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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

(The Hunger Games #0)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  272,412 ratings  ·  34,608 reviews
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow stude ...more
Kindle Edition, 439 pages
Published May 19th 2020 by Scholastic Press
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Kristen The story takes place about 50 years before Katniss is born, so I'd say no, they probably won't have Jennifer Lawrence in the new movie.…moreThe story takes place about 50 years before Katniss is born, so I'd say no, they probably won't have Jennifer Lawrence in the new movie.(less)
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808 books — 3,023 voters

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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  272,412 ratings  ·  34,608 reviews

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Start your review of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)
May 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
For all of their faults, The Hunger Games books a decade ago became a pop culture phenomenon. The brutal premise in a YA book, the surly heroine with a backbone of steel, the motifs of manipulation vs truth, the moral ambiguity, the pain of survival, the lasting impact of trauma — yeah, I loved it shamelessly, warts and all .

And then Collins writes a prequel about President Snow. Yeah, *that* Snow. The Emperor Palpatine of that universe (I’m a bit shaky on Star Wars stuff, but I think I got th
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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DNF @ p.101

Me going on a date with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Me: So what do you like to do for fun?

TBoSaS: Cabbage soup.

Me: Uh huh.

TBoSaS: Roman names.

Me: Uh huh. *signalling desperately to the waiter for a glass of wine* Those aren't really hobbies you know.

TBoSaS: Hobbies?

Me: You know, things that give your life meaning.

TBoSaS: Oh.

Me: Yeah.

TBoSaS: Does hating on the poors and being surprised that they have feelings count?

Emily May
I feel absolutely drained by this book.

Because I was such a big fan of The Hunger Games trilogy, I was determined to finish The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, but doing so took a LOT out of me. What a chore this book was! I now understand the disappointed and outraged reviews of others who read it first, but what I don't understand is how those people were still able to blast through this in a day or two. You guys are far tougher readers than I am.

I have to confess that I was initially enthusi
Jun 17, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pretend this doesn't exist
Only last 20 pages of this book managed to stir my interest. So, is this 1 or 2 stars? If I hate read the rest of it? Okay, I'll be generous. 1.5 stars it is, but there is no way I am rounding this up.

The problem with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is that it doesn't know what it wants to be until the very, very end. It meanders here and there, bloated, unfocused, wordy, boring, misguided, treading the same water on and on and on, to the point of tedium. Just to get to the climax where Snow
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
ok, i'm thinking i might just scrap this reading vlog, so i'm just gonna dump my thoughts here for now and we'll see what happens.

- i did truly find the nods to the original trilogy fun. finally finding out the origin of the hanging tree song, why snow despised katniss so much from the get-go, how certain features of the games were implemented, etc. was really interesting. that being said, i've seen a number of reviews say that this read like fan fiction, and i honestly kind of agree. the way t
monica kim
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-releases
a lot of people are not going to like this book. it’s weirder and maybe a little...goofier? than the original hunger games. it’s also much more philosophical - almost part novel part contemplation on nature vs nurture and the base instincts of humanity. and it is not a villain origin story like you’ve read before. if you’ve come here looking for a story like the joker where you leave sympathetic to the villain and understanding what moment pushed them to being evil? well, you’ll likely be very d ...more
Jul 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the first half of the book and looked forward to how Snow's villain origin story would be pulled off. I was invested in his conflicted feelings about the Games and possessive affections towards his love interest - this set up a really interesting (and juicy!) dynamic, because there's a lot of potential to create a tragic, dramatic, and poignant story there. Unfortunately, the last third of the book bumped my rating down to 3 stars, as I felt very underwhelmed by the outcome and ...more
Cardan Greenbriar
*the perfect portrait of me, who waited for something meaningful to happen in this book till the end*

sooooooo moral of the story: Snow was just going through late confusing raunchy Puberty

all in all from the beginning I was in the


oh and using the excuse "slow build/burn" for a book that has poor writing and plot is getting old, boy hoooooo boy the writing was BAD Ms. Collins!
the developing was BAD Ms. Collins!

*during reading*

*me waiting for s
Listen, I hate President Snow as much as the next person.

This is actually brilliant. Like genius. Critical, and scathing and thought provoking.
Sprinkled with moments where your jaw just quietly drops in shock and pain but you can't do anything except keep on reading.

This book is hypnotic. It had an unputdownable quality I'm still unable to quite put my finger on.
Hats off, this is how you prequel.

The only reason I took off a star was because of the rushed ending.
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
I went into this one being VERY SKEPTICAL and for the most part I enjoyed it. I still didn't really feel like we delved in too deep on how President Snow became the corrupt person he is in the hunger games trilogy, but we definitely saw a different layer to his character through this story. I found the first portion of the story to be the most engaging bit and the later half I found a bit underwhelming. In a lot of ways it felt like the story was being dragged out, but I was also still engaged w ...more
Peyton Reads
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me it certainly was. If you’re someone who knows the original books super well, then I think you’ll get the most enjoyment out of it. There’s so many references and nods to the original books that made me so excited! I also thought Snow’s perspective was super interesting to be in and it gave us loads of information about the world of Panem. We learned so much in this book! Overall, I super enjoyed it and I flew through it because I simply couldn’t stop ...more
Jun 17, 2019 marked it as on-hold
*whispers softly*: fuck

*whispers louder*: this book releases tomorrow and if I see any of you posting even the mildest spoilers in your status updates you'll have a safe place in hell that looks exactly like the 74th Hunger Games

*yawns*: 60% in and I can't make myself care so I'll just finish this some other time...or not

Find more of my books on Instagram
Maryam Rz.
Am I the only one excited to read more of Snow's brilliantly manipulative ways and dive into his past and (hopefully) rise to power? I mean, poisonsssssss *snake hissing*

| 🐍 | • | 🐦 | • | 🐍 | • | 🐦 |

I have a vital, life-changing question: why does this book have 14,680 ratings when IT'S NOT EVEN OUT YET!?

UPDATE: it's out so you guys can finally have an excuse for RATING BOOKS YOU HAVEN'T READ.
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
So apparently this is about President Snow...

“A teen born to privilege but searching for something more, a far cry from the man we know he will become. Here he’s friendly. He’s charming. For now he’s a hero.”

Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 25, 2020 is currently reading it
When you patiently wait for this book too long and you find out this book's plot is about: President Snow's early times:
Jun 24, 2019 marked it as to-read
I really really really don't care about Snow's life. ...more
Jun 17, 2019 marked it as to-read
I feel an old obsession coming back to life...
(B+) 77% | Good
Notes: Awfully banal, too many names to recall, the end carries weight, but too-little-too-late, revealing but not urgent at all.
Miranda Reads

A new BookTube Video is Up all about whether you should buy, borrow or burn 2020 YA books! Let me know what you think!
The Written Review

“Well, as they said, it's not over until the mockingjay sings.”
Coriolanus Snow, future president of Panem, is just eighteen-years-old in this prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy.

He is one of the Snows - a once mighty house in the Capitol but now is on the edge of desolation.

He's desperate to preserve the image of his family and find a way to
Merphy Napier
May 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: two-stars, dystopian
Here's a link to my spoiler free video review:

I mentioned in the review that I'd clarify what I meant by the ending feeling abrupt and convenient.  Here it is:

(view spoiler)
✨ A ✨
Jun 17, 2019 marked it as to-read
I've been avoiding all theories and predictions until I did my reread of THG. But since this is coming out tomorrow I'd like to leave my own theory here. I think it will be nice to be able to look back and see if it was correct (maybe?)

[bear in mind that the only thing I know is that this is about Snow and a district 12 tribute he will be mentoring. I have not read any excerpts bc I like things to be a bit of a surprise and come up with my own crazy predictions]

So I think we can all agree that
Meagan Andersen
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
1.5 stars

I went into this cautiously optimistic because although I was not pleased that we were following Snow... I thought Suzanne wouldn't do us dirty like that right? WRONG. She absolutely did.

My biggest complaint with this story is simply that it didn't need to happen. I didn't care. I didn't want to know any of the information I was told in this story. Snow's backstory does not make him more interesting or compelling. In fact, it makes him less so.

The story forces you to follow this chara
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”Being a hero at home had its limitations; he needed a larger audience.”

So, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” made it into the “Goodreads Choice Awards 2020” and is probably one out of 3 books I actually managed to read this year. *lol* Taking a closer look at all the reviews that have been written about it, I have no idea how it ended up as a nominee in the awards but I suppose the main reason why it made its way in there is because it’s popular and provoked very conflicting emotions. I mean
Charlotte May
I enjoyed this well enough. It wasn’t as terrible as some of the reviews make it seem, neither did it blow me away.

3.5 ⭐️

Coriolanus Snow is from a noble Capitol family. His father was a war hero and his grandmother sings the Capitol anthem each morning.
He and his cousin Tigris are both orphans, and since the war nearly all their fortunes were lost in shares in District 13.

When the 10th Hunger Games comes around the students are offered the chance to work as mentors to the tributes, with a sc
im so confused. was this supposed to make me like snow?? because it really didnt. can we make it a rule that if authors do a spin-off, it needs to be about a character worth reading about?

im just really not sure what the point of this is, because its definitely not a redemption story and theres hardly anything that directly ties it into the main series. i just… i dunno what to do with this.

the thing is, i had a really good time being back in panem. i also thought SCs writing has really improved
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It's a yikes from me.

Did the world really need The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?
I think not.

Full of unnecessary exposition and weighed down by self-indulgent fanservice, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a train-wreck of a novel. The story lacks rhyme or reason, things happen only to advance the plot (regardless of whether they make sense because what is even logic?), there are no stakes (Coriolanus having to eat cabbage soup and not being able to pay taxe
From what I have seen from early reviews, I'm in the minority for this one - but I really enjoyed this. I can understand the criticism, and perhaps the argument that this isn't particularly necessary, but there's just something about this world and its set up that manages to suck me in every time.

Following Snow as a main character was always going to be a bold choice. He's not likeable or redeeming in anyway, and I think many people will be put off by this as he's often hard to connect with on a
Petra mostly on hiatus in hospital in Mexico
Updated 19th May 2020 - 14,662 ratings · 543 reviews, and it isn't published until tomorrow. A great deal of these were done 6 weeks ago when the ratings were up to 14,500ish. A lot of the ratings (sort by new) seem to come from unusual accounts, I had it in my mind marketing accounts from an Indian agency, but then the names changed so I was probably wrong. I thought that has got to be rubbish. Why on earth would the mega-successful and excellent writer Suzanne Collins' publishers want to do th ...more
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Did you like the book? What did you like about it? 5 40 10 hours, 29 min ago  
Apocalypse Whenever: Read with me! The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (SPOILERS) 4 32 Dec 14, 2021 02:36PM  
Thoughts? 2 7 Nov 24, 2021 01:50PM  
Read With Me: Favorite Quotes from TBoSaS? 32 6 Nov 09, 2021 04:18PM  
Do you think the 4th book was a bit slow? 18 108 Sep 15, 2021 08:57PM  
❀The Never-ending...: The Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes- Starting June (?) 62 61 Aug 15, 2021 10:50PM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little B

Other books in the series

The Hunger Games (3 books)
  • The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
  • Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)
  • Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)

Articles featuring this book

From non-fiction to fantasy, here are Goodreads members' top 12 most popular books from each of the past five years. And we're delighted to...
202 likes · 97 comments
“Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping.” 164 likes
“You’ve no right to starve people, to punish them for no reason. No right to take away their life and freedom. Those are things everyone is born with, and they’re not yours for the taking. Winning a war doesn’t give you that right. Having more weapons doesn’t give you that right. Being from the Capitol doesn’t give you that right. Nothing does.” 133 likes
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