games? Are we supposed to feel sorry for him? To Justify him? That was on ch 17 though, afterwards, many things became clearer.
  • ‘If he didn’t have honor, he had nothing. No more deception.’ Right, whatever you need to tell yourself Coryo.
  • And then she won the 10th Hunger Games, in the boring, crazy, hunger games because they hadn’t developed the ideas that came later on.
  • And then he left for the Peacekeepers. And that cracked me up, I didn’t know if to laugh or curse.
  • They discovered that he literally cheated, and I didn’t see that coming, so kudos.
  • ‘You were set up to fail,” said Tigris. “The Hunger Games are an unnatural, vicious punishment. How could a good person like you be expected to go along with them?’ Well, Tigris, sorry to break it to you but he believes in them, and he’s kind of selfish.
  • Of course, soon after that, he only worried about the Snow name being humiliated.
  • ‘Just knowing that he still had allies in the Capitol buoyed Coriolanus spirits.’ Because at the end of the day, he is still the same SOB, he just does not know it yet. He would save himself first.
  • ‘and how we need the Capitol to keep us from chaos.’ Well, yes, Gaul and Snow did believe that, eventually, he did.
  • ‘His girl. His love. His Lucy Gray.’ Barfness, every time I read something like this, I was convinced that it would not go anywhere, because it felt weird.
  • ‘But 13 had vanished in a nuclear puff of smoke, along with the Snow fortune.’ This guy, truly. He has some thoughts.
  • ‘Coriolanus felt sure he’d spotted his first mockingjay, and he disliked the thing on sight.’ Of course he did.
  • What a waste, he thought. What a waste of a dynasty.’ The more he talks to Sejanus the more I’m convinced how crazy he is. He is Capitol through and through.
  • ‘Only a small bakery stood open in the town square.’ The Mellarks in business? Since Coryo was 18. lol.
  • ‘He’d never been motivated by love or ambition, only a desire to get his prize and a nice, quiet bureaucratic job.’ Because he is selfish and self-centered at heart.
  • Seeing Lucy Gray writing The Hanging Tree was one of the highlights, like in your face.
  • ‘Sad, really, as they were both rather exceptional people.’ and he is not modest at all.
  • ‘Just spending some time with my girl,’ oh come on and I continued to know that something horrible was going to happen.
  • When he called her his girlfriend it sounded so freaking weird.
  • Ch 26, when he wonders who cares why his father and Dean Hightbottom were friends and then not? Well, we cared, we wanted to know.
  • ‘Nature running amok. They should die out, and die out soon.’ Clearly, they did not. THG – Mockingjay.
  • I was convinced at one point that it was just a fancy, between Lucy and Coryo, because they were very different people.
  • ‘swamp potatoes, but I like katniss better.’ Serious? I thought it meant something else, but maybe just an obvious reminder of Katniss Everdeen coming up in the future.
  • And then they were singing ‘deep in the meadow.’ and for real? All songs came from the covey?
  • And it had been like two months since the games, and he left for 12, and for me, it felt like forever.
  • At 86% when it all clicked and picked up that gun and aimed against Mayfair, was one of the few moments I said: wtf?
  • ‘There. He’s successfully made it in and out of the shed without touching anything with his skin.’ And I said, you’re one sneaky psychopath son of a b***, Coryo. I kind of laughed when I read this part actually.
  • 86% ‘Just another form of self-defense’ Whatever you need to tell yourself.
  • When Sejanus asked about what would happen if someone else was blamed for their crimes and he thought ‘Then our troubles are over’ And I was like, yeah, they would be, I know how you think, Coryo.  I don’t like you but I can follow his train of thoughts.
  • When they arrested Sejanus, and I was shocked. Wow.
  • ‘What choice? No choice’ Yes, he had a choice, he could have chosen to shut the F-up.
  • And then he decided he would leave with Lucy. WTF.
  • Lucy, singing The Hanging Tree, and I was thinking, and then Katniss sang it again, in your face.
  • And things gave yet another turn when he passed his exam and could leave District 12.
  • ‘He knew this would be easier if he wasn’t such an exceptional person’ This guy, is the real deal in un-modest.
  • When Lucy knew about Sejanus and ran off. And I said, I knew it, like I freaking knew something would happen to her because there he was, hunting her.
  • And he was sent back to the Capitol because Dr Gaul dots on him. Wut.

Okay, that’s it and that took a lot longer than I expected. Now, some review-like thoughts.

songbirds and snakes snow

Thoughts after I was done reading

So it all came down to snow accepting the fact that he is one crazy son of a bitch. And facing the music, so to speak, pun intended, that he would murder people with poison and the first one was Dean Hightbottom. 

I mean for a moment, at the end, it was like watching Smallville, waiting so long to see superman fly, when we knew he could do that all along. 

Anywho, Snow killed Lucy. Lucy Gray was the creator of basically all the songs sang by Katniss in The Hunger Games, and Snow must hate her guts because he was reminded of Lucy Gray over and over, plus with her name too because Katniss was what she called the potatoes. And he killed her out in the woods. At least he realised and admitted that they were different AF, something I had been yelling/saying at the book since the start, that love was doomed from the start, people.

And that’s it. Did I like it? Yes. This whole thing might look a diss but I enjoyed the book all the same because if a book gets me to forget everything else and be in the moment, and talking to it the whole time then it’s interesting. Would I recommend it? Yes, but maybe if you already read The Hunger Games because otherwise you might feel inclined to sympathize with Corionalus Snow and that just plain crazy.

I’m really done now, thank you for sticking to the end and I hope you will find something good to read if this one is not your cup of tea. Happy Reading! And don’t forget to share and like if you are in a giving mood.

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