“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is a must-read book during this quarantine

Hugo Maldonado Garcia, Reporter

“The Hunger Games” universe finally expanded when the prequel was finally released in stores around the world.
According to Suzanne Collins who is the author of both Novels, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” and “The Hunger Games” have always left her fans wanting more, and she hasn’t let them down yet.
“The Hunger Games” story is set in a dystopian future, where the nation of Panem is divided into 12 districts and the Capitol. Each year, two young children from the ages 12-18 are chosen at random from each district to participate where the 24 tributes are forced to kill each other.
It becomes a required rule for the citizens of Panem to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in the games she becomes the 74th annual Victor, she changes Panem forever when she disobeys the Capital.
President Snow, the tyrant leader of all Panem, has been trying to get rid of Katniss ever since she became a beacon of hope for the districts. Panem citizens rebelled against the cruelty of the Hunger Games events and began riots and strikes to rally against him for placing children in an arena to kill one another.
Collins makes her fans want to love and hate the protagonist of this new story who is non-other than a young President Snow, who is a beloved character in this prequel.
This New York Times best-selling author has written yet again an instant classic with her newest novel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” which is set 64 years before the events of “The Hunger Games.”
An eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is a mentor in the 10th annual Hunger Games. Snow has been assigned Lucy Gray Baird from District 12 and is instantly mesmerized by her. He ends up falling in love with her when she begins to sing on stage at the reaping, as she pulls out a snake from her dress for her performance.
This mentorship program can mean the difference between life and death for his family because winning could secure him a scholarship at the prestigious Capital University.
At the beginning of the book, Snow thought he had no chance of winning. He thought he wouldn’t win the scholarship money to save his family from poverty and getting evicted. However, by the end of the book, Snow’s desire for power gets to his head, and toward the end of the story he evolves into the villain fans of the original “Hunger Games” series will recognize.
Overall, this book has a great plot, great characters, and even features a twisted love triangle between Lucy Gray, Coriolanus Snow, and Lucy’s ex. If readers think they know what is going to happen next, Collins takes the storyline in a different direction.
This novel a must-read during these difficult times because although it may be fiction, many of the characters’ issues are a reflection on what it is occurring in communities during the pandemic now as people grapple with poverty, fear, and uncertainty.
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is a great story and an incredible book to read, and well worth the wait. According to The Wrap, it has become an instant phenomenon that Lionsgate films will adapt it into a movie.