4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands, is a non-fiction book, and an autobiography of Jorge P. Newbery. He is a son of a former British actress and an Argentinian businessman and was born and raised in California, USA. The book is about Mr. Newbery’s business venture since he was seven years old. He started as a newspaper boy up to a real-estate mogul and ending as CEO of American Homeowner Preservation. AHP is my quote “a socially responsible hedge fund, which purchases, non-performing mortgages from banks at big discounts, then shares the discounts with families to settle their mortgages” at very affordable terms.
Mr. Newbery started the story with his family and how he got a job at a very early age. He also touched topics about racial discrimination and experiencing it first hand by being called SPIC, or short for Hispanic and police brutality with colored races. As the years passed by, his interest in entrepreneurship grew until he convinced his parents that he would learn more with experience than staying in school. He always felt being an underdog and a loner, but he was surrounded by good people whom he also treated with kindness and respect. His interest also shifted to being a cyclist that later on turned into a marathon. He earned money through real estate and had his fair share of success and failure in that aspect. The book ended with how he was able to get back up from a seemingly endless payment of debts to the more personal details of getting married to his beloved partner in life, Vierra, and his beautiful relationship with his parents.
At first, I was hesitant to read a non-fiction book, and an autobiography to top that. But I was quite surprised to find that this book is very interesting and engaging to read. I was fascinated that this person started to earn at the tender age of seven. No one pushed him to do that, and he acted on his own initiative. I also applaud that he had very supportive and understanding parents. Though Mr. Newbery started young in his business, he was very professional about it, delivers what he promised, and adheres to what they agreed upon. What also made me love this book is that the writer saw his mistakes, grew as a person, wasn’t ashamed to admit his weaknesses and failures, and most of all he stands up and goes on no matter how hard he falls. I appreciate the honesty and sincerity, and the braveness in imparting the betrayal and ridicule he endured. He shines like a beautiful person and was not boastful about it. He earnestly helps with the intent of making other people’s lives better. The most disappointing part and I disliked most about this book is that the teaser said he was able to evade paying $5 million dollars’ worth of debt through sloppy legal work which was not really discussed. I think that will be touched on his other book, Debt Cleanse: How To Settle Your Debts For Pennies On The Dollar (And Not Pay Some At All).
I found the book written well with minimal errors. I think it’s professionally edited and proofread. I also think the book cover suits the content and the personality of the writer. Mr. Newbery lived a fast-paced life, aside from being a cyclist and a runner. He took risks which were naturally avoided by “sane” people. It’s not that he’s not sane, but his confidence and drive surpasses most people’s. The pictures included also help in my reading, making me feel that he’s sincere in sharing and telling his story. The writer exhibits above average intelligence, not only smart. The title Burn Zone is the writer’s term for the state of an extremely stressful situation.
I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book to people who consider themselves underdogs, have an interest in entrepreneurship, people in the real-estate business, and readers interested in motivational autobiographies. I do not recommend this book for white people with a superiority complex and are not interested in interracial stories. Also, those who are in the police force, you might not feel comfortable reading this book because Mr. Newbery’s experiences with cops were not positive at all.
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