Cover Image: Carrie Soto Is Back

Carrie Soto Is Back

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Carrie Soto was the number one women's tennis champion when she retired on top. When her record is threatened, she comes out of retirement, determined to hold on to her place in tennis history. She enlists the help of her former coach, her father, and together they work to bring her back to the top of the record books. This was a really great story and I could not put it down. I loved the character development and how Carrie had to use her mind to win against her younger, stronger opponents. Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of my favorite authors and she does not disappoint! Most definitely, Carrie Soto is Back!
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As usual, Taylor Jenkins Reid can do no wrong. This book is a masterclass in making me care about something that I have never been interested in before: tennis. I still do not understand how scoring works or necessarily want to watch it, but Jenkins Reid made the sport and the politics of it compelling throughout.

The plot is speedy and there are no wasted plotlines or chapters. You move quickly through Carrie's early years and the year she spends working through her comeback tour. I appreciate Jenkins Reid's choice of this since so many other books are dragging out irrelevant storylines or padding page counts with descriptions lately. There's just enough emotion outside of Carrie's competitiveness to keep the book interesting, including her relationship with her father and Bowe. 

I'm not sure if this will ping all the same emotions and be as much a must-read as some of Taylor Jenkins Reid's other books but I still breezed through it in a few hours and enjoyed yet another one of her strong characters.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House-Ballantine for providing an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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TJR does not disappoint with her writing! The style and storytelling are what made this book great. I will say it is a rare moment that I do not give TJR 5 stars, and this is one of them. Carrie is not what I would call a likeable character, which I love because of the way TJR tells her story. For me, I struggled with the constant tennis match breakdowns. However, TJR fully immerses you into the world and feelings of a top tier tennis player and tells a fabulous story.
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Taylor Jenkins Reid is becoming one of my favorite authors and her latest one Carrie Soto is Back is no different. I love the father/daughter relationship and as a person who watches tennis I loved that the story revolves around that. If you loved Daisy johns or Evelyn Hugo you will absolutely love Carrie Soto. Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy of one of my favorite reads so far. Highly recommend,
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What a fun follow up to Malibu Rising! Carrie Soto first appeared as a small character who was having an affair with a fellow professional tennis player who was married to one of the main characters in Malibu Rising. I had found her intriguing and love how Taylor Jenkins Reid fleshed out her story.  In the book, Carrie Soto, with her father as coach, is making a comeback to regain her record of winning the most Grand Slam tournaments. Nikki Chan has matched her old record, so Carrie puts together a program to play each of the slams in the upcoming season.  The book follows her quest and the relationships she develops along the way, especially with herself and her approach to tennis and life.

Carrie is a vibrant and strong character.  She is ambitious without being strident, though some in the tennis world say she's too single minded and mean to opponents. I like that she's allowed to be ambitious without becoming a stereotype, and that the book explores her whole personality. She's not necessarily a likable character, but you definitely root for her.  There's a romance that is interesting and has depth. Reid explores what it's like to dedicate your life to something, and the exclusions that involves.

I am a big tennis fan, so I was able to immerse myself in the scenes where Carrie is playing a match. Non-tennis fans may not follow all the terms and style of the matches, tournaments., and season. But I think the book goes beyond the game to become a great character study about a strong woman deciding where her life's pursuit fits into her overall perspective. A well-written and stellar outing for Taylor Jenkins Reid. On par or better than Daisy Jones and the Six.

Thank you to Netgalley for the review copy. All opinions are my own.

Rating: Five stars.
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This is my favorite TJR novel. Easily. And I knew this in the first few chapters. 

It's difficult to compare this to the drama and glamour of Evelyn Hugo, but there is something about Carrie Soto's unapologetic nature with which I felt such a strong kinship. This novel is for the overachieving, competitive, perfectionistic, prideful, and brutally honest girlies who have ever felt misunderstood by the world. They called Carrie "The Bitch" and "The Battle Axe" for all these traits, but her flawed nature was what made me feel so seen and connected to her as a character. The writing is phenomenal – it made me feel like I was right there in the stands watching every match unfold. I grew up watching and loving sports, and I'm amazed at how effortlessly TJR translated the action of a sport onto the page. This reading experience felt exactly like the awe-inducing experience of watching LeBron James play MVP-caliber basketball at 37 years old. Seeing Carrie defy ageist and sexist norms is a long, but rewarding journey. Her highs and lows are palpable. I absolutely loved seeing Carrie evolve both as an athlete and a person throughout her comeback season. And beneath the sports storyline is an incredibly sweet journey of a father and daughter learning how to understand each other through the years. There is a bit of romance in this novel, but it was the relationship between Carrie and Javier, her father and coach, that had me in tears at the end.
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Yet another perfect serve by Taylor Jenkins Reid. 
Well-crafted and passionate, Carrie Soto is Back is the story of a fierce tennis star returning to reclaim her Grand Slam record. It is told through a multimedia format that includes sportscasters, news excerpts and other forms of commentary, which I found very intriguing to read (especially in instances when the perspectives didn’t align). TJR is a master at suspense and keeping her storytelling fast-paced and thrilling. Every match of Carrie Soto’s was electrifying to read about. 

Carrie herself is a compelling heroine, both driven and consumed by her sport. Throughout the novel you can’t help but root for her, even though she is flawed and painful to read about at times.  Her constant need for perfection is something that draws the audience in and keeps them on their toes, but it is also crazily accurate to emotions I’ve felt in my life. Carrie struggles with her losses, her self-esteem, and her ability to trust, all while the public perceives her as arrogant and cold. Her vulnerabilities and complexities shine through this book. She, Javier, Bowe, and Gwen are characters that will never leave my heart. Carrie Soto is the TJR character I’ve been waiting for. 

Thank you so much Random House and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!
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TAYLOR JENKINS REID HAS DONE IT AGAIN, FOLKS. There’s nothing I love more than picking out the threads of the TJR universe in her new works - and you won’t be disappointed. I adored everything about Carrie Soto - and you will too.
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Another grand slam from TJR. Loved it from the first page - especially as a tennis player. Carrie is a deeply human character with flaws and unlikable traits who we cheer for and find likable all the same. I appreciate the marketing strategy of releasing this right around US Open time. ;-)
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Taylor Jenkins Reid did it again. She made me love a character that I didn't think I'd even like. Carrie Soto is Back was a fantastic read that I didn't want to end. What a strong and empowering character TJR has created with Carrie Soto. Carrie was the number one female tennis player and then went into retirement. Five years later, her records are about to be broken so here she comes, more fierce than ever, to conquer yet again. I loved reading about her growth as a woman and an athlete. And I loved her relationship with her tennis coach who just so happens to be her father. I was over the moon when I received an ARC of this book and was not disappointed at all. A definite 5 star read for me. 

Thank you netgalley and the publishers (and TJR) for the e-ARC of Carrie Soto is Back in exchange for my review.
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Loved this book!! An unlikeable former tennis superstar, Carrie Soto, sets out to make a comeback to prevent the new superstar from taking her record. Armed with her father as her coach, she proceeds through realistic obstacles and losses one might experience in such an endeavor. The pacing is perfect, the tennis matches riveting, and the underlying messages clearly conveyed. Taylor Jenkins Reid combines all these elements to create another winner of a novel!!
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Really enjoyed this one! For fans of books with strong and nuanced heroines. Also a really lovely story about a father daughter bond and a semi-untraditional family life.
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I’ve decided that Taylor Jenkins Reid could write a phone book and I would buy it, read it, and love it. Her style of writing, her sense of place and time, and her flawed but relatable characters are all catnip for me. 

Carrie Soto Is Back has all of the above and even more. My favorite relationship in this book is Carrie’s relationship with her father, Javier. I related so much to them, and the love they have for each other made my eyes tear up several times. Carrie is flawed, but you want to root for her as if you’re actually watching her compete in one of the Grand Slams. This is my favorite TJR book to date, and even though I have this digital ARC, I will definitely buy a physical copy to keep. 

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Random House Publishing- Ballantine for this ARC.
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Name of Book: Carrie Soto is Back
Author:  Taylor Reid Jenkins  
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group ~ Ballantine
Genre: Sports, Chick Lit
Pub Date: August 30, 2022
My Rating:  3.4  Stars!

This is TRJ book #8 for me and I am a fan!  
"Daisy Jones & the Six"] is at the top of my ‘like’ list followed by "Forever, Interrupted", "Maybe in Another Life", and "One True Love". 
Love that the characters keep popping up in other TJR novels! 😋 

In this story we have thirty-seven year old Carrie Soto retired tennis star who is bored with watching up & coming female tennis players. She makes the decision that she needs to come out of retirement and reclaim her title. 
Her father coached her ever since she was a little girl and although she may not move as fast as she once did she believes her father can help fulfil her dream once again!

Hmm not the wow read I was expecting. 
Carrie is so nasty ~ I had a really hard time cheering for her. I know I am in the minority as readers love her. 
    (I truly believe in the importance of good sportsmanship and the lifelong value sports can      
         bring. Carrie seems to keep missing her Dad’s teaching on that!) 
BTW: I love her dad! 
I did like the ending.

As always I enjoyed reading the author’s notes!

Want to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group ~ Ballantine for this eGalley. This file has been made available to me before publication in an early form. Publishing Release Date scheduled for August 30, 2022.
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I love everything Taylor Jenkins Reid writes but this one might just be her best yet. I don't even care about tennis, but this story made me completely invested in Carrie's journey. Highly recommended for all fans of strong female characters and moving father/daughter stories.
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I have been a fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid's books, especially Daisy Jones and the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I was so excited to receive an advance copy of her latest novel, Carrie Soto is Back. Thank you to Ballantine for an advance copy!

Set in the same universe as Daisy Jones and the Six, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and Malibu Rising, Carrie Soto is Back follows a highly decorated retired professional tennis player who comes out of retirement to defend her record against the next generation's champion. The story begins with Carrie's origins as a tennis player, including the touching and complex relationship with her father, who coached her for much of her career. After a recap of her backstory and height of her career, we launch into her training for her comeback and playing the four major tennis tournaments one last time. This second half is the novel's stronger one, especially as it shows the formal experimentation I loved in Daisy Jones. The choice to cut Carrie's narration with transcripts of sportcasters and interviews provides interesting commentary on her complex status as a legend in women's sports. 

Carrie as a heroine is very interesting and compelling: she is unapologetically competitive and confident, deeply disinterested in playing nice with the public or downplaying her prowess. As such, she has to deal with the mercurial support of the public, who waver because of her unapproachable demeanor and "unlikability," despite her undeniable talent. The relationship that unfolds between Carrie and Nicki Chan, her rival, is especially rich and complex, as they discuss the different ways racism and misogyny affect their respective careers, and how they slowly come to respect each other as legends and competitors. Ultimately, Carrie comes to contemplate her legacy, deciding how to balance her need to prove herself as a legend with the pure love of the game. The writing is full of the author's signature lyricism and magic. This novel was a rich and fulfilling read.
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Carrie Soto is Back

4.5 stars. I know and care nothing about tennis, but Taylor Jenkins Reid made me riveted in this come-back story set in 1994 where much of it is detailed play-by-play descriptions of tennis champion Carrie Soto coming out of retirement at the age of 37 and how she fights her way to defend her many titles and records. 

One of things that was compelling was the sexism news and entertainment outlets described female players and the inequities between what sponsors paid petite, pretty blond players vs. more muscular players or players of color. The most compelling part of the story, however, is how Carrie grows over the course of the novel. Her coach has been her father, another tennis champion, and he supports and guides her through playing now that she’s older and her knees are less forgiving. 

This story is truly gripping. 

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel, WHICH RELEASES AUGUST 30, 2022.
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TJR does it again!!!! Okay Carrie Soto I see you. Once again, TJR tackles relevant experiences with truly beautiful writing. The character development in Carrie Soto Is Back is amazing and what we've come to expect from TJR books. Carrie is both likeable and unlikeable, which makes for a deeper reader experience as you journey with her. If you know/love tennis you'll be obsessed with this book (or if you don't know tennis like me, you still will be). I really appreciate how the Spanish that is peppered into the book spoken between Carrie and her father is used in a conversational way and isn't always translated, making the conversations that much more like real life. All the emotions.
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Ugh, Jenkins Reid look at sports, age, and fame in this novel. I loved Carrie's relationship with her father. Ambition and preparation are only part of the story as Carrie navigates returning to this stage of her life.
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I want to thank the publisher Ballantine Books and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book. My opinions are my own. 

First of all - the cover is perfection.

Secondly - the book itself is another one of Reid’s best. She truly is in a class by herself. 

The book is truly heart pounding historical fiction at its best! I love how strong yet vulnerable Carrie is. She is an absolute mess in many ways. She is a flawed heroine looking to get back to her former glory, but along the way the reader is treated to the stories of how she became a worldwide tennis phenomenon, and what she’s ultimately learned about life and love along the way. 

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