4 out of 4 stars
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“People always recognize when they are being sold a story and when someone is genuine.”
This statement is undoubtedly true, and readers of Burn Zones will be pleasantly surprised to find that Jorge P. Newbery is one of those rare humans who is willing to share the highs and lows of his life story with honesty. The book starts by inviting readers into Newbery’s younger years, where his entrepreneurial spirit was already evident. From an ice cream trike to a record label, from bike racing to real estate, there are very few adventures that the author has not been daring enough to try. Readers will be racing alongside him as he shares his successes, his burn zones, and his defeats, all with an enduring spirit of optimism that is inspiring and infectious.
The conversational tone of this book is one of its greatest strengths. From the very beginning, readers can engage with Newbery’s story. In the Introduction, he shares that “everyone’s life is full of burn zones, which test the limits of our bodies and minds…. I repeatedly took chances and worked tirelessly to turn my visions into reality….. Any achievement of consequence was the result of preparing for and enduring burn zones.” In these first few pages, the author not only confronts the reality of enormous obstacles but also draws readers in with the hope that they can overcome even the most challenging circumstances. This sense of possibility and optimism gives readers the feeling that they are sitting down to coffee with Newbery, listening to his story, and will encourage them to keep turning the page.
The author also made terrific use of his family photographs. While the tone of his writing is enough to keep people reading, the pictures add another dimension to the book that makes it unique. Readers can see for themselves what Newbery’s parents looked like and how pristine the ice cream trike looked after he refinished and painted it as a young kid. The ability to see these seemingly small details make readers feel even more invested in his story and eager to learn how his life has turned out.
I was impressed to find very few errors in the book. There were only five in total, and that fact gives the book a lovely, professional finish that is rare. One of the errors is on page 18, line 12. The word “was” should be “were.” However, the mistakes that I found were minor and did not take away from the reading experience at all.
My rating for this book is 4 out of 4 stars. Overall, Burn Zones is an extremely well-written book and an absolute delight to read. While it is non-fiction, I believe this is a story that will appeal even to those who are not particular fans of the genre. It would be an excellent choice for readers who love inspirational stories that will encourage them to pursue their dreams with passion and tenacity.
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