4 out of 4 stars
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If you are someone who enjoys a self depicted biography mixed with empowerment and emotions, then Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands by Jorge P. Newbery is the book for you.
The story begins with the author focusing on what he calls burn zones, a test of limits to our bodies and minds. This is the main theme of the book and executed to evoke a plethora of emotions throughout his highs and lows. Newbery starts where his entrepreneurship mentality began, which is at age 7 delivering newspaper. From here he takes the readers on a journey throughout his success and failures, from a record company to a CEO of a hedge fund. The book guides you into the thought process of how he navigated stressful times, and his determined spirit to always get back up.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book- at 243 pages cover to cover, it makes for a quick read. When Newbery explained his first purchase of an ice cream bike with such youthful determination, there was a stage of his hard work ethic being set. I enjoyed the way he jumped into so many jobs and hobbies all over the spectrum, completing everything until he mastered it or felt it was a complete dead end.
The author also highlights on many present-day issues, such as police brutality. He does a wonderful job telling his experience with this outside of the punk shows he put together when he was working within the music world, or when the lead singer of Circle One John Macias was shot dead by a cop. There were many times Newbery also brings up racial issues. As a half Hispanic man who marries an African American woman, he has witnessed and felt racially harassed. Reading what he had endured and his negative perception on himself because of this saddened me however, I enjoyed the way he used it as fuel to prove others wrong and always do good to everyone. I felt he portrayed these issues in such an amazing way, without bias and left the reader with a positive viewpoint on something negative.
Though the author had suffered many setbacks, including being deceived by the city of Columbus, Ohio, yet he still set a positive morale for the book. When I had arrived at the chapter 'What Is Peace, but Love?' I actually got teary eyed! You can feel how fond he is of his family, and the people who he encounters over the course of his life. This is a story that has genuine content and good lessons to be learned from it.
This book is extremely well written as I did not find any grammatical errors. I would give this book a 4 out of 4 review. This style book I feel is a wonderful suggestion for those who enjoy biographies and non-fiction. Though I would not classify this as a self-help book, I do feel readers of that genre would still enjoy it. There was minimal profanity and no sexual references at all. There is a lot of talk within the real estate world and the laws that go with it, due to that I do not think this would be a book a younger audience would enjoy.
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