In Order to Live


It seems that I’ve been reading a ton of non-fiction lately. Which feels great, especially after all those spooky books from Halloween time. I needed a different type of entertainment. The first book that I picked up was In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park. This is a memoir about a girl who escaped North Korea in the early 2000’s. I borrowed this book from my local library, after hearing about it from Book Riot. I really enjoyed this book. Not only did it make me thankful and grateful for what I have, it taught me a lot about North Korea, and what is still going on over on the other side of the world.

The story starts out with Yeonmi and her mother climbing barefoot through woods, rocks, and mountains to escape North Korea and all of the bad things that her family went through. Come to find out, the people that were helping her and her mother, weren’t that helpful at all. They were hoping to sell both of the women to sex trafficking, and Yeonmi’s mother said no, just take me. That’s only the beginning. This story goes back to when Yeonmi was born, and the poverty and intense pressure he family was under in North Korea. How they didn’t have electricity, running water, or enough food to feed her entire family. After many years, her father was shunned because of something that he did, and his family shunned them as well. Their lives were hell in North Korea, and their goal was to get to South Korea to be free of the ridiculous circumstances that they were in. Unfortunately her father passed away before they were able to escape, but after Yeonmi’s sister goes missing, her and her mother take that treacherous journey in order to find her, and their freedom once and for all.

At points in this book, I had tears in my eyes, I cannot imagine the things that Yeonmi and her family have gone through in their lives. What’s crazy to me, is that this girl is younger than I am, and has been put through things I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. She is thankfully in a much better place now, and is going to school to better herself. Just hearing her story has made me so thankful for the family that I have, and the fact that I have a roof over my head and I don’t have to worry about where my next meal is coming from. This story put many things into perspective for me, especially because this is modern day. It’s scary what’s happening in North Korea, and it’s even scarier that nothing is being done about it.

This book will make you cry, and make you thankful. It will also show you that if you try hard enough, you can make anything possible. I really comment Yoenmi, and her family, for sticking together and getting out of that hell hole. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, it is such a good story, and it will make you think. This is probably one of my favorite books of the year.


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