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Young Adult Fiction 491
Snow Lands on Top
(Updated: May 25, 2023)
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I wouldn’t have thought you could put a heart into Coriolanus Snow’s character but Suzanne Collins is an excellent wordsmith and really nailed the psychology and descent of this character’s rationalizations and what he would do to land on top.
As readers, we came to understand that Coriolanus has a lot of war trauma, and knowing hunger and poverty after knowing privilege and prestige is a standard that he would literally do anything to get back. It starts off with family loyalty to protect the last remaining family he has left. This is the tenth hunger games and people are growing tired of watching and they are losing their impact. Coriolanus is about to graduate but his class’s last assignment is to make the hunger games matter again and each is assigned a tribute. If their tribute wins, they get a full-ride scholarship to the university. With Coriolanus surviving on cabbage broth and the threat of losing everything, his life literally depends on doing well.
It was fascinating to see his interactions with others. They praise him for his ideas and his thoughtfulness when we see his moves are calculated to protect and promote his interests. Even when he thinks he is in love we see that he really thinks he owns the girl and that she should love him as a result.
There were surprise twists in the story and it was interesting to see how each piece of the Hunger Games we learn about in Katniss’ time came into fruition. Sejanus’s character helps ground us from pitying Coriolanus too much. He is also a product of what the districts and capitol produce yet he has enough humanity to try to fight against the evil ideas he is faced with. It was interesting to have Coriolanus befriend him like a brother and believe what he was doing was for Sejanus’s own good.
Final Verdict: This was a thought-provoking tale and well done. It is tough to balance actions against thoughts and Collins did a masterful job showing Coriolanus’ evolution into what we see later in the Hunger Games trilogy. The ending is open to interpretation which I did not realize until I discussed the book with someone else and discovered that we both had evidence for two different endings for Lucy Gray, which ends up fitting in so well with her ballad. I truly appreciated how well done this book is at that point. The movie will have tough shoes to fill because the book was perfection.
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