4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands, is an autobiographical story about the writer of this book, Jorge P. Newbery. This book is about the endless ‘burn zones’ that Jorge encountered in his life and how he came out on the other side successfully. This was a great read that showcased the many lessons Jorge learned, the triumphs that occurred, and how he handled the worst of times.
Jorge is the true definition of a person who goes for what they want in life. At the age of seven, Jorge's first job was one that he sought out, and that was being the neighborhood newspaper boy. Then, at 11, he bought an ice cream trike from the money he saved from his paper routes. By the age of 14, Jorge has worked more jobs than the regular pre-teen; he was a busboy, delivered papers for two competing companies, and sold ice cream. A few years later, Jorge dropped out of high school to become an artist, so he started his own band and created his own stage for other artists to perform on. After being successful in those fields, at 19, Jorge took on the challenge of becoming a bike racer.
Jorge introduced the term ‘burn zone’ once he became a racer. The author describes the burn zone as the moment when a person is near the finish line of a goal they are trying to achieve, so they use all their mental and physical energy to get them there. Jorge encountered the burn zone many times once he left the race field and entered into becoming a loan officer and using that expertise to start his own successful ventures in real estate.
The author writes very compassionately about his reasoning for buying low-income housing and helping African-Americans get a shot in life. Growing up as a half-white and half-Hispanic kid, Jorge was seen as white and noticed the plight of blacks – compared to their white counterparts. Jorge learned from his parents how important it is to stand up for what right and that is what he did successfully for many years. But, hardships struck for Jorge when these same communities he was building up, was the reason for his tens of millions of dollars debt. The rest of the book details how he gotten through those burn zones.
This book contained profanity, but it wasn’t excessive and some derogatory terms. There were no erotic scenes. I would recommend anyone 18 years old and older to read this book. It’s a real good page-turner, from beginning to end, and you’ll learn some helpful tips about being of service to others and how to deal with hardships. Individuals who are looking for a positive outlook on life and motivation during a challenging time would benefit greatly from this book. If mild profanity or the use of racist terminology is an issue for you, then this would not be the book for you.
I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. This is the best, well-structured autobiography that I’ve read in a long time. The only issue I saw was in the ninth chapter of the book, where a quote from an anthropologist had a hyperlink even though he quoted other famous people and did not include one for them. I liked the author's persistence attitude of not giving up, especially when he was in deep despair and the media was trying to destroy him. The author had no grammar errors and the pictures he included every big moment in his life were great to see. Jorge discussed the good, bad, and ugly moments of his life, while still maintaining a sense of normality, during it all. Everyone should read this book!
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