4 out of 4 stars
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“Everyone’s life is full of burn zones, which test the limits of our bodies and minds” (Burn Zones, p. 8).
Jorge P. Newbery believes in the value of working hard and saving money while spending very little on himself. At the age of seven, he’d got himself a job delivering papers for the Herald, which he did diligently every day, rain or shine. Soon enough, he was earning double by working for the competing paper as well. Newbery used these incomes to start his first business when he was only eleven, selling ice-cream on his tricycle around the neighborhood. An entrepreneur at heart, he was always looking out for bigger opportunities and even bigger challenges.
After years of hard work and a series of different jobs, Newbery has risen as a real estate mogul who purchased problematic housing complexes at a bargained price and turned them into profitable assets. Unfortunately, years of consecutive success hadn’t taught him to be a cautious investor, and he took one risk too many. One particularly brutal ice storm in 2004 wiped out all his years of hard work and left him drowning in debts totaling more than 26 million dollars. It appeared he had entered the most difficult burn zone of his life.
I find this story highly inspirational, as the author was relentless in all his pursuits and simply refused to give up. I only wish he had asked for help instead of facing such trial times alone. The book is extremely well-organized, with all the important turning points in his life clearly laid out, and the chapters come together seamlessly. I was so deeply engrossed in the book that I finished it in one sitting.
While the story is cohesive as a whole, readers who aren’t already familiar with Newbery’s story will undoubtedly wonder as to how he settled his massive debts, since this matter is only mentioned briefly in the book. Personally, I support the author’s decision to omit the details, as it would have taken the focus away from his story. For readers who want an exhaustive answer, I recommend Debt Cleanse, which is a self-help book by the same author on tackling overwhelming debts. This informative guide provides step-by-step explanations of how Newbery settled his debts for much less than what he actually owned while ended up not having to pay for some at all.
Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newbery is an extraordinary story of hard work and resilience. It is an engaging and uplifting memoir that deserves a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. The book is exceptionally well-edited, and I could only find a couple of punctuation mistakes in the entire book. I believe Newbery’s story would inspire and give hope to people who have fallen on hard times. There are valuable investing lessons to be learned from his experience that would attract the attention of entrepreneurs and real estate investors as well.
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