4 out of 4 stars
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From mogul to debtor, Jorge P. Newbery shares all in his book Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands. No stone is left unturned as Newbery recounts his life, starting from his roots as a newspaper boy to his enterprises as a real estate tycoon. Even the in-between, which boasts of a professional cycling career and successful record label, is nothing to scoff at. This incredible memoir is punctuated equally by discussions of both his successes and his failures, the worst of which drowned him in debt. Accompanied by snippets of social commentary and injustices, Newbery shows that it takes an iron will to overcome and accomplish.
I liked many things about the book. The various quotes, for one, really added to the book’s message. A sentimental, inspirational memoir, they gave the reader a peek to Newbery’s personality and what they could use in their own journey to success. The photographs also served to enhance the book. While the words did a lot of describing, the pictures allowed me to visualize what was being said and conveyed what the words couldn’t. They were infrequent too; there were enough to have an impact when they appeared, but not so much as to take away from the book and become annoying.
There weren’t many things to dislike about this book. It was well-edited with very few mistakes. These mistakes did not affect the meaningful message it wanted to communicate to aspiring professionals. While the book as a whole felt a little slow, the “mini-scenes” were quite fast-paced and jumped from event to event, keeping the book balanced in terms of pace.
I recommend this book to anyone who is contemplating ideas but unsure about taking the leap. For example, you have a business idea that you hesitate to formally establish because you don’t know if it will be successful. This book will help you through those thoughts! It describes Newbery’s similar feelings as he moved through his various business ventures. However, if you’re looking for instructions on how to make your ideas work, you might want to look elsewhere. This book is not a step-by-step guide to success, but a reflection on that success.
Overall, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. There weren’t many negatives that stood out to me, but there were plenty of positives that I could see. In this heartfelt memoir, Newbery reaches out to you to show that even at your worst moment, you can build yourself up again. Only you can do it; a dash of ingenuity is sometimes all you need. It’s a good lesson to leave the reader with.
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