The prequel is written from the perspective of a young President Snow, or Coriolanus Snow, as the 10th annual Hunger Games are about to take place. It's 64 years before we meet Katniss Everdeen and her fiery persona, and The Captial is trying to figure out how to get the Districts interested in watching children murder each other. To do so, they tap the graduation class at The Capital's Academy, which Snow is part of. There is none of the flair — insane costumes, vigorous training, etc. — that is seen in the trilogy. These Hunger Games are only a shadow of what comes later.
It was interesting to see how someone thinks when they are in a position of privilege which the fear that their scope of power can be dismantled at any time. It's enhanced by the fear of outsiders, people different and less fortunate than him. It was hard not to equate the book to what is happening in our world right now, and the call for a shift of power from police and those in charge.
Readers aren't supposed to like Snow and his nearly sociopathic world views. I believe Collins meant to offer an alternative viewpoint to the story of resistance and uprising seen in the trilogy. But without the glimmers of hope, those moments that pull on the heartstrings, the prequel didn't sit the same way.
The best part to me was the games portion and the action to see who will win. I honestly could care less about Snow's clouded and obtuse point of view when I'm seeing the similar abuses of power in the news and media. You see the oppression grow in the prequel and it was disheartening. While it's a fictional dystopia, who's to say we aren't just a few steps away from being Panem?