In this prequel of The Hunger Games, we see Panem and the 10th annual Hunger Games through the eyes of teenager Coriolanus Snow. The Academy’s top 24 students are selected to mentor the 24 tributes chosen for the Hunger Games, one boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts. Lucy Gray, the girl from District 12, is Coriolanus’s tribute, and immediately she shines like a star. Together, Coriolanus and Lucy Gray win the Capitol’s favor through her singing and character, and along the way build a relationship stronger with each other. When the time arises for the tributes to fight for lives in the Games, Coriolanus takes measures that keep Lucy Gray alive- risky measures that won’t go without consequence.
I was so hooked on this story and especially the past of Panem’s future president, Coriolanus Snow. He was such a strong character to watch develop more and more, using his wits and intelligence to stay on top. His life was anything but glamorous, but he excelled despite his rough past and poverty. I also really loved his relationship with Tigris- it makes him seem more human.
The ending was a twist I didn’t expect and truly reveals the Coriolanus Snow that we know and see in the Hunger Games series, despite everything he endured. If you love The Hunger Games books, this prequel will only make you love this series more- but of course you don’t have to read the Hunger Games to immerse yourself in this book. I recommend this book for teens/young adults into dystopian, adventure, and action.

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