4 out of 4 stars
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Jorge Newbery recalls the highs and lows of his life in his autobiographical novel Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands. Motivated to learn from the real world, Jorge dropped out of school at age 16 and crafted his own path paved by a steadfast work ethic. In his late teens, he became a cyclist and learned about burn zones: areas of intense struggle that only a select few could overcome. He learned to navigate these challenge areas with self-control and perseverance. This idea of burn zones in athletic fervor imprinted on his view of the professional world, into which he eventually got into insurance and then real estate. Newbery gained over 4,000 apartments and worked tirelessly to veer the most pitiful plights towards a future with blossoming potential. However, when a natural disaster struck the crown jewel of his real estate empire, Newbery collapsed into a devastating financial freefall: the most intense burn zone of his life.
Initially, I was pretty skeptical about this book. I don’t typically get excited by financial talk and the white-collar world. But I read the description for this book and decided to give it a shot, and boy am I glad that I did! Jorge Newbery is an exceptional figure who built himself up when others doubted him and proved that he could overcome any trial with pure determination. Even when life gets him down, he still manages to brush the dirt off and learn to smile from the experience. A genuine altruist, Newbery is invested in helping others. And for me, I surprised myself with how deeply invested I was in watching this man tackle challenge after challenge.
I love that this story is presented as a redemption, underdog-type tale. Newbery admits that he himself is always one to root for the underdog and it was ironic, even tragic, how he ended up being the underdog in his own story. But, despite the naysayers and unforeseen disasters, Newbery rose to the challenge to avenge himself and those in need around him.
I don’t really have anything negative to say about this book. There is some technical talk and jargon when it comes to real estate investments and insurance policies, but the author takes the time to present everything in an easy to understand manner, allowing for unfamiliar readers to grasp the concepts with confidence. I actually feel like I learned something while still having fun!
I rate this book 4 out of 4 starts. Jorge Newbery’s experience is inspirational and overall a delight to read. This book received an exceptional edit and I found no typos or grammatical errors whatsoever. There is no erotic material and only some instances of profane language. I recommend this book to teen audiences and up. You need not be a real estate fanatic to enjoy this non-fiction book. Burn Zones is about a man who stares down great risks and delivers an inspiring performance that we all can learn from and appreciate.
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