My first experience with The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes was out of a promise it's a prequel to the Hunger Games Trilogy. I didn't like it then. A re-read was due to the amount of people who were genuinely excited about the book's adaptation which is set to come out on 2023. Another huge factor was this feeling that maybe I missed something the first time I read it.
The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes is about Coriolanus Snow. Yes, the President Snow on his teenage years. It's been 10 years since the war ended, and the Hunger Games is in its 10th year. Also, the tributes in this year's games are mentored by a bunch of high school students (pretty much) one of which is Snow.
We witness his family react to poverty due to the aftermaths of the war. We see his fake-it-till-you-make-it energy. We watch him make decisions to help keep his tribute alive, and to hopefully win, in the games. Friendships and relationships are tested, HARD. And the decisions he made slowly paved his way to eventually become President Snow.
Did I miss anything the first time I read it? NO. The book did a great job of showing Snow's character, and its reaction to the manipulation of these "adults" surrounding him. In addition to that, they also showed that Snow has a heart.You'd be surprised at the amount of influence these 17 / 18 year olds have to the succeeding games.
Was this the prequel I needed? Also, NO. You can't give me a prequel to the Hunger Games and already have the games in the story. It's not as well established, but the entire concept is there: 24 kids to battle it out, and only one comes out a victor. What I needed was Panem pre-war. I needed the uprising: who headed it; what prompted it. Who wrote up the treaty, and who signed it? I needed the war.
With that said, would I still recommend this book to anyone? If you're a Hunger Games fan, yes. Would I also want to go and watch the adaptation? Probably.
Have you read The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes? If you have, what are your thoughts about it?