Header Image

Review: Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Title: Carrie Soto is Back
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Year published: 2022
Category: Adult fiction (sports)
Pages: 384 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2022 Google Reading map)USA (NY, CA), France, Australia, UK

SummaryCarrie 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.

Review: I really enjoyed Jenkins Reid's Malibu Rising so was excited to learn she had another novel that appealed to me. I was not disappointed. I do need to point out that I like the cover for this book, but am also disappointed as the description of Carrie does not sound like the woman on the cover. Big surprise there... not.

Jenkins Reid does a wonderful job of putting the reader in the era in which she sets her novels. Between references to music, celebrity gossip, political goings-on, and attitudes of the times, I really feel steeped in what is going on around her characters. I love that.

Carrie is a bit of a tough character to like: she is aggressive, arrogant, obstinate, and tough. But, in the cut throat world of professional tennis perhaps that helps. I realize if she were a man, I might not feel the same and that makes me pause, which is good. I like a book that makes me second guess myself. I do like that by the end of the novel we see more sides to Carrie through her relationship with her dad in particular, but also of that with her biggest rival and a love interest.

There is quite a bit of tennis in this book, but not too much. I think Jenkins Reid included enough to make the story seem real but not so much that non-tennis people will be turned off. She struck a good balance. I was pulled into the description of the matches, the tension of Carrie trying to make a comeback, and what the outcome of various storylines would be.

Challenges for which this counts: none

No comments