Carrie Soto Is Back: Book Review

If you're searching for your next page-turner, you'll find it in Taylor Jenkins Reid's novel, Carrie Soto is Back. It's the perfect blend of women's fiction and a powerful sports drama. Retired tennis superstar Carrie stages a massive comeback, stirring emotions and making waves in the sporting world. She's taking no prisoners on her path to regain glory, and TJR takes us all along for an unforgettable ride.


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Carrie Soto is Back Book Review

Quick Look

  • women's fiction + sports drama
  • lots of tennis (but you don't need to like tennis to enjoy the book, I promise)
  • super fast-paced
  • fierce AF female main character
  • father/daughter relationship
  • romance subplot
  • the best audiobook ever

Pub Date:  August 30, 2022

HUGE thank you to @randomhouse and @prhaudio for early access to this amazing book in exchange for my opinion!

Publisher's Synopsis

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.

In spite of it all: Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells a story about the cost of greatness and a legendary athlete attempting a comeback.

My Review

What a book, y'all! There's not much I can say that hasn't already been said. Taylor Jenkins Reid did it again with Carrie Soto is Back. TJR is the queen of character-driven novels that keep you hanging on every word until the bitter end. And Carrie Soto is an exercise in greatness. Not only does she craft a near-perfect character you love to hate and hate to love, but she adds complexity to Carrie that sneaks up on you.

The father/daughter relationship in this book is EVERYTHING! There were moments I was choking back sobs, laughing out loud, raging mad, and jumping for joy. Their dynamic was especially impactful for me when I read this, as I was going through my mother's illness and missing my parents terribly. Carrie Soto is Back was a mirror I needed at that time to reflect the powerful influence of my parents when I needed it most.

I had access to both an ebook copy and an audiobook copy and for a while switched between the two, but ultimately the audiobook version won out. Listening to this one added SO much to the experience, which is why I HIGHLY recommend listening to this one if you can. The narration is perfect, and the sportscasting spots scattered throughout the book are so much more fun via audio. It really felt like I was watching a tournament at times!

My Rating

Taylor Jenkins Reid is a true talent. Sure, there was a lot of controversy around this novel, but I chose to appreciate it for what it is: true genius. The audio of this book is one of my all-time favorite audiobook experiences, so I HIGHLY recommend listening to this one. Is Carrie Soto is Back my favorite TJR? I'm not sure yet, but I know it's REALLY high up there!

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About Carlie

Hi there! I'm a 40-ish book lover, always looking for the next great read, particularly the best historical fiction. I live in Los Angeles with my fella and our fur babies, Fozzy and Polly. Working from home changed my life. Suddenly, I had time in my day to read again. I love sharing my reading journey here on my website and social media. Be sure to follow along for reading recommendations and honest book reviews.

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