4 out of 4 stars
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“Stay relaxed. Others around you are hurting just as much as you. Focus on enduring the pain until the pace slows. The effort will get easier soon.”
This inspiring and wise quote is the start of an insightful autobiography, Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands, by Jorge P. Newbery. It tells of the story of Newbery’s hectic and rollercoaster life, starting from the age of seven and ending the story at his current age of forty-nine. This book tells of his many struggles and accomplishments, and how he became the person he is today. It covers his many different career paths, which include being a newspaper courier, finessing his way into owning an ice cream truck, buying a recording studio, and to becoming twenty-six million dollars in debt. Newbery is certainly no stranger to life’s bitter fight. This book is an epic description of his journey and would cater to many different age groups and demographics of readers.
Newbery sections chapters into different moments in his career, whichever endeavor he decided to journey into at that specific point in time. He discusses what sparked his entrepreneurial interests and continues into several different occupations he has had over the decades.
I found Newbery’s writing style to be pleasing and comfortable to read, which I think is admirable for someone to achieve who is not trained in literature. His tone was objective throughout and did not come across as condescending as perhaps some autobiographies do.
The pacing of the book was also well done. The author did not explain situations or scenes too quickly, nor dwell on one particular scene for too long. It held my interest until the very end and was an enthralling read for me.
Perhaps the most moving and inspiring portion of the book, in my opinion, is when Newbery discusses his career as a professional competitive cyclist. He competed in many different tournaments and championships, won some and lost others. There he learned about the "Burn Zone," hence the title. It is a point in time when you must push hard; when it will be tough, and when all you want to do is give up. When it hurts so much, but you must keep pushing… as the quote states, “the effort will get easier soon.” I believe that this is a powerful statement, and can be applied to so many different situations for readers.
This book is professionally edited, and I found no flaws. It shows that Newbery is a conscientious author, and is detail-oriented. I am rating Burn Zones 4 out of 4 stars. I am giving it this rating due to the immaculate editing as well as the overall compelling read. Newbery is a talented and inspirational author, and I highly recommend this book. "Get ready to enter your burn zone."
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