4 out of 4 stars
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In this autobiography Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands the author informs us from the very beginning that, "I started working when I was seven-years-old and created my first business at 11." Unbelievable, right? It is also very intriguing.
"Jorgie", as his father insisted on calling him, literally hits the ground running by becoming a paperboy at seven. At sixteen, he drops out of high school and starts his own record company. Then when the challenge is not enough for him anymore he turns to "bike racing", where he becomes a champion. When he is finally done with racing, he turns to other businesses. First, he becomes a loan originator, then moves up the ladder of success to a loan officer and then a real-estate mogul before finally settling down and starting the AHP. It's not all about his successes though, when he's about 40 something happens to him that changes his life. According to himself, he takes "one chance too many" which leads to his downfall. Will he be able to stand up again? Will he push through this burn zone too? How? And more importantly, what is a burn zone? You have to read the book to find that out.
The genre of the book is non-fiction. However, as you read the story of Jorge P. Newbery and follow him through the years of his life and career, you cannot help but consider it a fairy tale. "It's not true," was my initial reaction, especially because of the parts where he starts working at seven (who does that?) and then dropping out of high school without his parents getting angry or forcing him to continue school. How can it be possible? But it's no fairy tale and everything is true. After that, I read the book with wide eyes and surprise written all over my face. The book could also be put under these categories: autobiography and self-help.
What I liked the most was that I connected with the book on a deeper level because of the author's way of recounting his story. I experienced his pain, his happiness, and his anxiety. I also loved that the narration was detailed and interesting. Plus, it was also fast-paced, which here is not a negative point since it fits the events happening in his life. Another impressive thing about this book is that it's not all about work, it's also about family, love, and life. That is one of the many reasons I kept on reading it and never got bored. It is also worth mentioning here that in Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands, Newbery also talks about "loners" and minorities like himself, who have been ignored and marginalized by society, and the inequalities they face in their lives. Jorge P. Newbery talks a lot about the African-American minority in his book and relates to them on so many levels. This also makes the book even more worthy because as an entrepreneur he doesn't just talk about money, he understands people and he cares about them.
As I read the book, I couldn't find any grammatical or punctuation errors, which was because of the professional edition of the text. The story itself was magnificent and inspirational. Therefore, I am giving the book 4 out of 4 stars.
As for the recommendation, I think this book can be beneficial to both young adults and adults. It can inspire and motivate adults and younger readers to push through their burn zones and never give up.
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