20181223_114041.jpgHappy Thursday! Today I have a review of The Burn Zone by Renee Linnell, a thought-provoking and poignant memoir about a woman who broke free of her ties to a cult leader. This book is available now from She Writes Press.

My Thoughts:

Renee Linnell finds a spiritual adviser and becomes an ardent follower for over seven years. She finally realizes she’s been brainwashed and is in a cult…Renee is not someone you’d expect to fall for anyone’s lines. She’s well-educated and well-traveled, and she can hardly believe what’s happened herself. 

In The Burn Zone, Renee explores the trials that affected her judgment, including the loss of her parents. She also shares what life was like for her after leaving the cult, which was not an easy time for her. She battles depression and is extremely isolated because she has cut off so many people of support. 

When Renee turns it around, she becomes quite the inspiration. She learns that her experiences can make her stronger and more connected to others than she ever was before. 

I cheered Renee on from the start. She finds purpose in her life right before the reader’s eyes, and what’s more relatable than that? I was captivated by the story and emotional at different points due to the author’s brutal honesty and vulnerability. Overall, I found The Burn Zone an impressive and memorable memoir, one that will stick with me. 

Thanks to the publicity team at FSB Associates for the complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. 


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.

Have you read The Burn Zone, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR