Book Review: Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular.”

Set to be published on 30th August, Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid follows retired tennis player Carrie Soto who is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Slam titles. And if you ask her, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father as her coach.

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, British 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.


Thank you to NetGalley for a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author that you can always rely on for powerful characters, strong character development, excellent insight, and a consuming atmosphere, and she doesn’t disappoint with her latest hit, Carrie Soto Is Back.

I’m not a sports person at all and I would never usually pick up a book about a tennis superstar. But I’ll read anything by TJR as she is a fantastic author! And yet again, I can’t fault TJR’s wonderfully descriptive writing, skilful development, and fully-fleshed characters. However, the story did lack a little something for me.

With the other books that I have read by TJR so far, there has always been some mystery to reveal (Evelyn Hugo – Why is she telling this story? Malibu – What caused the fire?). But with Carrie Soto, the story was very much “Will she win or lose?”, so I didn’t feel that there wasn’t anything more for me to look forward to.

However, my disengagement is mainly due to the fact that I don’t enjoy most sports, although this didn’t have as much of an effect as I thought it would. This is because Carrie’s character is much more about her winning mentality than delving deeper into her psych or any past experiences that have defined her, so I struggled to warm to her for a long time. But her character really grew on me towards the end as we began to see how her relationship with Bowe and her father developed, finally getting inside her head a little more.

Still, I think if you have more of a sporting personality or are more of an ambitious person with this same state of mind, you’ll relate to her character much more easily and be much more invested in her story arc than I was able to.

There’s certainly so much more to find interesting than just tennis, anyway. Most of all, I find it so fascinating how TJR delves into these very different lives of celebrity status through her characters and how the small link runs throughout them.

TJR is always an author I will be excited by, and there is no doubt this will be another No.1 Grand Slam.


Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Release Date: 30th August 2022
Print Length: 384 pages
Genre: Sports Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Random House


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