Statler: Ah, Mrs. Collins has published another book, I see. Are you going to read it?
Waldorf: Read it? I’m going to use it!
Statler: Use it for what?
Waldorf: As kindling for my fire!
*The two chuckle*
Thank you Statler, and you, Waldorf, for that wonderful intro. I really don’t know what I’d do without you guys.
Since today is the first day of what will be many, many “Statler and Waldorf book reviews” to come, I may as well explain how I intend to conduct such posts. These will be published on Mondays, as the title insinuates, and will cover any book I have read within the past few weeks. Books will be given a summary, a star rating out of 5 (I will not give 5 stars unless the books are amazing), and a small, individual critique from both Statler and Waldorf. I may add more features as the posts continue, but this is how I intend to begin.
Book title: The Ballad of the Songbirds and the Snakes
Author: Suzanne Collins
Published: May 19th, 2020.
Genre: Science fiction, thriller.
Those that have read the best-selling series The Hunger Games should enjoy the gripping tale of Coriolonus Snow and his rise to power. Originally introduced in The Hunger Games‘ first book, “President Snow” is, at first glance, the ultimate aristocrat. He dresses well, speaks politely, doesn’t fight with his friends, and receives good grades. He has few flaws, and many friends. Coriolonus is, by all accounts, a successful and prepared student.
Yet as we dig further into the book, we find, lurking deep beneath the surface, a monstrous hunger for power that trumps everything Snow stands for. He takes the extra step, goes the extra mile, all in an attempt to boost his social standing and repair his family’s name. As he continues to grow and learn about his ever-changing country, something begins to shift. His friends and family don’t notice, but Snow is beginning to learn what strings he must pull if he is to truly rise in this world. And if pulling these strings means stepping on others’ toes? So be it…
There are few Christian elements found within Collins’ world of Panem, yet, as I wrote in my post “What the Hunger Games Taught Us About Literary Worldview”, we find that there is more to the Hunger Games than meets the eye. The inherent savagery of the human heart, the lust for control caused by such savagery, and the imminent rebellion by those under such control are all major points fleshed out by Mrs. Collins’ writing.
Despite the lack of Christ within this book, the story shows the true evil of the human heart. While others may claim otherwise, we Christians know that man remains in his fallen state, able to sin and unable to not sin. “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick”, wrote the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 17:9). There is only one way out of the trap of sin, and He offers His way for free. All we have to do is accept.
Final Rating: 3.7/5 stars.
Recommended age: 13+
Statler: You know, I think the book could have used a bit of romance to spice it up.
What do you mean, Statler? The book had romance.
Statler: That wasn’t romance! That was some hollywood bul- I mean, it was some hollywood….dung. The book needed some REAL romance, not some weird girl trying to smooch Snow.
Waldorf: You’re just jealous she wasn’t trying to smooch you!
Waldorf: I thought the romance was fine, but what about Snow’s mother? The woman was more addle-brained than you, and that’s saying something!
Hey now, stick to the review.
Waldorf: Right, right. Anyway, the plot flowed well, and the dialogue made sense, but the ending needed some help.
Well, what do you think it needed?
Waldorf: Besides an appearance by the greatest duo of all time?
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen?
Waldorf: No, you idiot- us. Anyway, I think the only thing missing from the end was a good dosage of hope. We have a heart-wrenching betrayal, a lack of appreciation for the best female character in the book, and an unsatisfying method of dealing with BOTH of these problems. The end of the book has less hope than Statler does of getting Widow Mary to look at him.
Yeah, I agree…except for the Widow Mary part. Statler’s a handsome guy.
Waldorf: Maybe to a pig.
Statler: She IS a pig! She’s Miss Piggy’s aunt!
Alright, you two, that’s all for today. Thanks for helping, and I’ll see you guys next week.
-Elisha McFarland, Statler, and Waldorf
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