We all remember when the Hunger Games came out right? I remember how excited I was for each book and getting hooked on them right from the start. For me it was the “Harry Potter” like book/movie craze that I was never a part of. Since The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has come out I have gotten to relive this craze but with the added part of social media. Can you imagine of Bookstagram or Book-Tube or BookTok were big when the first Hunger Games books came out? The craziness and the hype around those would be unreal.
Since I got The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes when it first came out and I read it right away I have gotten to watch some of this craziness unfold. I have been able to see the positive and negative reactions to the book. Some have surprised me while others I have seen and totally agreed with. News flash before I break down this review, I LOVED this book. It brought back all of the nostalgia from reading the original series, but added in so many new facts and stories. These new elements add so much to the story!!
Okay, at this point plan on spoilers as I head into all the things I loved about this book. First off, it was a solid 5 star read for me. I know a lot of the criticism that it received was about the pace of the book (it being too slow), but for me it moved along really well. I think the thing that bogged a lot of people down was the amount of back story. Suzanne Collins does such an incredible job of packing these 500+ pages with story and facts and background that you get to the end feeling like this is an actual history book. Seriously. It’s like the history of the Hunger Games that we know from the original trilogy and it’s fascinating.
I also want to break down the characters. Never have I ever, other the the books Sea Witch and Sea Witch Rising, loved reading the backstory of a villain so much. This was an incredibly intricate book that took apart President Snow, showing us the very seeds of his evil and building him up to the villain we love to hate. From his family life (TIGRIS IS HIS COUSIN) to his ties to District 12, I could not stop reading. I mean, seriously, in the first few pages she drops that Tigris is his cousin, which directly ties into a key player in the final book Mockingjay. That alone blew my mind. Then on top of that Collins goes into extreme detail on Snow’s deep rooted connection to District 12.
That brings me to the last thing I want to touch on, District 12 and Lucy. OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS SAKE. Suzanne, what have you done to us?! She not only goes through the origins of a lot of the songs we know and love from the original trilogy, but she adds in new songs as well as important facts from the districts. The fact the Snow was a peacekeeper in 12 and planned to run away with his true love was the pinnacle of craziness in this book and I am here for it.
If you’re still reading, awesome! Like I said, this was a solid 5 star book for me. I had no issues or qualms with it. I can see how people would feel it was too slow, but for me it moved at a good pace, giving the reader ALL of the juicy details on the Hunger Games and how they grew to what they are in our beloved trilogy.
Until next time, HAPPY READING!