Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular.
By the time Carrie retires from tennis, she 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. 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.
I’ve certainly not been quiet about my excitement to have a new Taylor Jenkins Reid book out in the world. Over the past couple of years, I’ve read every single book that she has released and I’ve loved them all. So, I had high expectations for Carrie Soto is Back and it lived up to every single one of them!
Within just a few pages I was pulled right inside the mind of Carrie Soto and I couldn’t put it down. I am someone that occasionally watches tennis but isn’t big on it. This book made me want to watch tennis all the time. I was captivated by the descriptions of tennis, the demanding training, the fierce competition and how Carrie needs to be the best at the game.
I adored the characters in this book. Carrie is not a likeable sports personality and she isn’t meant to be. That, of course, meant that I liked her even more as a main character. She is a sore loser, doesn’t play to her fans and she says what she thinks. Carrie captivated me throughout this book, she is an exceptional main character. Carrie is raised by her single father Javier, who I also loved. It was so nice to see a father-daughter relationship between Javier and Carrie. He only wants what is best for Carrie and you can see that immediately. Also, I have to mention Bowe and his role in this book. I was a bit sceptical of him at first but be sure to keep an open mind about this wonderful character.
Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing style is amazing. I love the way in which she mixes different formats of telling a story in her books. In Carrie Soto is Back, we have the transcripts as a slightly different writing format. These come in the form of articles, interviews and a few other things. I enjoy how much these add to the story in just a few pages and I’d love more books to do this. Also, if you have read other Taylor Jenkins Reid books you will notice a few little easter eggs in this one, so keep an eye out for them.
This is more than just a story of ambition. It is a story about women in sport. The double standards they face, the sexism, the need to be liked and the comparison between the male tennis players. It is beautiful. Also, it is a lovely story of the relationship between a father and daughter who is her coach and number one fan.
There is one thing that Taylor Jenkins Reid always manages to do and that is give her readers a message in her books. The message in this one is simple and beautiful. Everything is temporary and all good things must come to an end. You can try to make it last as long as possible or you can appreciate every single second of it whilst it happens before letting it go.
Overall, Carrie Soto is Back is a triumphant book that I cannot recommend enough. You don’t need to be a tennis fan to pick this book up because the stunning writing and descriptions will grip you right away. Taylor Jenkins Reid deserves all the hype that she gets and you need to give this book a read!