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. 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.


Just a few chapters in I started to write off Carrie Soto is Back. While I could appreciate it was an extremely well-written book, it was too focused on tennis for me. The dialogue was all about tennis and most scenes took place on the tennis court. It was a 3-star read for me.

Then a whole new layer of the book opened up for me. Carrie Soto is one of the best female protagonists I’ve ever come across. Most other characters in the book hate her. She is labelled The Battle Axe and later on The Bitch. Why? Because she is everything people dislike in a woman (and love in a man). She is confident in her ability as a tennis player. She is not afraid to take up space. She is ambitions and will work hard to achieve. She is not afraid to speak her mind and will not pander to fake tears and pretence that her wins are down to luck; she knows she is the best tennis player and is not afraid to say it. Carrie Soto is Back swiftly became a 4-star read.

By the end of this book I uncovered so many other layers to a story that is as simple as a tennis comeback: ageism, racism, sexism. Carrie is a true inspiration when it comes to not letting people define you and unapologetic about who you are. This is also a book full of emotion and the tears just kept coming by the end.

The hype is truly warranted. Pick up your copy of Carrie Soto is Back here.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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