Book Review – The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Is it Worth the Read?

Coriolanus Snow has been given the honor of mentoring a tribute for the 10th annual Hunger Games. The Snow family has been struggling to keep their wealthy status ever since the war of the rebellion in Panem a decade ago, and winning the games would help him greatly.

However, the odds are not in his favor. After being assigned the female tribute from District 12, he decides he doesn’t stand much of a chance. As he and his tribute work together to create a good image, he starts to worry for what will happen to her in the arena, when her and the 23 other tributes are forced to fight to the death. The question is; what lengths will he go to in order to win this competition, and keep his reputation alive?

Who else has been eagerly awaiting the release of this book?

Ever since I had first heard that Suzanne Collins was writing an extra addition to the well-loved Hunger Games trilogy, I was bursting with excitement.

However, when it was revealed that the main character in this story would be none other than one of the Hunger Games’ biggest antagonists, President Snow, I was questioning whether this book would be worth my time. What makes this character important, and why would I care to read about him?

I was also worrying about how this story might ruin the original books for me. We always have that thought in the back of our minds when there’s a new book in a franchise that’s going to be released. Will this be worth reading, or will I regret ever opening it?

But I knew that this book was being written for a reason, and eventually decided that I would give it a try.

Now that I’ve finished it, I can safety say that I was not disappointed.

Not only did this book reveal some history behind the Hunger Games, but it also made me look at Coriolanus Snow in a new way.

Right after flipping the first page, I was immediately transported back to when I first read the trilogy. It gave me a wistful feeling of nostalgia, and I couldn’t put this new book down.

Reading this reminded me that characters are much more than what they appear to be on the surface. Also, looking from different characters’ points of view can really effect your perception on the story. I found myself sympathizing with Coriolanus more than I expected to, and he’s now surprisingly one of my favourite characters.

There’s a lot more about the Hunger Games that is explained in the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. You’ll understand more about how the games have been shaped over time, how the districts are perceived from the Capitol’s point of view, and most importantly how Snow had something to do with it all.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the Hunger Games books (or movies), and it’s definitely worth the read!

Featured Image: Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash


My Thoughts on the Moral of ‘Animal Farm’ – a Thought Provoking Classic

Animal Farm by George Orwell is a beautifully-written, captivating story about how power can change anyone (people and animals) for the worse.

Genre: Dystopian Fiction, Satire

The animals on the farm of Mr. Jones’s have had enough. Believing that animals are equal to people, they decide to rebel against Mr. Jones, and clear out all of the humans from the area. Once they’ve completed their goal, they’re proud of what they’ve accomplished. All they have to do now is make a life for themselves, on their farm.

The pigs, the most intellectual of all the animals, begin to take charge in organizing the farm. But as time goes on, the pigs’ power over the rest gets a little bit out of hand. So much so that the reader begins to wonder; was the revolution really successful?

When I first began reading Animal Farm, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that it was written in the 1940s, and that it was a loved and memorable classic by the people who read it.

When I first opened the book, and there were animals that were talking, I thought that it was just going to be cheesy, about animals saving the day. So I didn’t read it.

Until recently, when I picked up the book again, and decided to give it a second chance.

The thing is, if I hadn’t given up on the first page the first time, I would have understood that this book has a much more dark and memorable moral than what I got from first impressions.

This book has a lot more to it than animals suddenly showing consciousness and rebelling against their owners.

It’s about manipulation and power, and how greed can easily take over someone’s mind, if they aren’t conscious of it doing so, or if they think their motive is for the better.

The animals rely on their intellectual leaders to keep everything orderly and safe, to help create and build the utopian society that they all dream of living in.

But what is it with power, that even the most seemingly innocent of creatures that hold it can easily be taken over by a drive to control?

A form of reality is told within a book that is seemingly fairy tale, and as you read chapter after chapter, you begin to realize that something is off; someone is pulling at the strings.

Animal Farm is thought-provoking page-turner, and I highly recommend it!

‘A Dog’s Purpose’ by W. Bruce Cameron, the Perfect Story for Dog Lovers

A Dog’s Purpose, written by W. Bruce Cameron, is a touching and heartfelt story that any dog lover will embrace.

Genre: Fiction


When Bailey passed away the first time, he was reborn as a different dog. He wonders why he came back, and sets off to discover the meaning of his life. He then meets his owner, a young boy named Ethan, and the two are inseparable. They have a rare connection that anyone would be lucky to have. Bailey passes away, believing that he has discovered his purpose. Until he’s reborn again, when he realizes that he’s far from finished.

Have you ever wondered what goes on inside of a dog’s head? A Dog’s Purpose explores the idea of what dogs are really thinking, and what they go through in their lifetime.

If you haven’t read this book, then you should go grab it from your local bookstore or library and start reading it today.

A Dog’s Purpose will find its way into your heart, and stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it. There’s something really beautiful about this book, as it demonstrates the deep connection between dog and owner.

I immediately fell for Bailey the dog, which caused problems for me every time he passed away or was hurt. It can be a difficult book to read if you’re sensitive to the sad parts in stories.

A Dog’s Purpose is an easy read, and the story flows very smoothly. It’s understandable, and has an interesting plot line that keeps you engaged throughout the entire book.

Many likable (and not so likable) characters are integrated into this story, both human and canine. Bailey is treated poorly and neglected by some of his owners, which is unfortunately similar to what some pets go through in real life.

Bailey is a caring and selfless dog, that loves his owners unconditionally. He always wants his owners to be happy. If you have a dog, you’ll probably be able to relate to this story.

This story shows the true dedication that dogs have toward helping people, and will make you look at your pet in a new way.

‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth – Dystopian Must-Read

Divergent by Veronica Roth is a gripping Sci-Fi story full of action and suspense, an unforgettable novel for those who read it.

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, Science Fiction


At the age of 16, all teens must choose which of five factions they belong in. Erudite, Amity, Dauntless, Candor, or Abnegation (intelligent, peaceful, brave, honest, or selfless).

Beatrice Prior is faced with a difficult decision; choose her family’s faction, or embrace who she really is? When she’s made the decision, she believes that it was the right choice.

But this whole time, she’s been hiding a dangerous secret from her family and friends. It could cost her life if anyone found out. Is her city as harmonious as it seems, or is there something darker happening within its walls?

When I first began reading Divergent, I had no idea that I would love it as much as I do. I was first told about it by a friend of mine, who said that she’d heard that it was a great novel.

When I was looking for books to read, her words came back to mind, and I decided to try it out.

I was pleasantly surprised!

Divergent is set in a fictional dystopian world, yet still finds ways for us to relate to the characters. I immediately fell for the protagonist as soon as I began reading, as if I were a friend of theirs. The main characters are overall good role models, and the story has good morals.

Since I still couldn’t get over having finished the Hunger Games trilogy at the time that I began Divergent, and it helped me move on to a different group of novels. You get similar feelings while reading both of the stories, but overall their plots are quite different.

Trying to find your niche, your style, a job – it’s all very stressful, which is why I can relate to Beatrice when she has tough decisions to make. She is forced to make difficult choices, which her entire future relies on.

The book drags you into the story as soon as you begin, and you may even end up reading it in one sitting.

There is a lot of violence, involving people getting shot, and someone getting stabbed in the eye, which could be disturbing to younger readers. Characters fight each other, and are often injured. A girl is groped and insulted at one point by two guys. Someone commits suicide by jumping from a height. There are also mentions of sex, and some suggestive scenes.

I would recommend Divergent for ages 13+, or mature younger readers.

Let me know in the comments; Have you read Divergent before? What did you think?

‘What Kind of Girl’ – A Moving New Page Turner

Released February 4th, 2020, What Kind of Girl by Alyssa Sheinmel is a moving and unforgettable read about what it takes to be brave and stand up for yourself.

Genre: Young Adult Fiction


She has finally decided to confess to the principal of her school, North Bay Academy, about how her boyfriend, Mike Parker, had hit her. Now, students are beginning to take sides for who they believe. Mike Parker, the popular, perfect athlete, has always been the star of the school. How could he have done something like this? After his girlfriend appears at school with a bruise of her face, they have to decide for themselves; is she lying, or has Mike been keeping this side of himself secret all this time?

What Kind of Girl follows the lives of eight different people; the Popular Girl, the Girlfriend, the Best Friend, the Bulimic, the Burnout, the Anxious Girl, the Activist, and the Cool Girl. Alongside the characters through their ups and downs, you begin to discover the underlying connection in each of their stories.

It is a grasping read, about characters who are struggling to overcome their problems and differences. Though they aren’t always great role models, the story overall has important and positive messages for teens and adults.

This book deals with a lot of difficult topics including self-harm, abuse, drugs, and eating disorders.

What Kind of Girl has a plot that is easy to understand, and settings that are descriptive but still leave you to imagine the details yourself.

Character development and growth is common throughout this book, as they discover more about who they are. Though I had felt confused as I wondered what significance some of the characters had to the story, the question answered itself for me the more that I read.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and was unable to put it down until I’d finished. There are parts of the story that many readers will be able to sympathize with. It’s important to learn about a lot of the issues that people, especially teens, are facing today.

This book has helped me to reflect on how others may not be as perfect as they act. It’s unfortunate that people might go through similar issues as the characters from What Kind of Girl are experiencing, and how getting help or breaking apart from the toxic people in your life can be difficult.

A lot of issues that the characters deal with, as well as how they overcome them, could be shared with teens, as to help them feel safe when revealing complications in their life to those who can help.

This book was reviewed by Elli, from NeedtoRead.