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In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom
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In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

4.46  ·  Rating Details ·  6,545 Ratings  ·  912 Reviews
Human rights activist Park, who fled North Korea with her mother in 2007 at age 13 and eventually made it to South Korea two years later after a harrowing ordeal, recognized that in order to be "completely free," she had to confront the truth of her past. It is an ugly, shameful story of being sold with her mother into slave marriages by Chinese brokers, and although she a ...more
Hardcover, 273 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Penguin Press (first published September 2015)
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Maxwell
Jan 19, 2016 Maxwell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 2016
I don't think any review I write for this book can do it justice. It's a truly remarkable story, but more than that, it shows a truly remarkable young woman who is resilient and hopeful even in the bleakest of moments. It's the epitome of inspiration, and I wish every single person would read this book and be inspired by it.
Petra Eggs
Education. Re-education and even more re-re-education. Or you could just call it programming or that nice, old-fashioned Cold War word, brainwashing. But who, in the end, is being brainwashed? It wouldn't be us now, would it?

Yeomi Park is born into a subsistence-level existence in North Korea which is reduced to almost lower than that when her father, a smuggler of metals, is sent to a labour camp. When he is released, he is a broken man.

"At three the following morning, Yeonmi and her mother to
...more
April (Aprilius Maximus)
I honestly don't even know what to say. What can you possibly say after reading Yeonmi's story? Completely heartbreaking and horrific, yet inspiring all at once.

Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge Notes:
- 19. A non-fiction book
Petrik
Dec 20, 2016 Petrik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Some of you will probably skip reading this review since it’s a memoir and most of my friends and followers, like me are lovers of fantasy & non-fiction books. Believe me, memoirs or any kind of non-fiction books is a genre I avoid the most. However, after watching Yeonmi Park’s viral video on YouTube back in 2014, I was so moved and when I found out there’s a book based on her life since her birth until her escape from North Korea, I bought it straight the next day. If you decided to not re ...more
Sarah Churchill
Nov 10, 2015 Sarah Churchill rated it it was amazing
I'm not normally an autobiography fan. I mostly read fiction. But Yeonmi's story is just... you know how they say truth is stranger than fiction? That.

We have to bear in mind here that I met the lovely, kind and humble lady herself before I read this. I'll hold my hands up that that probably had an impact on how much this book touched me.

Split into three parts to document her escape from North Korea, set in NK, China and South Korea, the account is heartbreaking, fascinating and punctuated by th
...more
Joana Cotidiana
É difícil acreditar que temos a mesma idade... Em lágrimas termino esta leitura poderosa, que não queria largar por nada. Marcou, chocou, tirou-me da ignorância e vai ficar comigo por muito tempo.
Katie
Oct 30, 2016 Katie rated it it was amazing
I'll have a review of this up next week!
Liz Janet
We are always worried about a dystopia yet to come, without realizing, that in some places across the world, the system already exists.
There are two things to take from this book. 1) The struggle some people around the world have to endure compared to the relaxed lives we have, and 2) Human resilience can overcome all, and that in times of trouble, there will still be good people out there willing to help.
Virginia
Aug 27, 2015 Virginia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Just wow.

This girl is only 21 years old and has lived a life that most of us could never fathom. Born and raised in North Korea, she was brainwashed to believe the Benevolent Dictator Family, the Kims, could read her mind and was cautious of any negative thoughts she may have about her country. That's how controlled her life was. Due to an incredible series of events performed by her whole family in order to live, Park escapes to China where she and her mother are captured and sold into sla
...more
Mari
Feb 02, 2016 Mari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I talk about this book in my November reading wrap-up video.

Don't worry about my rating for this book. How do you rate a story like this, a book like this? I don't know. I don't know at all. What I do know is that I was unable to put down Yeonmi's story once I picked it up. It at once gave me a glimpse into a life in a place I knew nothing about, had never really thought about, could never imagine even if I tried. Yeonmi's story is incredible and it's the kind of story that makes you think, that
...more
Katie
Apr 20, 2016 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2016
Read this in one sitting. I'll write a review when I stop crying.
Sam Quixote
I’ve always been curious about life in North Korea but didn’t really make an effort to find out just how weird and harrowing it was until I saw Yeonmi Park’s In Order to Live - a memoir of a girl who grew up in North Korea, defected, and now lives in South Korea - and decided to find out. Well… I found out. Weird and harrowing doesn’t come close.

The book opens with a teenage Park and her mother trying to make it across the North Korea/China border in the middle of the night, bribing guards and r
...more
Aoife
Yeonmi Park was only 21 years old when she began writing her memoir In Order to Live which tells the tale of how she and her mother escaped from a terrible life in North Korea, to be captured by human traffickers in China and eventually travel across a desert to Mongolia to find safety in South Korea. I have just finished this book and I’m left with a throat full of tears for this wonderful, amazing girl and her courage and power to talk out about things that have happened to thousands of people ...more
Tânia Tanocas
Jan 01, 2017 Tânia Tanocas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leituras-2016
Foi altamente angustiante realizar esta leitura...
Uma autêntica jornada de terror rumo a uma liberdade que devia ser o direito de todo o ser humano...
Não acho que seja correto avaliar uma biografia de alguém, mas neste caso dou 5 estrelas pela coragem da Yeonmi em relatar à sua tão dura tarefa em fugir do regime da Coreia do Norte, coragem essa que venero e que espero que ajude muitas outras pessoas que estejam na mesma situação e que abra consciências na sociedade...
Não, não é uma leitura fác
...more
Kaitlin
Nov 03, 2015 Kaitlin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I was sent this book to review by Penguin after I sent a request asking to receive it because I was interested in reading it and hearing Yeonmi's story, but I will always give my honest opinion and for this book that was easy to do. I, like many others who live in the modern, Western part of the world, knew very little about North Korea before I was sent this book. I had watched one or two documentaries and I knew things were bad, but I hadn't yet had the chance to pick up and read an actual acc ...more
hanna
This was such a powerful story! There is nothing I could possibly write to explain the emotions I felt whilst reading this. I recommend this to everyone - male, female, teenager, elder, cat. Just read it.
Nicola
Jan 01, 2017 Nicola rated it liked it
Read this in two sittings. A remarkable woman and a remarkable story.
Ana
Jan 09, 2017 Ana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-english, 2017
This book was truly heartbreaking. But such an important read. I think one thing is to "know" what happen in North Korea and a totally different one is to actually understand it. And not only in North Korea, but China as well.
I think everyone should read this book to understand a little bit more and to open our eyes more to the reality in which we live. We live in such a horrible world, that's not even questionable, but I was happy to see that even in those situations there were and are people d
...more
Célia
Os livros têm o poder de permitir que viajemos a lugares distantes e que vivamos experiências que não viveríamos de outro modo. Foi por isso que recentemente fiz uma viagem à Coreia do Norte e vivi uma vida o mais distante possível da minha a todos os níveis. Porque Escolhi Viver é o relato de uma jovem norte-coreana de apenas 22 anos, jovem apenas na idade por ter nascido num país que não a deixou ser criança e crescer com liberdade para pensar e questionar.

Yeonmi Park mostra ao leitor, sem pan
...more
Pucca
Aug 12, 2016 Pucca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
“There were so many desperate people on the streets crying for help that you had to shut off your heart or the pain would be too much. After a while you don't care anymore. And that is what hell is like.”

I went into this book not knowing much about the politics of North Korea. I was familiar with the basics and I was expecting a communism regime similar to the one in my own country from 25 years ago, but I got a better insight in the life of a citizen of North Korea and of a refugee.

This auto
...more
Bettie☯
Oct 30, 2015 Bettie☯ rated it liked it
Recommends it for: BBC Radio Listeners
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Laura
BOTW

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06kbcy8

Description: Human rights advocate Oona Chaplin reads the North Koeran defector, Yeonmi Park's remarkable account of her escape from one of the world's most repressive regimes, and her struggle for survival. Aged thirteen, she and her mother crossed the North Korean border into China where the pair fell into an underworld of human traffickers. Following their harrowing experiences, the two crossed the Gobi desert into Mongolia before they finally foun
...more
Vanessa
Mar 11, 2016 Vanessa rated it really liked it
Review to follow.
Mari Yeung
Jan 03, 2017 Mari Yeung rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
4.5

Incredible and heartbreaking story.

I wanted to write a review but honestly I don't think I'll ever be able to. In my opinion it's impossible to write criticism about a book like this.
I'm happy I read this and that I know a little bit more of what happens in the world.
Since no one ever talks about the conditions of NK I'm going to. Everyone I know will listen to me talking about this huge problem.
I had previously read Escape from Camp 14, but I needed some information about women in NK, and t
...more
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
God, this is a difficult book to review. Memoirs are always difficult to review, because how can you put a star rating on someone's life experiences?? But at the same time, Park is so incredibly young and it shows in the writing of this book.

The experiences she went through - both in North Korea and in escaping North Korea - were utterly horrific. I mean, not only did she witness her mother being brutally raped and not have any idea where her sister was for SEVEN YEARS, but she was raped at the
...more
Maxi (slothreads)
Jul 20, 2016 Maxi (slothreads) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maxi by: Maxwell
2016 AtY Reading Challenge : A biography, autobiography, or memoir.
PopSugar 2016 Reading Challenge: an autobiography.

How can I possible be able to review a book about someone's life? I'm actually thinking about not even rating this.

I've never read anything about or by a North Korea's defector.
I feel like everyone should read this book at least once in their life, Yeonmi's story is inspiring to say the least.

It's almost impossible not to compare my life with hers when she's only a year older th
...more
thebookfox
Nov 16, 2015 thebookfox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
For some reason, it doesn't really feel "right" giving this book a star rating. However, I found it an indescribably moving and inspiring read. An incredibly important book.

Video review: https://youtu.be/f6rnXZhPyz8
Linda
Yeonmi Park did not flee for freedom. She did not even know what freedom was. The only thing she could think about was food.

She was born in 1993 in the city of Hyesan in North Korea. Life alternated between a decent existence, when the famlily had enough food, and pure misery. Her father did everything to support the family and smuggled metal on the black market. Eventually he was sent to prison and the family ended up far down the hierarchy, something that would not change.

Yeonmi Park uses an a
...more
Robertt
Sep 30, 2016 Robertt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O lectura impresionanta!
Laura
Oct 31, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:
Human rights advocate Oona Chaplin reads the North Koeran defector, Yeonmi Park's remarkable account of her escape from one of the world's most repressive regimes, and her struggle for survival. Aged thirteen, she and her mother crossed the North Korean border into China where the pair fell into an underworld of human traffickers. Following their harrowing experiences, the two crossed the Gobi desert into Mongolia before they finally found freedom in South Kor
...more
Emma
Mar 06, 2016 Emma rated it it was amazing
Just insanely powerful.
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Diversity in All ...: In Order to Live (December 2016) 13 23 Dec 26, 2016 10:31AM  
BOOK REVIEW 1 2 Sep 03, 2016 06:49AM  
Play Book Tag: In Order to Live by 박연미 (North Korean Defector Memoir) 4 16 Jul 28, 2016 11:15AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Page count missing for ISBN13 978-0-241-20361-3 3 28 Feb 26, 2016 01:41AM  
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“We all have our own deserts. They may not be the same as my desert, but we all have to cross them to find a purpose in life and be free.” 29 likes
“But when I was seven or eight years old, the film that changed my life was Titanic. It amazed me that it was a story that took place a hundred years ago. Those people living in 1912 had better technology than most North Koreans! But mostly I couldn’t believe how someone could make a movie out of such a shameful love story. In North Korea, the filmmakers would have been executed. No real human stories were allowed, nothing but propaganda about the Leader. But in Titanic, the characters talked about love and humanity. I was amazed that Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were willing to die for love, not just for the regime, as we were. The idea that people could choose their own destinies fascinated me. This pirated Hollywood movie gave me my first small taste of freedom.” 14 likes
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