4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
In Burn Zones, Jorge P. Newbery tells the story of his successes and losses as an entrepreneur. He starts by writing about his business ventures as a child, which included selling ice cream and distributing newspapers. Before he was a legal adult, he already had his own business. Throughout his life, he founded several businesses and encountered several obstacles, which he refers to as burn zones. To Newbery, a burn zone is a period of time which requires “extraordinary effort” and separates “the winners and losers.” This book is not only about a businessman, it is an inspiring story of how we can all overcome our burn zones.
There are several details I enjoyed from the book. The first thing that comes to mind is the way in which Newbery mixes details of his personal life with his business life. At first, I thought the book was going to be about his business life only, which I was fine with, but I was glad that he also included a few important pieces of his personal life. It made the book feel more intimate and it made him, as the narrator, feel more sincere.
In the book, Newbery describes himself as someone who likes to suffer alone. From what I gathered, he is simply not an emotional guy. Whenever he has strong negative emotions, he will hide them and he will try to keep going as if he were full of confidence. Therefore, I was not expecting him to let the readers experience too much of his feelings. Even in the Woodland Meadows chapter, I felt like he was trying to avoid writing about his feelings, even though Woodland Meadows was the toughest burn zone he had to overcome in his life. Nevertheless, to my surprise, the chapters that followed the Woodland Meadows incident were full of emotions, so much so that I cried at a certain point in the book. The fact that he was able to be so open towards the last half of the book was very satisfying and it was another one of my favorite aspects of the book.
The aspect of the book I liked the most was simply that I could relate to it. As I was reading his experience with the city officials and the media (throughout the Woodland Meadows chapter), I was able to feel part of the indignation and frustration Newbery must have felt. I have experienced a very similar situation and so I immediately identified with him. I wish I could clearly explain what he went through and in what ways I identified with him, but that would definitely be a spoiler.
The part of the book that I liked the least was one of the last paragraphs in the book. Towards the conclusion of the book, there were a few sentences that made me feel as if Newbery were just writing them in order to promote his business. As a businesswoman, I do not blame him if that was the case, but as a reader, I felt a bit “put off” with that idea. Anyway, it might have just been my imagination, so I don’t expect this to be something that many readers will even notice.
I would like to mention that there are a few paragraphs with a lot of real estate and business terminology throughout the book. Since I love real estate and I have a business-related career, this was not a problem for me. However, I feel this might be an obstacle for some readers as it might get confusing and a bit boring.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because, not only would I recommend it, but it was also extremely well edited and it was a pleasure to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading real-life stories, anyone looking for inspiration, anyone looking for self-help books, and anyone interested in business, especially real estate.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon