Suzanne Collins’ new book is the perfect addition to the Hunger Games franchise


Brynn Schanski

The newest addition to one of my favorite book series

When I first became invested in reading chapter books, realistic fiction was my weakness. 

I would devour all I could of that genre until, of course, I was introduced to The Hunger Games

My first time reading the books I would toss and turn, anxious to find out what came next in Katniss Everdeen’s traumatic life. I would spend as much time reading it as I could—as much as possible between school, homework, and whatever sport I was attempting at the time. 

Ever since then, I’ve been a sucker for dystopian books. In fact, a majority of them are my comfort books, and, obviously, The Hunger Games series is among them. 

In May of 2020, Suzanne Collins released a prequel for her beloved trilogy: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

I was ecstatic to find out this news but it was quickly overshadowed by the raging pandemic. I had assumed that the outbreak would’ve prevented the release of the book. 

It tells the story of the heinous, future president of Panem—Coriolanus Snow. 

The novel hadn’t passed through my thoughts until a trip to the mall resulted in me browsing the books in Barnes and Noble—this happens more often than I would care to admit—and I happened to stumble upon it. 

There it was. The one thing in the Woodland Mall that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. Unfortunately for me, it was the only idea that I had given my parents for my Christmas gift, so I had to wait even longer. When I was finally given a moment to sit down and read it, I could barely set it down. 

It tells the story of the heinous, future president of Panem—Coriolanus Snow. 

Somehow, after spinning President Snow as such a vile character in the original trilogy, she was able to make him appear lovable. She was able to make me pity him after years of loathing him. 

Being only ten years after the civil war within the proud country of Panem had ended, Snow was chosen to be a mentor in the tenth annual Hunger Games, which were much worse than what Katniss had to endure. 

Tributes were transported to the Capital in a train car of livestock and were thrown into an abandoned monkey cage in the local zoo. The tributes were lucky to even make it to the arena where they fight each other to the death, and they were not given food since before the reaping that placed them there in the first place. 

Snow was given the girl tribute from District Twelve, the lowest of the low, despite the Snow family’s status in the Capitol. The chances of Snow’s tribute winning were low until the bizarre, charming, and lovable Lucy Gray was called to the stage.  

It is fascinating how Suzanne Collins can cause such hatred for a character in the reader, and within a few pages of a new book, make you love them and cheer for them to succeed in their ambitious goals that later result in the mistreatment of nearly an entire country. 

Suzanne Collins is an astonishing author who will always find her books on my bookshelf when they’re not in my hands.