4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newbery was a memoir that captivated me within the first few pages. His amusing anecdotal story recounted his professional, and personal, failures, which turned into revelatory life lessons for anyone to learn. Throughout the book, he does not sound pretentious at all, but a man who has genuinely dedicated his downtime to self-reflecting on his past choices.
This book has some light references to sociopolitical violence, such as the controversy surrounding police brutality and discriminatory attitudes towards marginalized groups, earning a rating of 1. However, there is no mention of erotica, thus earning the appropriate rating of 0. There are some instances of profanity, like on pages 173 and 288, but it is not excessive. And the book was well-edited, with no typos present as I read the book.
One of the moments that I liked most were the chapters where he discussed his unconventional childhood and young adulthood. I admired his upbringing because although his parents’ style of raising children differed from other families during his time, I believe the principles instilled into him contributed to his personal development as a persistent, empathetic man. Another part I liked the most was when he lists out his flaws and strengths, revealing not only his determination to excel in life, but his humanistic qualities (fear, insecurity, pride.) These characteristics present themselves as beneficial to Newbery's emotional recovery from his failures.
And the part I disliked most was when he explained his side of the Woodland Meadows investment fiasco. It hurt reading this part because I empathized with Newbery's optimism as he invested in something that he hoped to yield positive outcomes, but only received disappointment (and increased debt!)
This inspirational tale would most appeal to an adult audience, ranging from young adults in their twenties to adults in their advanced years. People from all different backgrounds can learn to make better (financial) decisions that won't negatively impact their life in the long run. The book provides motivation for people to tackle life's curveballs, and proved that recovery from such fallbacks is an important time for re-evaluation of one's life.
Overall, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars . Personally, I found Newbery’s tale of redemption reassuring for readers because it illustrates how, despite being beaten down by life, we can dust ourselves off and just keep going forward.
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