The Hanging Tree

Okay, readers! I’m posting early because this cannot wait until Friday!!!!

I just finished reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by the epic and amazing writing Suzanne Collins. And this prequel to her original series The Hunger Games reveals deeper meaning and knowledge, while still allowing it to be its own book. So before I go on any further let’s get this review started.



First of all, the pacing of the book is really slow. The pacing reminded me of The Mockingjay, a lot going on, but nothing really happening. However, each part of the book built on one another, making it worth the wait and provide so many different theories and ideas by the end of it.

what I truly loved about this book was that it’s a truly separate novel in the making, compared to The Hunger Games Trilogy. Of course, it has a few familiar characters and the same setting, however, the overall themes and actions are completely different. There aren’t really any revelations that are seen periodically throughout the books. The book is it’s own making, giving readers a view of the Hunger Games through the perspective of the Capitol. Instead of watching the actual arena, readers watch the game makers and mentors.

Readers be prepared. This is the 10th annual Hunger games, meaning it’s not the 74th. Victors were not wined and dined as it seemed to appear. They were treated worse than animals, forced to live in a monkey cage at the Capitol’s old zoo. The mockeries and inhumane living conditions still giving me chills, thinking about how some didn’t even make it to the actual games.

That’s right…

Some died before the games even began.

But The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows a different perspective in Panem. Readers follow the young life of President Snow and how he became the powerful man we later see him as. We learn that he comes from not just a broken home, but the hardship in life. We learn that he and his cousin Tigris (yep, that’s her. The one from The Mockingjay who was fired by President Snow. I repeat. HIS. COUSIN.) were both orphaned from the war between the Capitol and District 13. His family is in financial ruins until he is chosen as a mentor. And guess which district the dirty scoundrel was selected to mentor???

District 12.


Snow is introduced to the lovely and talented, Lucy Baird (p.s. one of my ancestor’s last name of Baird, which I thought was pretty cool.), a feisty and quick-witted young woman. Snow and Lucy build a beautiful friendship that readers start to love until Snow’s heart becomes bigger than his ambitions. Not only does he help Lucy win the games. Snow also cheated for her.

Another mic-drop.

The famous President Coriolanus Snow helped a District 12 participant become the victor of the 10th annual Hunger Games. Then a bunch of other stuff happens (spoilers that I don’t want to share).

Finally, Snow is faced with a choice. One that leads him into the unknown (not now Elsa!). And one that introduces him to power and control.

You already know which one he picked.

Readers finally understand the pure hatred (yes, I said hatred) Snow on Katniss and District 12, all thanks to Lucy Baird (who is my official hero!)!!!!

You’ll even learn who wrote, sung, and directed the famous song “The Hanging Tree” at. Because it wasn’t just a song of rebellion. It was truly a song of love.

So before I go on any further, I better get off before I let any more spoilers out of my system. Page 435 was my absolute favorite!!! You’ll know why once you read it!!!!

I rate this book 4.7/5; only due to the pacing.

I thought learning about President Snow was very intriguing. But learning how Lucy got revenge on him through Katniss was even better.

Until next time victors!

“Are you, are you

Coming to the tree

Where I told you to run, so we’d both be free?”

                                                                        -Suzanne Collins

Roses Are Red, Curses Are Gold

Roses are Red, Curses are Gold! Hey everyone! Welcome back to this lackluster blog site where I cannot seem to get my crap together. I want to apologize for my silence over the past few months. Graduate school has been a major buzz killer.



I am happy to announce that I’ve officially graduated with my Master’s degree in Creative Writing!!!

Now that we got that over, let’s dive into new books that have been keeping me up until the wee hours of the morning. Being a huge fan of mythology and old folktales, this next book was another satisfying read that made me wish my father cursed me.

Young Adult author Annie Sullivan continues her story in A Curse of Gold, the sequel to A Touch of Gold. Sullivan takes readers on another thrilling and exciting adventure with King Midas’s daughter, who he accidentally cursed his daughter. Not only did he turn his daughter, Princess Kora to gold, but he also cursed her with the ability to absorb gold and turn anything she touches.

Sullivan opens the sequel just months after they returned from their first adventure. Princess Kora is no longer afraid to show herself as she returns to Lagonia and helps rule the kingdom alongside with her father. That is until a group of mystical creatures attack the castle, seeking her death. Kora must once again carry the burden of trying to save not only her father but the people of Lagonia. She must gather her allies, which includes her cousin Hettie and her lover Royce. They sail out on an adventure to find the mystical island of Dionysius domain, where they must face the god that cursed her father in the beginning. Come along on a journey that takes readers to the palace of Poseidon’s son Triton and the Gorgon island.

This story is one of my favorite retellings because it takes the point of view from a different character in the old tale. Readers get a new perspective as they see the despair and strength Kora lived with since she was turned to gold at nine-years-old. You see the transition of her becoming a forgotten princess to an outstanding queen that is ready to rule her people! Kora’s determination to put others’ needs before her own is the true definition of sacrifice that will inspire readers all around the world. This story is more than just a warning of greed. It’s about showing acceptance for yourself and others in your journey in life. Kora never let fear prevent her from accomplishing her goals. Her golden curse transformed into a golden savior as she found love, guidance, and friendship.

I hope you give this series a try! I promise you won’t regret it!

Here is the link to the first book A Touch of Gold available where all books are sold.

A Curse of Gold will hit shelves on September 22, 2020! But is available for pre-order! (More than enough time to catch up!)

I’m going to try and post a book review every Friday, so keep watching for new exciting tales that will take you to places beyond the stars!

Talk to you soon!