Today I’m bringing you my review of Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Spoiler alert, I really enjoyed this one.
Title: Carrie Soto is Back
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Number of Pages: 364
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Category: Adult
Date Published: August 30, 2022
Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.
But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.
At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.
In spite of it all, Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet.
This was one of my more anticipated reads of 2022 and I’m glad that I picked it up when I did because it was a great book to start the year off with.
This book is set in the same universe as The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Daisy Jones & The Six, and Malibu Rising and there are a handful of easter eggs throughout the book that make reference to these other books, which I found to be very clever. I’ve read all of the books set in this universe, and while it’s not my favourite of the bunch, it also wasn’t my least favourite and I enjoyed it very much.
Carrie Soto isn’t the most likable character. She’s competitive, she doesn’t want to make friends with the other players, she know she’s the best and she acts like she is the best. She’s broken countless records and she is proud of everything she’s achieved. One thing that I love about this book is the discussion about how when a woman acts the way Carrie Soto does it’s unacceptable and unladylike but when a man acts the same way it’s completely okay and even encouraged. I like that this book points out the double standard with how men and women are viewed. I also liked that this book discusses how a woman can achieve more than a man, but they’re still viewed differently.
Speaking of Carrie Soto, I loved her. Sure, she wasn’t the most likable of characters, but I found her inspiring. I admired her and I thought she was a badass. I also enjoyed watching her grow as a character throughout the story and I thought she had an excellent character arc. I also loved Bowe Huntley. I loved the dynamic between Bowe and Carrie. They had some tough conversations, but their conversations made me think and they made me love Carrie even more. I was also a fan of Carrie’s father Javier and I loved the relationship between Carrie and her father.
I loved that this book was a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I enjoyed experiencing the highs and lows of Carrie Soto’s career and her life with her. This story was very easy for me to get invested in.
As far as the tennis goes, this book was quite tennis heavy. Going into this book, I wasn’t expecting it to be so heavy on the tennis, but I was into it. I have almost zero knowledge of tennis, but I found myself getting invested in the matches. I think it also helps that tennis is generally a fast paced sport, so there wasn’t time to get too bogged down with technicalities while the matches were going on. I also enjoyed the commentaries from the sportscasters in this book and I think the tennis matches would be very exciting to listen to as an audiobook.
I also want to note that this book does touch upon some heavy topics including grief and addiction.
Overall, I quite enjoyed Carrie Soto is Back and I think this is a book that I would reread at some point.
Rating: 4.5 Stars!