4 out of 4 stars
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Jorge Newbery provides inspiration and hope in his memoir Burn Zone: Playing Life’s Bad Hands. At the young age of seven Jorge was hired for his first job, delivering newspapers in his neighborhood. As an opportunist, Jorge recognized and pursued opportunities to better himself, thus providing significant wealth over time. Upon gaining employment at a mortgage firm, Jorge used his wealth to purchase run down or abandoned real estate and then invested in these properties to make them beneficial to society. One particular property would prove to be the downfall to his empire. As Jorge recounts the actions that he took after a devastating ice storm he shows the reader that a lesson and reward can come from any situation. Even millions of dollars in debt he held hope that he could work hard and change his situation.
This is a 4 out of 4-star book! Jorge Newbery engages the reader from the first pages and continues to hold their attention. The memoir follows a specific timeline and does not jump from year to year. Jorge makes sure to use terminology that most readers will understand and takes care to explain industry specific concepts.
I liked the hope that Jorge gives his readers, but at the same time he stressed how important it is to work hard. At the end of his book Jorge admits that during his financial crisis he took to playing the lottery, but that it was wasted money and he didn’t win anything substantial. It was a pleasure reading that he took responsibility for his own downfall, admittedly there were other parties in part to blame, but Jorge does not dwell on this fact. He is more of a “there is a problem, what is the solution” type of person rather than “this problem was not my fault, so I will wallow in self-pity”. Jorge shows the reader that no matter how dire the circumstances, one can always work hard to change their situation.
I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a great comeback story (that is true). I would also recommend it for anyone who may be working on their current financial situation. Although Jorge does not go into detail about how he managed to pay off his debt, he does provide the reader with wonderful motivation to continue working hard to change their situation.
This book has only one error that I could find, which leads me to believe it was professionally edited. On page 106 it reads “He reminded of Chris…” and it should be “He reminded me of Chris…”.
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