Posted in personal experiences

Book that opened my eye

Book: Loung Ung, First They Killed My Father, 2000 - Supamodu

I feel that I am supposed to already know the extremity of the cruelty that some societies experienced in the past and are still experiencing today. Many people would often believe that they do understand this cruelty that humans are capable of bringing out into the world. I am not calling these people ignorant. As matter of fact, I used to think in a similar way and I am certain that you also hold a similar thought. However, this book truly impacted me by giving me an eye-opening lesson. On this post, I will be talking about a few things that compels me to write about my general opinion and love for this book. Don’t worry, there will be no spoilers.

Loung Ung's Book First They Killed My Father, Now a Netflix ...

Meet the author – Loung Ung. First, let me just mention her beautiful smile despite the horrific trauma that marks her childhood. Ung was born in Cambodia and experienced one of world history’s most deadly genocide at the age of five. Today, she is living happily with her husband in Cleveland, Ohio.

In memory of the two million people who perished under the khmer rouge regime.

– Loung Ung

Writing style

Initially, I did not have much interest in reading and found this book lying around the house. I thought to myself that I should try to read a book for my own enjoyment for once. What caught my attention first was her writing style. Certainly, this is an important value for an author. Yet, I thought that her way of sharing this experience was in some ways different from other authors. More specifically, the simplistic wording of her writing style enables her to convey her message more clearly. Regardless of the simplicity, what made this style of writing incredibly powerful was the fact that the reader can still sense the emotion from each scene.

Adding on the simplicity of her writing style, this is quite important and an effective way to draw more attention since it is free of jargon. I was amazed by how strong her descriptions of virtually everything happening in the story was full of grace even when the scenes were gory. The grace that she holds in her writing is compelling to me personally as I found myself picking up my pace and urged me to keep flipping the pages. I would say that the combination of her simplistic and graceful tone of voice pulled out the immense powers of her story altogether. Though the pain that she went through as written in the book was inexplicably excruciating, her way of writing further convinced me to shed tons of tears while reading. I usually do not cry when I read books. Or at least, I have not felt as much emotional pain for the character from most books that I have read so far. That is how much this book impacted me.


As mentioned previously on this post, this is a memoir of her experience in the civil war at the age of five. That is a young age. Some people can still dig far into their memories at around this age, but it is still a rare thing to remember all the small details. From this logic, critiques of this book rose to point out that perhaps this book is not being entirely accurate.

My response to this critique in particular would be that I do agree to some extent, but I think that the point of the book would be dismissed with that opinion in mind. I agree that it is nearly impossible to remember in such detail. Calling it impossible might sound a bit extreme there, but you would understand what I am saying if you opened the book and just read five pages. I promise you will be captivated by her use of words to express her traumatic experience during the genocide.

On the other hand, I think it is kind of ignorant for anybody to say something like that. It is not like we have experienced the same thing or anything close to that. In fact, this genocide was beyond inhumane. At that age, any traumatic experience would affect the child and stick to them even if they believe that they have grown out of it. It will remain in your subconscious somehow. So, I would not make that kind of general assumption that the war was dramatized in the book.


To conclude my thoughts on this book I just recently finished within two days of reading, I realized that humanity can be easily lost in just a snap of a finger. Even if all the gruesomely described things are not completely accurate, that does not make the Cambodian genocide any less horrible. The author has every right to claim what she has experienced as a child.

This book is not simply one of the books I want to mark off as read in my summer book list. I would even feel ignorant and immature to see this book in any way close to being just one of those random books I wanted to add onto my list. It opened my eye in so many ways. I may sound dramatic here, but I can assure you that the book would most likely change the way you view humanity.

We are talking about a genocide here. There is no way that anybody, no matter what age, can fully describe to the audience how they felt. Regardless, the reader is easily able to comprehend the author’s pain. But one can never fully attain that comprehension of the insanely painful experiences of the victims. Not only have I learned more about this author’s personal experience, but I also gained deeper respect and gratefulness for what I have right now.

Lastly, I was able to get a better understanding of the terrifying experience of losing everything. Absolutely everything within seconds. And truthfully, you might not see that coming anytime soon, but it does not mean that the chances are zero that it would ever happen. Actually, I was cleaning out my shelves since I used to not have any interest in reading. I cleared out pretty much EVERYTHING. No one has told me about this book before, but I already felt pretty convinced that I should keep this book in case. It is quite odd and interesting that this book was the only one left. One thing for sure, though, is that I am grateful that I picked this book up and learned so much from a 200 page memoir.

This may sound far out of reach from what I am about to say next, but I sincerely believe that it is important for others to read this book even just for your self-improvement/development. More broadly speaking, pick out any book that you see on your shelf because you never know what lesson you will learn and the knowledge you would gain after you close the book to an end.

Netflix film by angelina jolie

Angelina Jolie and Loung Ung's 'First They Killed My Father ...
First They Killed My Father | Netflix Official Site

In 2017, Angelina Jolie directed and produced this film of the memoir. It is available on Netflix and is a 2h 16m film.

Here is a link to one of the trailers of the film
Posted in Uncategorized

Who am I?

So, I want to definitely get the ball rolling by introducing myself with some general facts…

My name is Isabelle Kim. Actually, I have just recently decided to switch my name to Isabelle from Kayla because I disliked that name for quite some time now. Don’t ask why. I don’t really know exactly why I do not identify myself fully with that name anymore. In fact, I am going through some kind of identity crisis. I am young. Very young. I have just turned 18 on March 29. When I say that I am having an identity crisis, you (probably an adult who is much older than I) would laugh and bluff. I myself am laughing at the thought of me going through that, but I am telling you. It’s such a strange journey. That is also partially the reason why I am on here writing about myself now to discover other aspects about myself.

I was born in Seoul, South Korea and moved to the United States when I was around 3 years old. I would say that I am more American than Korean. Still, I get confused to which nationality I should stick with but that never seemed to bother me much. I used to visit Korea every summer years ago and then it all came to a halt when my parents got into a conflict with the Korean government. I can still speak and understand Korean. However, I cannot understand those advanced vocabularies or idioms or slangs in Korean. The rest of my family can speak more fluently than I can and they communicate better in that aspect. It can be frustrating at times, but it does not bother me much. Oh – FYI – this isn’t the identity crisis I am talking about. Not even a single part of it.

Now talking more about my family… Hmmmm. Dang. I don’t even know where to begin and how to accurately describe my family. Let’s just start with this: I am the baby in the family since I have two older sisters named Julie and Jessica. Many people say I look a lot like Julie. I could never see why and always wanted people to stop saying such a thing. My older sisters treated me like a child all throughout my life. When I say child, I mean literally as if I were their child and not a sibling. Quite ironically, though, they would also view me as their age and always expected me to understand them all the time. This led to countless fights and arguments, in which all of them always ended up with me getting scolded by the entire family. Except for my dad at some times. We all fear our dad for various reasons, which I won’t really share here because it is an entirely overwhelming subject and sensitive to be shared in such a public space. Just to summarize about my family structure and dynamic – chaotic and dysfunctional. It has gotten a lot better nowadays. Only for one reason – physically separated. Once my sisters went off to college four years back, things began to settle down somewhat. And then, all of a sudden BAM everything just went wrong. I won’t go into detail yet because of the reasons I mentioned previously. Point is, my family is very hectic. The energy and vibe we carry in the house is always bouncing off the walls. I mean, I have an older sister with ADHD and my father is always angry and also has ADHD. Then recently, I discovered that I myself have ADHD. I don’t want to label us as those typical ADHD patients who are constantly climbing on the walls like Spider-Man, but I hope you get the point I am trying to make here. That’s just a tiny glimpse, though.

I know I am going all over the place as I am writing this about my initial plan of giving you guys a general outline of who I am. Ugh. That’s a problem that I want to really fix. I lack patience. I didn’t think that I did. Now I see it a lot more. I cannot do all that sitting down and brainstorming what to say with those neat outlines and bulletpoints. No way! I don’t have the energy to do that. I’m the type of person who would often jump into conclusion or simply get started on a task without much preparation. It’s not so great for various reasons. Certainly, I do know that for a fact. I have dealt with many consequences because of that. I guess, from this portion of the post I want to convey this message that I am quite disorganized. I am all over the place with my thoughts and emotions. I used to express them all the time physically by acting all hyper and being the “life of the party”. Not anymore. I am glad that I don’t do that anymore actually. In fact, I’ll be talking about that on another post after I try to figure out a way to finish this.

Goodness, guys. I have TONS that I want to say. So much information and thoughts and emotions and just EVERYTHING are filled inside my small head. All of this is having some kind of nightclub inside there and the party don’t stop. I’m just warning you guys – I tend to go off discourse and start talking about many different things in one post. Hopefully, I will be able to fix that more and more as I publish more posts on this personal blog. And maybe you guys can notice the transformation! That sounds all great. Haha.

Ahhh… I am not sure if this gave you any bit of good information on who I am generally speaking. But, you can indeed tell that I carry an energetic vibe. I want to share that energy with you guys. Bahahahah negative or positive. You’ll feel and read my thoughts from this blog.

Again, ladies and gentlemen – welcome to Isabelle’s life! 😤💕🥰

Short bulletpoint summaries if you lost track of what I was trying to say here:

– youngest one in the family of five people=mom, dad, Julie, Jessica, me

– 18 years old (high school senior ab to graduate online, heck yeah!)

– hold so much power Bahahaha jk it’s just called energy. Mental energy, sometimes converted into physical energy (ADHD)

– Running thoughts and tons of mood swings throughout the day (did I mention that I always get headaches? If not, thats a HUGE part of me as well)

– bit adding onto the previous point=often, my writing style will be scattered as my mind is constantly flowing with thoughts and what I write will not align with what I want to convey and I tend to overthink and overanalyze

– born in Seoul, SK and have not visited my country in a while (think it has been around 8-9 years by now)

– I actually didn’t mention this but I have two small adorable cutie pies. My pupppies!!! Candy and Choco. I will show pictures of them later on.

Don’t forget to enjoy and laugh and make fun of me as you read my posts. I’ll try not to get hurt. I am highly sensitive and have been trying to cope with it by being more expressive with my thoughts nowadays. 😭😇I’m getting stronger for sure.

Posted in Uncategorized

Self-Discovery Starts Now!

Thank you so much for those who decided to check this personal blog out. Whether it’s out of boredom or simply because you’re just curious about who I am, still I give lots of thanks to you all!

Most likely, I am here for the same reasons that other people are here for as well. This is to find out more about myself and even hopefully helping you guys out in any way possible from the posts I publish. This is my very first time doing this and I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to be doing with this new personal blog, but I am super excited to share my journey with you all!