Carrie Soto is Back

Photo of Taylor Jenkins Reid's Carrie Soto is Back

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: August 30, 2022
Genres: Historical Fiction

Book Review

Carrie Soto is the most accomplished woman in tennis, having shattered every record to date. Now in retirement in 1994, Carrie watches as a new player, Nicki Chan, defeats her record. Determined to show that she is still the best, Carrie comes out of retirement to reclaim her record.

I read this as an audiobook and the narrator was terrific! The majority of the story is told from Carrie’s first-person perspective, with other voice actors adding perspectives as sports commentators and reading newspaper articles. I liked this style. It allowed the reader to see Carrie’s perspective, as well as see the way the world viewed Carrie.

Carrie is an incredibly competitive woman. The main plot of the story hinges on Carrie watching another woman come close to beating her record, and her feeling compelled to come out of retirement to keep her record as the best female tennis player in the world. At first, I was annoyed by Carrie’s single-minded determination to win, but as I got to know her, and watched her relationship with her father, I started to understand her. I love that Carrie is so unapologetic about her success, even as others expect her to act as though she happened on it by accident. I loved watching Carrie start to find joy in tennis the way she hadn’t when she first started to play and was solely focused on being the best.

At its heart, Carrie Soto is Back is a father-daughter story. Javier, Carrie’s father is responsible for her love of tennis and was her coach for many years. I loved watching the dynamic between the two of them as Carrie starts to play tennis, and when Carrie comes out of retirement, and the difference in how Javier coaches her both times. Watching their relationship brought me to tears at many points throughout the story.

I highly recommend this story to lovers of character-driven stories. Even if you are not a sports fan, there’s something here for you!

Thank you to and Ballantine Books for the advanced listening copy of the audiobook! All opinions are my own.

Synopsis from Goodreads

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.

About the Author

Headshot of author Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid is the New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including Malibu RisingDaisy Jones & The Six, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their daughter.

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