The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
My name is Rya. I am in middle school and I enjoy reading, writing, swimming, and backpacking.
Coriolanus Snow is orphaned at a young age and is left to live with his cousin, Tigiris, and his grandmother. Growing up, he works hard in school, which finally pays off at the age of eighteen when he is chosen to be a mentor in the tenth Hunger Games. This seems like an honor until he is given the girl tribute from District 12, the lowest rank there is. His assigned tribute, Lucy Gray, may not be as physically strong as many of the other tributes, but she certainly is unique, earning her more sponsors than anyone else in the arena. This brings Corionalus some hope. Not only does he want his tribute to win for the glory, but Lucy Gray might just be the love of his life.
In my opinion, the Hunger Games themselves are the least exciting part of this book. Instead, the aftermath is full of extreme plot twists, and until about the last twenty pages, you find yourself wondering how the innocent, love-sick Coriolanus turns into the merciless, evil President Snow. The only aspect these seemingly different characters share is their sense of ambition and cleverness.
Personally, I loved this book more than any of the other Hunger Games novels. Although it is lengthy, I was absorbed from start to finish. The way that the author made the antagonist of the beloved Hunger Games series into the protagonist of a prequel helped me to understand how the fictional world of Panem came to be.