Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid book review

I’ve read a few books by Taylor Jenkins Reid with my first being Malibu Rising which I thought was good but nothing amazing to then the incredible The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and the Six, two books that will forever be on my list of the best books I’ve ever read. Taylor Jenkins Reid (or TJR as I’m gonna refer to her so I don’t have to keep typing out her full name) specialises in writing books about lifetimes. They’re often stories of incredibly famous fictional people who have lived incredible lives to get to where they are today. Carrie Soto is Back is exactly the same.

Carrie Soto is back by Taylor jenkins Reid book review.

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Carrie Soto is Back focuses on the rise, fall and rise again of Carrie Soto, arguably the greatest female tennis player to have ever lived. She’s won everything there is to win in the game, she’s won the most amount of grand slam titles and earned the most amount of money. However, when a new contender comes and equals her record, she’s determined to come out of retirement at the tender age of 36 and take back her title and show everyone she’s still got it.

Carrie Soto is Back plot – 4.25/5

As I described above, Carrie Soto is Back tells the story of Carrie Soto, arguably the greatest tennis player who has ever lived. After completing everything she thought she needed to do to be considered the greatest of all time, her record is equalled and so she turns to her father/coach and says they should go again so she can break it again. Cue a great story about perseverance, strong women, proving doubters wrong and the undoubted strength in working incredibly hard every day.

The plot itself is very fast-paced – it covers the span of around 30 years or so with TJR choosing to dedicate the first chapter to Carrie Soto’s initial rise and accomplishments and then the final two-thirds of the book are about her coming out of retirement.

There’s a lot in this book to admire when it comes to plot – once again, as I said in nearly all of my TJR book reviews, it’s so incredibly easy to read. This isn’t a disservice to TJR’s writing as it’s perfectly fine but I think the real talent here is her ability to throw in deep and emotional moments in a fast-paced plot to really delve deeper into the crucial moments throughout Soto’s life that define both her career and her personal life.

I wouldn’t say I enjoyed this journey as much as that of Daisy Jones or Evelyn Hugo but if you were a fan of those stories, you’ll definitely find something to enjoy here. It’s a very similar premise to the story of an incredibly successful woman and how her life is far from perfect and how the price of fame and success is often those around you.

Carrie Soto is Back characters – 4.5/5

Carrie Soto is not particularly likeable. As a young child, she begins sweet and kind but as she grows up and realises winning is all she ever wants to do, she almost seems never to develop the emotional intelligence of grace or humility. Much of the story focuses on how the crowd and audience don’t exactly like Soto, they simply admire her incredible tennis career and accomplishments. This then leads into the latter portion of the book where people begin to admire her in her older age as they realise it’s less arrogance and more of a mindset and how she must always believe she’s the best to be considered so.

Her relationship with her father throughout this book was probably my favourite element. Her father is her coach from an early age having been a very successful tennis player during his generation too. As you’d expect from a TJR book, it’s not all plain sailing and there are moments when the passion to win and the love for her father battle against one another and cause quite powerful and interesting plot moments.

Then there’s her love life. We all know I hate a cringe love story where it’s all easy, there’s no romance and the characters are dislikeable. Carrie and her love interest (I won’t name to avoid plot spoilers) are known to the public as both particularly obnoxious and this is inevitably what draws them to one another and also means their relationship isn’t romantic, simple and easy. I loved this element of the book.

In fact, this is my favourite part of all of TJR’s books. She’s never going to write about weak and feeble women – she writes genuine, powerful and interesting women which always results in a protagonist you route for, no matter whether they’re likeable to the public or not!

Carrie Soto is Back final rating – 4.25/5

Carrie Soto is Back isn’t my favourite Taylor Jenkins Reid book. However, it is still a brilliant book about the very interesting fictional life of Carrie Soto and, as with many of her other books, it details the hardships of the absolute peak of success in your field. The plot is fast but poignant at the times it needs to be and the characters and their relationships are real and utterly enjoyable. It doesn’t quite reach the peaks of Daisy Jones and the Six or The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo but it still stands out as a great book to read if you’re a fan of the aforementioned.

Pick up a copy of Carrie Soto is Back from Amazon.

four point two five out of five rating for Carrie Soto is back.

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