4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones caught my attention from its very first page. Jorge P. Newbery, the book's author, narrates his fascinating, inspiring story in a way which doesn't allow the reader ever to grow bored. Though I'm a big fan of autobiographies, I feel most of the times long and dull passages are one of the genre's main downfall, and yet Newbery manages to avoid this usual flaw smoothly.
The book's title is explained straight away: The author defines burn zones as moments where one's willpower and determination are put to the test. Being a cycling aficionado, he experienced such moments often and managed to pull through them through sheer resolve. Where others failed and gave up, he persevered. These burn zones, he assures the audience, appear in everyday life as well, and one must learn to overcome the emotional, physical or mental pain and persist: The end results will be worth the effort.
Jorge's recount of his life is utterly fascinating, and I found myself unable to put the book down. He tells us about his childhood and the first job he earned; delivering newspapers. From there he guides us onto his youth and successful career, working on real state and making millions off the market.
One of the facts I loved most about Burn Zones was that Jorge never comes across as unlikable or arrogant. He is confident and determined, yes, but in a relatable and down-to-earth way.
Burn Zones will guide its reader through what at first seems like a life filled with effort and success, but soon takes several sharp turns.
Jorge lets us know about his fails and struggles, which makes his every achievement even more impressive. He takes the time to explain his mistakes and provides the audience with the life lessons he learned from these tough times without ever coming across as preachy or full of himself.
Newbery's writing is superb, and I was static not to notice any typos of importance, which is a rare treat. I'm fairly certain this book was professionally edited, and if it was not, I find its lack of noticeable grammar mistakes even more impressive.
For all the reasons mentioned above, I rate Burn Zones 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend it both to fans of autobiographies and inspiring, moving stories. I believe even people who prefer fiction novels would enjoy Burn Zones, though perhaps it might be a bit complex for younger audiences.
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