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Monday, October 8, 2018

REVIEW: The Burn Zone by Renee Linnell @Renee_Linnell @shewritespress @fsbassociates

The Burn Zone 
by Renee Linnell 

Thank you to FSB Associates and She Write Press for this copy!
I love memoirs about cult life....

Publisher:  She Writes Press
Publish Date:  October 9, 2018
299 Pages
Genres:  Nonfiction, Memoir

After seven years of faithfully following her spiritual teacher, Renee Linnell finally realized she was in a cult and had been severely brainwashed. But how did that happen to someone like her? She had graduated magna cum laude with a double degree. She had traveled to nearly fifty countries alone before she turned thirty-five. She was a surf model and a professional Argentine tango dancer. She had started five different companies and had an MBA from NYU. How could someone like her end up brainwashed and in a cult? 

The Burn Zone is an exploration of how we give up our power―how what started out as a need to heal from the loss of her parents and to understand the big questions in life could leave a young woman fighting for her sanity and her sense of self. In the years following her departure from the cult, Linnell struggled to reclaim herself, to stand in her truth, and to rebuild her life. And eventually, after battling depression and isolation, she found a way to come out the other side stronger than ever. Part inspirational story, part cautionary tale, this is a memoir for spiritual seekers and those who feel lost in a world that makes them feel less than perfect.

My Review:

We all have had that feeling of being needed, wanted... the search for something more.  Being accepted and loved.. who doesn't want it? How high of a price would you pay for it.. and would you even know that you were paying that price?

I always find cult life extremely fascinating.  I think the most fascinating is how people get pulled into this "culture".  You don't even realize it's happening.  The slow isolation.  Creepy!  While I've certainly had my share of manipulation in relationships, I don't think I could ever truly fathom the intensity this type of brain washing can do to a person.

Linnell does an outstanding job in sharing this intense story.  It's not just about the journey that she went on with this cult.  Even reading some parts, I was like "WHY GIRL, WHY?" and I should shake the book thinking it would help. (spoiler alert, it doesn't).  What's fantastic about this story is her journey back out.  How she took these experiences, that still "haunt" her, and found herself again.  You certainly can't take the past away from you.. it becomes a part of your being - the journey itself brings you to a different part that maybe was necessary.  Not many people can get out.  Linnell makes you understand that you can.  It's not easy, but it CAN be done.

I'm not one into spirituality or believing in "the universe" doing for you - so although this cult was within this parameter and was out of my normal scope, I could still relate to the story of trying to feel important in any world... of needed to feel important.  It's also a story of letting you know that you do NOT need to be perfect to be the best.


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