Cover Image: Carrie Soto Is Back

Carrie Soto Is Back

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Member Reviews

Although I received this book months ago, I waited to read it due to the controversy that erupted on social media. 
I'm glad I waited.

I both read and listened to this book.  Right off the bat, the narration was excellent.

I found the atmosphere of the book great.  I truly felt like I was on the tour and practice courts with Carrie and her father.  I could feel the tension.

The plot was good, had a true beginning, middle and end.

I always enjoy Taylor Jenkins Reid's writing and it is always fun to find the easter eggs and connections to her other books.

What fell somewhat flat for me was Carrie herself.  I don't need to "like" my characters, but I felt Carrie was one dimensional.  However, maybe that is how people who are at the top of the game are.  All that time spent practicing and focusing on the game, possibly stunts other emotional growth.  Maybe it makes them boring, which is what I thought Carrie was (plus, a little mean).  I was much more interested in Bowe and Javier and their backstories and growth.  I almost wish the book was about them.  

However, with the atmosphere and the involvement of the secondary characters, I did enjoy the book and am rating it 4 stars.
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Taylor Jenkins Reid is back. This gave me the same incredible wonder that Seven Husbands did. Absolutely incredible, and as someone who doesn’t know anything about tennis and doesn’t care, I was ENTHRALLED.
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Excellent story and an engrossing book focusing on the world of Carrie Soto and her drive to be the best in professional tennis. The large focus on tennis in the book matches Carrie’s singular focus on her record, and I loved the little peeks at her humanity throughout in her relationship with her father, Javier, and others later on.
Note: I received an advanced review copy of this book, receipt of which did not impact my review.
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TJR is the queen of writing about a topic I don't think I have any interest in and then POOF I can't put it down, and Carrie Soto is Back is exactly that. I loved Carrie Soto as a fierce, determined character despite the judgement placed on her by fans and commentators, and her relationship with her father threatened to absolutely break me, but it was worth it.
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I just love Taylor Jenkins Reid! Her books are a fun, guilty pleasure without the shame of reading trash
In Carrie Soto Is Back, a story ostensibly about tennis and the cost of fame, two true, love stories emerge. One between a father and a daughter and one between who the daughter feels she should be and who she is.
“It is true - you’re the best out there. But that’s the problem,” Bowe says. “You need to know it instead of needing to prove it.” 
An added bonus Reid gives us is the sprinkling of characters from other stories scattered here and there, reminding us that it is actually a small world.
I really liked this book and give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars.I recommend Carrie Soto Is Back to readers who love a romping good time sweetened by the tenderness of family and self-discovery.
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Let's start this by me saying that I am not a fan of sports based fiction. It's not my thing. And so I was a LITTLE apprehensive going in to this even though I really love Taylor Jenkins Reid's work as a whole. It started off with me feeling validated in my worry as it focused on the ins and outs of Carrie Soto's tennis history.

But...then something happened. I didn't like Carrie to start with. I wasn't a fan of her in Malibu Rising and her personality is quite abrasive. But dang it if TJR didn't make me like her. The way she writes her characters is just freaking magic. Seriously. It comes out of nowhere and just grabs me. And the journey Carrie takes is really masterfully handled. She still remains her old "Battleaxe" self, but there is growth and it is so well done that it absolutely feels organic. I loved her and hated her at the same time. She is so perfectly flawed.

There is a lot about tennis in this novel, so lovers of the sport will undoubtedly feel even more attached to the plot, but a for a novice like me it was still written in a way that got me excited about the action and the sport itself. Who even am I? I can't tell you if it is 100% accurate, but it sure as heck felt like it. I have to believe that the research that went into understanding the sport was immersive because the detail and consistency was on point. I was absolutely riveted.

(Also...side note...I love the way TJR weaves a little bit of her previous works into her novels, so it was fun to read little Easter eggs from her other books in this one.)

I devoured this book in less than 24 hours and freaking felt it in my gut. A great story, a fantastic protagonist, and a level of charisma to the writing that has me on the edge of a full swoon.
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Well. She's done it again. 

If you told me a year ago that by the time Serena Williams retired, I would care about tennis, I would not have believed you. But, if you told me a year ago that by the time Serena Williams retired, I would care about tennis because of a book Taylor Jenkins Reid wrote, I would absolutely have believed you. 

I've said it before and I will say it again: I will gleefully read anything TJR writes

This is, like her last several books, so well done. The characters, stories, and moments she draws are as impeccable as ever. Lots of fun pop culture 90s references. Themes of possibility, being wrong, fear of failure, and finding out who we are—themes I will always be into and which TJR tackles like none other.

I enjoyed it and I learned a lot about tennis. I DID want a little more character story in this one. But maybe it's just not the book for that. For me, it slowed down a little in the middle. It is a LOT of tennis. But, it tended to find a good balance where the pace would pick up right as I was getting a little lost in the technical details. And at times it got technical enough that I couldn't totally follow it, but it somehow didn't detract from the story. As an example, she would build suspense through details of a match. I couldn't always follow every detail but because of her writing and storytelling chops, I was still able to be in the story and appreciate the suspense anyway.

She uses Spanish for some of the dialogue between Carrie and her dad. What is said is not then explained in English. Much of it can be understood with context clues but not all. It's an interesting choice. It didn't bother me because I speak Spanish, but I wonder how well it works for someone who doesn't. (And I wonder how they will handle this in translation!) 

In short, TJR is really trying stuff with this book. I will never look at tennis or professional athletes the same way again and I have 40,000 questions about the way she did her research for this book. 

By the end, you'll fall in love with tennis and Carrie Soto both. And anyone who can write an overly technical book about tennis and turn it into a page turner deserves five stars.
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[3.5 stars] Taylor Jenkins Reads knows how to write imperfectly perfect characters. Ones that you can't help but cheer for even when they aren't making the decisions you want them to. Carrie Soto is that character. There was a lot to love in this book including the endearing and sometimes fraught father-daughter relationship and Carrie's overall growth as a character. I particularly loved all the tennis on the page and descriptions of the matches as well as the journalists interludes. 

I do wish TJR would have done a better job at addressing the criticism she has received regarding writing a POC character and I sincerely hope she really thinks about this in the future. I love her books and will continue to pick them up, but promoting an author that doesn't adequately address repeated issues like this becomes difficult.
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Again TJR knocks it out of the park. This has appeal for sports fans as well as those who love a redemption story. Not my favorite of her work but still, my least favorite of her books is still miles better than most authors' best writing.
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Carrie Soto is Back was one of my highest anticipated reads since I am a huge fan of TJR. I was a bit nervous when I saw that the plot was about tennis because I am not a big sports fan.  TJR did a great job explaining tennis and making the matches seem understandable and engaging.  TJR again made a fictional story seem so realistic that I almost searched on YouTube to watch some of these matches because the way that she writes makes her characters seem so real ! 

Despite her magical writing style, this story just didn't do it for me. I really struggle when characters are unlikeable and for 60% of the book, that's how I felt about Carrie. I still would recommend this book to TJR fans, tennis/sports fans, or fans of daughter/father stories. 


Thank you publishers for sending me an ebook in exchange for an honest review!
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Taylor Jenkins Reid has a way of sucking you in and never wanting to leave. Her writing style is amazing and she gets her readers believing that these stories really did happen. I loved everything about this story. The father daughter relationship. The Tennis Career.  The story is told from the point of view of Carrie Soto but the audiobook had the whole cast of characters. Such a fun read.
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This was such a great book. I love Taylor Jenkins Reid books! This had it all, a fun sports theme, tennis, a redemption story for a minor character in Malibu Rising, some romance and a fun cliff-hanger. You are totally cheering for Carrie the whole way!
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I am a huge Taylor Jenkins Reid fan and this book is my new favorite. Carrie is an ex-tennis pro who returns to the game when her records are challenged. Her struggle with ego and family were so relatable. I laughed and cried reading this one
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4.5 round down to 4

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is by fair my favorite TJR book. As of now I've read Daisy Jones, Evelyn Hugo, and Malibu Rising. I was completely gripped by Carrie Soto from the beginning and the entire plot had me glued until the very end.

I ended up switching to the audio towards the end of this book and it was SUCH a good choice. All of the sports Broadcasts had music to go with them to make it sound like a commercial break from the game. They also had different people voice the announcers.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I do wish that we were able to get a little more of Carrie's Spanish background throughout the plot instead of just the dialogue with her father, Javier. But thats not a make it or break it for me. Thats just more of bonus points if TJR wrote that in.
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Thank you to Taylor, Netgalley, and Ballantine for an advance copy of Carrie Soto is Back.

Carrie Soto is the definition of GOAT when it comes to tennis. She did the unthinkable, she has broken records, defied everyone’s expectations, and after being out of retirement for a decade still holds the record number of Slam Titles. However, a younger competitor is lurking in the shadows and quickly approaching Carrie’s record prompting Carrie to come out of retirement at the old (!!!) age of 37 to make sure that record stays in her hands. With her ex-pro turned author father back by her side as her coach and the encouragement of another semi-washed up ex-flame of Carrie’s she returns to take the tennis world by storm once again.

I don’t think that I can say anything about this book that hasn’t already been shouted from the rooftops. Taylor hit it out of the park yet again. I’ve always enjoyed playing tennis but not really watching it. This release was perfectly timed with the US Open, and I found myself really learning the scoring and rules of the game and following the Open while and after reading this book. How Taylor manages to get her readers so invested in every move that her characters make will always blow my mind, but she has and will likely continue to do so with every future release.

Carrie was not likable but easy to root for. She was prickly and standoffish, and quite rude in some instances…but you just wanted her to come out on top in every situation she faced. I love a character in the spotlight who isn’t a media darling, who has to fight for (or just doesn’t care) what the public says about them. I love, love, loved her father. He was everything you want in a father and a coach. He pushed, but he also listened to her. He supported her no matter what and loved her when she was not very lovable. Their relationship was one of my absolute favorite pieces of this book.  All of the side characters were fantastic as well. Each contributed to Carrie’s immense growth and arc throughout the book. 

The plot itself was set up really nicely. I liked having events or countdown to events as the chapter markers, it made me feel more involved in the book and the timeline. I also loved the inclusion of articles or transcripts from sports shows to clue us in on what the public was thinking. I never felt as though chapters were dragging and in some places I wished that time would slow down so that we could really soak in Carrie’s experiences.

I’ve never read a Taylor Jenkins Reid book that wasn’t a five star and I’m beginning to think that I never will.
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Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid has brought us her much-awaited new title for 2022. I’m a huge fan of some of her earlier works like Daisy Jones and the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and was excited to read this one as well.

From all the book’s hype, I knew this was about a “battle-axe” tennis player who was coming out of a six-year retirement at age thirty-seven. I loved the idea of a comeback professional athlete as I’m a sucker for the underdog. I also played tennis for many years, so I was thrilled to listen to this one. The narrator did a great job, and the characters came alive through the narration. 

In my opinion, if you love tennis, you’ll love the book. Tennis drives the story forward, set by set, match by match. I enjoy tennis, but for me the repetition of these plays became exhaustive. It didn’t help that Carrie is a tough nugget to crack and not very likeable. If this were an exposé on the former great, it would be different, but this was fiction, and I wanted more drama. With that being said, I finished the book and was quite satisfied with the ending. Regardless of my annoyance about the constant play, I enjoyed the overall snapshot of a tennis superstar.
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I had been interested in reading Carrie Soto Is Back, since it features a side character from Malibu Rising and because I kept hearing a lot of good buzz about it. Overall, it was an interesting story about competitive tennis in the later half of the twentieth century.

I've only watched Wimbledon one time, back in 1992 when I was in England for a few weeks. I mainly watched from the home of the host family I stayed with and we focused on men's tennis at the time. I also used to play tennis in college, but just for fun. I got good at it after a while, but then lost the skill from not playing for a long time after that. I give Carrie a lot of credit for being able to pick up where she left off, five years after retirement.

Carrie is a complex character and it was hard to like her. I had to really warm to her. She was so focused on winning and really harsh to everyone. However, I found myself rooting for her anyway. I even got teary at the end. The dialogue and descriptions were great. I could practically hear the ball bouncing on the tennis court and the sound it made when it made contact with a racket. The story itself was entertaining and kept me engaged throughout.

I did have a few issues though. The story might as well have been set in the present. It didn't really have the feel of the later half of the twentieth century. A few things were mentioned to allude to that time period, but that was about it. It was hard to understand what was actually happening in regards to the tennis terminology and trying to understand what sets, matches, and slams were. There was Spanish tossed in from time to time, but most of it wasn't translated. It made me wish I had stuck with learning Spanish in college since I stopped after one semester. I was able to pick up on some through the context, but that was about it. (And that was thanks to the constant refresher course I get through listening to my kids practice what they're learning in school.)

While I did like this novel overall, I really want Taylor Jenkins Reid to go back to writing romcoms. I still favor her first four novels the most.

Movie casting suggestions:
Carrie (90s): Natalie Martinez
Bowe: Niall Matter
Javier (90s): Antonio Banderas
Nicki: Midori Francis
Gwen: Lynn Whitfield
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THE 411...

Carrie Soto the winner of 20 Grand Slams titles who has since retired is watching a game at the 1994 U.S. Open where a younger Nicki Chan is about to break her record. The Battle-Axe has built a career in tennis as a fiercely driven, competitive and grant no mercy icon. She lives, breathes, and dreams tennis alongside her father Javier a former champion himself who has dedicated his life to training her. Carrie may not have the charisma the fans look for or the likeability factor in her favor but she’s well respected as one of the greats. When she announces her return from retirement for the sake of reclaiming her record/title, the sports casters are ruthless. They voice their disapproval and break down all of the reasons (age & stamina) she should just stay in retirement and let the younger tennis players have their day.  Carrie could care less about anyone’s opinion, she knows she’s taking on a task many have already counted her out of but it only serves to further motivate her. This book is heavy on the tennis talk, it can never be said that TJR doesn’t research her subjects thoroughly. We see Carrie both on and off the court with her dad Javier running plays and really pushing her body to the limits day and night. It is a story about a father/daughter relationship that is nurtured through tennis. It is a story about grief, that of loved ones and that which we experience when certain chapters come to a close. 

WRITING & FINAL THOUGHTS...

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s signature style story-telling has delivered some of the most memorable female protagonists. Carrie Soto is an archetype she writes well and will remind readers who’ve read TJR’s previous books of Evelyn Hugo, Daisy Jones, and Nina Riva. In similar fashion TJR throws out some easter eggs with mentions of characters we’ve met in her previous books. Readers should also know that there are bits of Spanish sprinkled throughout the book (translation guide not included) yet that does not make this a Latine book. We are made aware that these are Argentinean characters but that’s about as deep as it gets with regards to their ethnicity and culture. I went in knowing this and did not pick it up for Latine representation since TJR is not a Latine author. My pull towards this book was the father/daughter relationship that was mentioned in the synopsis since these types of stories are my Achilles heel for personal reasons. Yes, the tennis was well researched and engaging. Yes, Carrie herself is intriguing and complex. Yes, the sportscaster commentary mixed in made for a more realistic play by play of the matches. The father/daughter relationship however was the real highlight of this book and Javier in my opinion is the real star of the show. Javier has a special place  in my heart and will be quite difficult to forget.
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I love this author but I really didn’t like this book. I think it’s well written, I just personally hated Carrie and the whole story. Carrie is a selfish, driven former tennis champ who has an incredibly narrow and sad life. I suppose she has some character growth eventually but it’s not enough to make this interesting. Overall, she’s awful. And, the game of tennis explanations are plentiful and tedious. For people who love tennis, this might be fascinating. I was extremely bored.
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Taylor Jenkins Reid has struck gold again with Carrie Soto is Back. You won’t be able to get enough of Carrie and her devoted father Javier or her opponents in love and on the tennis court. You will root for these characters to win their game, but remember, where there’s a winner, there is always a loser. Come prepared to cheer and laugh and cry with Carrie’s story!5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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