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