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Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne CollinsThe Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #0
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: 19th May 2020
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the 10th annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to out charm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined - every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute... and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

I wasn’t originally going to pick up The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes as I didn’t really have any interest in President Snow’s backstory, and I thought that without Katniss Everdeen, the Hunger Games wouldn’t be all that interesting. I was correct.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes felt, to me, entirely pointless. I struggled from the beginning to connect with Snow’s younger self. It seems strange to me that Collins chose to write the story from Snow’s point of view, as presumably everyone reading this book will know what he is to become. I read books to connect with the characters, but I couldn’t do that with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes because I simply could not see the two Snows as two different people. I knew who he was.

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The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda SalisburyThe Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
Series: The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 24th February 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: one-half-stars

A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy. Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn't a member of the court. She's the executioner.As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she's taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he's able to look past Twylla's executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla's problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

I’ve decided that Fridays are going to be my negative review day. Why? Because why not. I kind of need motivation to review the books that I don’t want to gush about, whether it’s because they’re dull as hell, or actually just painful. And The Sin Eater’s Daughter gets the honour of going first because it was truly, truly tragic.

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P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny HanP.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Series: To All The Boys I've Loved Before #2
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

I am so happy that I didn’t have to wait too long for this book. To those of you who read To All the Boys when it first came out, I am sorry. You poor, poor souls. I read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before a couple of months ago and it was the perfect cutesy read and I wanted to smoosh it. I have been waiting for P.S. I Still Love You with great anticipation and Waterstones delivered it super early so I DIED.

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Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie StiefvaterBlue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: October 1, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Gift
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

I have let my people down. Not only did I NOT love this book as much as I wanted to/thought that I would, I am also failing at writing a review. I’m just one big failure at this point. So here I am, trying to write a post to justify my non-feels and possibly upsetting the majority of the blogging population. I’M SORRY, FRIENDS.

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The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare & Holly BlackThe Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare, Holly Black
Series: Magisterium #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 9th September 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: one-half-stars

Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come ...

 This book was the opposite of a good time, I’m (kind of) sorry to say. I’ve had a mostly unhappy relationship with Cassie Clare’s books post City of Glass but Holly Black’s stuff was fun as well as pretty clever. So when I saw this on NetGalley I thought ‘what the hell’ and went ahead and requested it. I have…regrets.

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