Cover Image: The Burn Zone

The Burn Zone

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Member Reviews

Lindell has a true gift of words. You will be up all night with this beautifully written masterpiece.
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I received an digital copy of this book from the author, publisher and Netgalley.com. Thanks to all for the opportunity to read and review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

Ms. Liddell's memoir is emotional and thoughtful. An amazing journey of self discovery and reinvention.

4 out of 5 stars. Recommended reading.
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What an amazing, thought-provoking, well-written, emotionally intense read. The author is incredibly gifted and has a way of making you feel like you're right there with her. I can only imagine how difficult it was to write about these events, but she forged through with extreme courage and the result is amazing. 

There was just the right mix of jumps into the past and present. I don't like memoirs that spend a ton of time focusing on childhood, because honestly that isn't usually the most interesting for the reader. With memoirs, it's way too easy to just go rambling about your life, and Linnell avoided that here. She placed flashbacks into her childhood in places that made sense and helped the reader understand how she got to where she did.

Another thing that was unique about this memoir was how Renee did not lose her spirituality when she left the cult. She still practices spirituality - I'm not sure how to describe it other than the belief in her inner self being somebody who was created for love. That's an awesome philosophy and I would like to read a whole book about how she views life and love now. But when she left the cult, she didn't leave that behind - she took what she needed and left the toxic parts. That's a message everybody could benefit from.

This was almost a 5-star read, but there were a few quotes at the end that made me raise an eyebrow. I'm quoting from an ARC, so I don't know if this is the same in the final edition. Basically, she's talking to a friend who had cancer, and she says: "I believe disease is a result of negative emotion stored in the body, blocking the flow of life-force energy. The destructive, angry thought patterns need to change; the emotion needs to be dealt with and released. If it is not, the body cannot heal." This is awfully close to saying that somebody's emotions and thoughts can cause cancer. I get where she's coming from, in that it's not healthy to fill yourself with hate, but cancer is not somebody's fault. And it doesn't mean they were filled with nasty emotions. 

She goes on to tell her friend, "But you have changed. You have softened. You have purged so much of the anger and fear that you used to carry. You have forgiven. The disease has served its purpose. You can thank it and let it go." Thank it? I don't know if her friend wanted to thank the cancer that made her fight for her life. The author believes that everything happens for a reason, and I want to believe that too. But illness doesn't have to happen to "teach somebody a lesson" or so they can use it as a tool for forgiveness. It can just be a really sucky thing that happens. People get sick - and it isn't always their fault. She doesn't owe anything to the disease. It's great if she can learn from it and grow, but it's not an obligation. Sick people didn't bring it on themselves. Emotional blockages don't cause cancer. (I can't believe that's a sentence I had to write.) 

I get that Linnell's spiritual practices may lead to her genuinely believing this, but I still felt it was a bit inconsiderate or at least it deserved a little more time. In the grand scheme of things, it was a pretty little thing and I did really like the book as a whole, it's a valuable look at how anybody can get sucked into a cult.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley.*
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I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.    Thank you NetGalley.

I've already been extremely interested In books about cults.. so this book was right up my alley.    Renee did an amazing job detailing how she ended up in a cult.      I'd definitely read more books by this author.
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When I read the synopsis of this book I was hooked and I knew I had to read it!!  I am fascinated with cults and memoirs so I devoured this one!  I definitely learned a lot from this book.  Definitely recommend. The only downside (which probably has nothing to do with the author or book itself) was the type font was really small and I had to zoom in on every page just to read it.
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This is a fascinating and raw memoir of a woman, Renee Linnell, being drawn into a cult. She offers an enthralling portrait of the seven years she spent being brainwashed by a cult. She can't believe that it would happen to her. A well travelled, well-educated woman. Cults have always been a fascination to me, which is what lead me to this book. I wonder myself that if I were in Renee's situation would I ever realize I'm in a cult as she had? I would I be able to get away as she has? 

Renee's story just goes to show you that it can happen to absolutely anyone. It was a captivating memoir that was at times scary but thankfully it ends up good for her in the end. The book itself is very well written and paced nicely. The only downside I can think of for the book was the way it jumped around in the timeline. It would go to various points in Renee's life and at some points, it wasn't exactly clear at what point of her life she's referring to. 

Overall, it's a beautiful memoir and I highly recommend it.
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Renee did such an amazing job with this book.  If there is one memoir I think you need to read right away -- this is the one!!  Not only is her story just amazing -- but her writing of her story is beyond excellent.
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I found The Burn Zone to be a fascinating memoir. Renee details how she came into a cult and her life changing journey back out of the cult. It is an incredibly detailed book which may not be for some readers, but I enjoyed it.
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A subject that I am truly fascinated in, written about in an intelligent and bold manner. Perfect. Absorbing and at times scary!
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This raw and gritty memoir grabbed me from page one and never let me go!  The author did a great job of writing about how she ended up in a cult and about how her life was after she left.  Really interesting and detailed.  Highly recommend!
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I really tried to like this book, but the writing felt so disjointed.  The author also spent so much time setting up what she was saying, I just could not get into this book at all.
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This book was amazing, reading Renee go through her huge journey was moving and inspiring. Whilst I don't quite agree with some of Renee's opinions and world views, seeing how she changed as a person and grew in strength again was beautiful and brave.
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This is the story of tbe author's quest for God. After seven years of following her spiritual teacher she finally realizes she is involved in a cult. This is the story of her experiances.
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A fast and crazy peek inside the Author' s quest to find God and the years she followed her guru into a cult. Soul baring and soul searching, full of ups and downs. Through it, the Author persevered and shares her story.

Copy provided by Publisher and NetGalley
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