Review: Carrie Soto Is Back

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pub Date: 8/30/2022

Thank you to Random House for the free advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GoodReads Synopsis: In this powerful novel about the cost of greatness, a legendary athlete attempts a comeback when the world considers her past her prime—from the New York Times bestselling author of Malibu Rising.

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.

Review: Carrie Soto may sound familiar to you as you met her briefly in Malibu Rising. Carrie has an affair with Nina Riva’s tennis star husband, Brandon Randall (fyi this isn’t a spoiler)! Carrie Soto Is Back explores the world of tennis, ageism, family, and vulnerability. Overall, I loved this one and it deserves all the stars! I adored the relationship that Carrie has with her father/coach, Javier. I loved that TJR shows the up and downs in their relationship along with overcoming difficult situations. To some readers, Carrie may come off as a cold-hearted bitch, but given that she’s under the public’s eye and every move she makes is scrutinized, it doesn’t surprise me she is the way she is. What I love the most is that we get to see Carrie’s character grow and change throughout the story. I liked how it’s mostly told through Carrie’s perspective, but there is also tidbits of sportscaster commentary and articles to break it out. One aspect of the novel I loved the most was the fact that TJR touched upon how society views women aging. There were so many incredible quotes I ended up tabbing. Highly recommend picking this one up if you’re a TJR fan!

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