New, Exciting Times! (Plus, a sneak peek into Suzanne Collins’s new novel)

Hi, everyone!

I have some exciting news! I want to introduce something I’ve been thinking about for a while that will now be popping up from time to time:

Book reviews and more literary topics!

I’ve hinted at this since the blog began, but now that we have some topics under our belt and everything is flowing smoothly, I’m ready to throw some out there. Tuesdays will now feature a release on either Writing Advice or Get Lit, the two categories on the blog (besides Muggles and Mocha). Some of these topics will include famous author spotlights, how to mimic certain authors’ styles, delving into the classics, book reviews, and more…

One of the first book reviews we’ll have is already in the works. And y’all—I’m so excited! Soon, we’ll be breaking down the newest book by Suzanne Collins, the famed author of The Hunger Games series—The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

It’s been ten years since the last book of the trilogy was released, so I was shocked when I saw it! I’m also extremely intrigued. As we’ll go on to discuss, the subject matter of this book is pretty interesting…

Back in the day (when I was in high school!), this series took the world by storm when it was first released. In my opinion, The Hunger Games changed the face of dystopian novels and actually started some new trends within that genre of literature. There were a couple more series released soon after with a similar style that I believe were inspired by The Hunger Games. I read some of these, including the Divergent series by Veronica Roth and the Legend series by Marie Lu, and I enjoyed them as well.

Before we dive into The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, here are my thoughts on the original trilogy—I was in love with these books during my middle and high school years. Collins has a very engaging writing style, and she’s always had a way of paralyzing you with her words. When I’d reach the end of a chapter… I had to go on to the next one. Katniss’s terrible experiences had me entranced as a fourteen-year-old. I’ll be honest about something—I am not a fast reader. But because of the pacing of her books and how she kept me engaged every second, I sped through that trilogy.

So, in short and without spoilers, I really liked them. The characters were fascinating, and don’t get me started on the plot.

Now, cut me some slack—I only read these once, so you’re hearing the excitement of my teenage perspective. If I read them again now, maybe I’d change my mind… but I don’t think so. If you haven’t read them, I highly recommend giving them a go! I really should read them again myself.

Which brings me to my next point: the ending of Mockingjay, the final book in the series, was heartbreaking. After finishing the book, in tears, I vowed to myself that I would never read the series again because I didn’t think I could take reliving Katniss’s horrifying journey. It wasn’t because I didn’t like them—as you’ve read, it’s the opposite! I loved them. But in the end, they made me so emotional that I chose not to read them again.

Don’t judge. Some people get emotional over books, okay?

However, I’m considering breaking that vow. Due to time constraints, I’m going to go ahead and read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, but after I’m finished, I may just take a look at the whole series again…

With all of this being said, I’m really excited to start on this newest installment! You’ll have that book review soon, where I’ll analyze this novel to see if it lives up to the hype of the original series.

I’m writing this article before I’ve cracked open the book—I haven’t read a single word. So this is all I know about it going in and my thoughts before getting started:

  • This book is a prequel that occurs before Katniss is even born. Actually, it’s about a young President Snow—the most interesting character from the original books Collins could have chosen to focus on. This man was awful, so I’m curious to learn more about how he became the person we see in The Hunger Games.
  • I think this book will cover more about the war that started this mess, as well as the institution of the Hunger Games. We’ll see a younger Panem. For context, the book jacket says the story begins with the tenth annual Hunger Games.
  • President Snow is young! Like eighteen! Honestly, I can’t wait to read about him.
  • Complete opinion here: I think the title is a little clunky. It doesn’t match the crisp style that came before with the other titles. Specifically, Catching Fire is one of my favorite book titles, both for its structure and the way it completely captures the tone of the story in such a concise name. However, I don’t like to make title judgments until I’ve finished a book—we may just find that this title is completely fitting!

That’s all I have, folks. I’m so excited to jump into this and let you know what I think and how this story compares to the original books. Feel free to read along!

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: As hard as this will be, I’m going to try not to include any spoilers. If I do end up discussing any, there will be a warning.

The book review for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be here soon. Keep an eye out for more topics like this on the blog!

Until next week! And may the odds be ever in your favor…


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