4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newbery is an autobiography that deals with how to keep going when things get hard. Newbery offers a critical view on his extraordinary past and shows just how much you can accomplish simply by asking for what you want, being adaptable, and never giving up. He began successful business endeavors as a child, first as a paperboy, moving up to owning an ice cream cart, renting stages, pro-cycling, and eventually becoming an extremely successful real estate investor. His journey then suddenly takes a downturn and he must use his past success to figure out how to rebuild himself.
I liked the easy way Newbery writes and how he looks at his past with a thoughtful eye. He notes his mistakes and with each success and failure, he relays the lessons he learned. While times have changed since Newbery built himself to such a great height, the ideas are still applicable and portray the stereotypical American dream.
The aspect that I disliked the most was how the story sometimes got bogged down in the details. As someone with no background in finances, real estate, or any of his other endeavors, it was sometimes difficult to understand the more technical aspects. While this didn’t detract from the narrative, it wasn’t much help to someone without prior knowledge.
Burn Zones is a compelling and inspiring book that would appeal to a wide-audience but especially to those who relate to Newbery’s philosophy of just keep going. For anyone who has experienced a great loss, or downfall in fortune, and has had to find ways to pick themselves up, this shows it is possible to come back and come back better off. On top of that, this book is very diverse in topics, covering the punk scene, pro-cycling, real estate investment, community programs, family relationships, and more. There is something for everyone.
I rated this book four out of four stars. I enjoyed the quick and easy read. While the technical details can sometimes weigh down the narrative, Newbery’s writing style is overall familiar and fast-paced. There is a wide range of interests in his varied past which makes the book all the more interesting. Newbury critically looks at his life and what the ups and downs have taught him. There are lessons for everyone and his story is inspiring in that anyone can accomplish anything if they work hard enough.
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