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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger…
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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel) (edició 2020)

de Suzanne Collins (Autor)

Sèrie: Els Jocs de la Fam (Prequel)

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2,087815,901 (3.66)24
Untitled Panem Novel will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.
Membre:GMS_Library
Títol:The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel)
Autors:Suzanne Collins (Autor)
Informació:Scholastic Press (2020), 528 pages
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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes de Suzanne Collins

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Es mostren 1-5 de 81 (següent | mostra-les totes)
"Oh, there we go! I told you, didn't I?" crowed Lucky. "You did," admitted the dean. "And yet it was still unexpected."

It seems like I might be in the minority, but I really enjoyed this book. I went into this with very few expectations and having not read the original trilogy in about 10 years and I found myself very invested in the story and message of this book.

I think one of the clearest missions of this book is to examine the ways we develop beliefs about ourselves, our fellow people, and the world around us and how this doesn't happen in a vacuum but rather is the product of circumstance. It also clearly discusses the construction of in-groups and out-groups and the ramifications of that.

The sociology of this book was what was so interesting to me, so excuse me if this reads more like a book report than a review. Collins has never been that subtle in her metaphor and critiques in this series but just because it's obvious what she's trying to say doesn't mean it's not well done. There were so many interesting points in this book that I've been having trouble thinking about this review because there's so much I could write about. I'm having to look through my Kindle highlights just so I can remember what I want to say. Though I think at times, Collins tries to cover too much ground, I think the points she is making in this book through the descriptions of the games in its early years and through the music motif is well done and gives me a lot to sink my teeth in.

I think anyone reading the hunger games can pick up a bit on that fact that it is a media event and Collins did that to critique the way our own media industry works. Because this game comes before it has really been transformed into an extravagant event, it is interesting to see how she lays the groundwork of the idea of it been a media circus. That idea is there very literally. Lucy Gray's dress is compared to a clown costume and the arena where the game is held is discussed as formally being the site of the circus. It also exist in the distance the capitol mentors have towards the games. Like many of us with celebrities and media personalities, we can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking we know them and taking ownership over them. Though the situation of the hunger games is obviously quite different, We see that the mentors engage with this as something to be entertaining while still believing they have some form of ownership over the participants and their successes. This is driven home even more in the way Snow discusses Lucy Gray and their relationship and how jealousy he is and how much he believes he has to do with her victory.
They were back in the arena, fighting for survival, just the two of them against the world.

The idea of human nature is explicitly stated in this book, I mean, Snow is literally writing essays about it so I wouldn't say this point is subtle. The debate presented in this book is about whether humans are essentially violent and need to be controlled by a capitol like entity or whether humans are naturally good and the violence sometimes exhibited by them is the product of the circumstances they are placed in. Though Snow by the end of the book has certainly been convinced by the former statement, I don't think we the reader are supposed to have that take away, or at least we are supposed to think about it more. I think this is because while Snow is the protagonist, Lucy Gray is the hero and she is not convinced that humans are evil inherently.
"People aren't so bad, really," she said. "It's what the world does to them. Like us, in the arena. We did things in there we'd never have considered if they'd just left us alone."
The actions people take in their most desperate moment can so easily be construed as what they essentially are rather than who they are only at their most desperate. This quote and others like I think demonstrate that this is as much the point of the hunger games as anything else. The Capitol must convince everyone that people in the districts must be controlled or they will be violent and how better to show it then showing that their children, who are supposed to be the most innocent, are capable of killing each other.
"Because we credit them with innocence. And if even the most innocent among us turn to killers in the Hunger Games, what does that say? That our essential nature is violent," Snow explained.
What it really says is that people will become what they must be to survive but Lucy Gray is right, if those kids weren't in a killing competition, they wouldn't kill. But when all you have is a hammer, everything becomes a nail.

The person who most needed to be convinced of this idea was Snow. I think many people went into this book expecting some sort of "redemption" story or explanation for his evil or the same sort of action as the other books and that's not what this is. What it is is an examination of how evil does not develop in a vacuum. Snow got his ideas from being taught them by Dr. Gaul, by being the shown the very worst of people intentionally. If this book is an attempt to shown the complexity of a villain and their ideas and think it succeeded on all fronts. If Snow was born in District 12, his ideas would have been different because his upbringing would have been different. We are shown this through the character of Sejanus. We are all a product of our circumstances but that doesn't mean we can't grow and change. In this case however, what Snow learned caused him to change into a worse person and we must acknowledge that things like that may happen to people. If we believe, like Lucy Gray, that people are not inherently evil we must also believe that things can happen to people that leads them to grow evil and that is what is demonstrated here.

This book also further examines that in-group vs. out-group concept between the Capitol and the districts that has existed throughout this series. However, these feelings come closer to the end of the war and therefore are stronger. We see in this book an interesting examination of a lack of cultural relativity. The districts are described as barbaric and almost less than human and their practices and traditions are described as backwards.
"They're not like me!" the little girl protested."They're district. That's why they belong in a cage!"
A second-class citizen. Human, but bestial. Smart, perhapse, but not evolved. Part of a shapeless mass of unfortunate, barbaric creatures that hovered on the periphery of his consciousness.
This idea is pretty explicit but I think whats slightly more subtle is they way this line of thinking contributes to the ownership Snow feels over Lucy Grey. You can see how their relationship is imbalanced and how Snow falls into rhetoric seen in abusive relationships.
As if he was hunting her. But he wasn't really going to kill her. Just talk to her and make sure she saw sense.
Even if Lucy Gray was confused on the issue, in the eyes of the Capitol, she belonged to him.
In some ways, it had been better to have her locked up in the Capitol, where he always had a general idea of what she was doing.
By situating the district citizens as less than human and backwards, it becomes easy for Capitol citizens like Snow to convince themselves that they know better and should therefore control all the actions of the districts. It is easy to see how an abusive relationship would follow from that. And even though the Capitol believes that the district beliefs and practices are backwards it is important to remember it is the Capitol that instituted the Hunger Games and, as we see in the book, many Capitol citizens are more concerned with the destruction of a flag than the death of district children (can't imagine what that might be a reference to...).

As you can see, I have a lot to say about this book and I'm probably going to think about this one for a while. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if I went back and changed my rating to five stars, not because I think this is perfect but because of the work Collins put into the metaphors in this book. I didn't even really get into the role of songs, birds and snakes, mostly because I don't feel qualified. I know a lot of people were disappointment in this book but I think if you go into this book looking at it through the lens of metaphor for how evil develops and not an action packed Hunger Games book, I think people could really enjoy this just as much as I did.
------------------------------------
review to come, probably tomorrow. I need to think on this one and review my notes and highlights but know that I really, really enjoyed it and would give it like 4.5 stars, I just didn't think it was a perfect book which is why I'm not giving it 5 stars. ( )
  AKBouterse | Oct 14, 2021 |
This book was accompanied by a constant mental tug-of-war. There aren't many authors who can make the story of one of the most hated villains intriguing.
Right from the beginning this book followed the thoughts- the good, the bad and the ugly- of Coriolanus Snow.
The world built in The Hunger Games was so creatively unique, that it left its mark in my teen heart. To dive back right into the world, but with such a different angle, left me reeling most of the time.
Survival- that seems to be the theme of this book, followed through by Snow to such levels that are indescribable.
Now that I've dived into this world again, it's time for a re-read of the original trilogy. ( )
  VipashaAiyer | Sep 28, 2021 |
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is about Coriolanus Snow (yes, that President Snow) and his participation in the 10th Hunger Games as a student mentor. Snow and his cousin Tigris, who are both orphans, scrape by with their grandmother in their bare apartment in the Capital. When the 10th Hunger Games comes around, top students are offered, for the first time, to work as mentors to the tributes; a chance at a full ride scholarship to the elite university is also in it for the winner. Even though they lost everything in District 13, Coriolanus must keep up appearances and do everything he can to win. When he first ends up with the girl tribute from District 12, he's less than thrilled, but Lucy Gray Baird will soon turn his life in all kinds of directions as they fight to survive.

So I'm trying to find out where to begin. I know this book is getting such mixed reviews. When I first found out this book would be about Snow, I'll admit, it got me curious. How did he become the way he was in the Hunger Games trilogy? Welp, I sure found out just how self-absorbed, controlling, and cruel I already knew he was. I just got to see where it all kind of started. I already knew he was a villain, so I knew I wasn't going to like him by the end of the book regardless. It doesn't mean I couldn't follow his story. I liked reading about his past and making the connections.

The relationship (and that's if you can even call it that) with Lucy Gray was odd. His idea of love was not it. I'm going to leave it at that because I don't want to ruin anything else.

I did adore Lucy Gray. I rooted for Coriolanus more for her sake than for his. Her personality as a flirt caught me up and I wanted her to live and get back to the Covet. I loved her songs that make her connected to The Hunger Games trilogy.

I also liked seeing another version of Panem and learning more history about it. Honestly, I would love to have a history book just on Panem because it's just so interesting to me.

The book takes place in a time span of roughly two months. The book is long, but it covers so much that goes on. I don't see anything being able to be taken out without ruining the story. It's slow but I was never bored with it.

There's not a redemption arc for Snow. As I said, we already know how he ends up, but it doesn't mean I wasn't filled with slight anxiety as I turned the pages to see what happens. This book gives you more understanding, which, in a way, is more philosophical - Coriolanus has a lot to think about on the reasoning of humanity, war, conflict, and control. You get to see into his mind and observe just how it works. It's both scary and fascinating at the same time. Suzanne Collins has an excellent prose writing ability.

I know this book isn't going to be for everybody. The fact that is mostly psychological and philosophical is something that will divide people. But, I think if you loved and enjoyed the original trilogy, you'll enjoy this novel. It really makes you reflect on meaningful and difficult topics. There's a lot to talk about after. ( )
  oldandnewbooksmell | Sep 24, 2021 |
The Highly anticipated next book by Suzanne Collins? Or the prequal nobody asked for? Like most people I absolutely loved the Hunger Games when they came out. Although I have to be honest, I did kind of lost my focus around book 3 at the time. Having read the original trilogy I was looking forward to seeing what this author had in store for this world.

In this book we follow Coriolanus Snow, Future president of Panem. Only in this book we follow him in his teen year. Long before he becomes president. It’s the tenth annual Hunger Games and this year they are introducing the mentors as part of the games. Coriolanus gets chosen to become one and we follow him as he navigates his school, mentor and love life.

I was really looking forward to this book. I knew Suzanne Collins could write a good book so I had high hopes. Seeing people online being disappointed in the discovery that Coriolanus would be the mean character wasn’t a concern I had. I was pretty confident that the author would be able to write a good story how this antagonist came to be. I have to say I’m kind of disappointed where the book went halfway through.
Let me start with the good bits. I really liked the worldbuilding. I had no problem imagining the different surroundings and places where the story took place. I really liked that we got to see more of the Capital from a different inside perspective. The way that this story took place right after the war was also a really cool setup. The fact that they were still trying to figure out how the Hunger Games should be played and what it would take to make them “work” was quite interesting.
And now for the bad bits. I hated Coriolanus. Although I can see how we are supposed to hate him I couldn’t find one bit charming or even remotely relatable. Also, can I just say that I absolutely hate that I had to read the name coriolANUS like 500 times? The way he starts of as a teenager living in poor conditions to becoming what he becomes at the end of the book wasn’t as interesting because you already know the outcome. The book also had a very weird setup in my opinion. I feel like the three parts this book had would be better if they would be shuffled and rearranged. Which is a weird thing to say. The way how part 3 was written made it feel like more of a setup for a whole different story. Also, the chapters had such “cliffhangers” that after a while you kind of get used to them cause after reading “and then, a bomb went off” you can’t really care at all anymore. For it being such a mixed bag, I have to say that I can’t give it more than 3 stars. It being more of a 2,5 than a 3 tbh.

If you want to read a good dystopian I would recommend you stick with the original trilogy and don’t pick up this book.
( )
  luclicious | Sep 20, 2021 |
I don’t really know how to feel about this book. I feel like I had such high hopes for this book after the reading the trilogy as a teenager - but it failed to impress me. I pushed myself to finish this book, thinking that it might get better but I was pretty uninterested in it and the ending was a bit disappointing. I get that you can’t please everyone but seeing that it’s not just me that was a little disappointed did make me feel better. So overal, it was okay, but nothing special ( )
  Atalanta_Tolputt | Sep 6, 2021 |
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Untitled Panem Novel will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.

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