4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands by Jorge P. Newbery is a motivational book in which the author narrates the story of his life. Even as a child, he was blessed with ambition and good business sense. While other children were playing, Jorge was working. Despite criticism and scrutiny of his young age, Jorge was determined to prove the naysayers wrong. He would sell ice cream and newspapers and was always on the hunt for more successful business ventures. Newbery did not wish to continue his schooling or go to college and decided to pursue other careers which led him to work alongside musicians, renting his stage, and even letting bands board at his home for short periods of time. He took risks and knew the bigger the risk, the bigger his reward would be. He also enjoyed cycling and decided to take up the sport professionally. Here he learned how to deal with physical burn zones and how to ride them out. He soon adapted this concept to his life and referred to his challenges as burn zones. He reveled in his ability to solve problems and surpass each burn zone in his life. Eventually, he took up real estate and later rented apartments. What stood out to me, was the fact that the higher Newbery climbed, the magnitude of his challenges increased. The most difficult burn zone encountered was Woodland Meadows, an extremely risky choice made by Newbery.
I like that this book also creates a sense of awareness regarding serious issues such as racism and the illicit use of drugs. I appreciated the diversity of culture in this book as I found this to be very refreshing. This book is exceptional at getting the reader to practice self-introspection and to reflect on our choices and on how we treat others. For instance, the author respected everyone regardless of race and he observed that how we treat others greatly impacts our interactions and circumstances. This book was a joy to read. There were no errors, and it appears to have been professionally edited. My only issue was the placement of the pictures which made some of the text difficult to read as some of the words overlapped the pictures. I loved the use of pictures as it gave the reader a glimpse into the author's life and made the book more relatable. These pictures demonstrated the author and his progress, and major events in his life. The writing style was superb as it felt as though the author was speaking directly to the reader. I believe the author has succeeded in his goal as this book truly is a motivational and inspirational tool which can greatly improve our lives.
This book has taught me to value and appreciate time, good advice, family, and the importance of balancing work and recreation.
I would recommend this book to adults who are considering business ventures, or those in need of motivation. I believe any adult would appreciate this book because we all encounter burn zones throughout life. I would not recommend this book to children as there was the incident of his father's death, which, truly had me in tears. (His father was extremely supportive of his ambition, even as a child, and would carry him to purchase ice cream.)
Apart from the placement of the pictures, there was nothing I disliked about this book. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
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