Carrie Soto Is Back: A Novel (Hardcover)
September 2022 Indie Next List
“This might be Reid’s best yet! Carrie Soto was so fierce. It was fun to see her cope with aging and realize there is more to life than winning. Reid delivers yet another strong, unconventional female lead. Just like Carrie, this is a winner!”
— Kathy Clemmons, Sundog Books, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Have I ever played competitive tennis? No. Am I a retired athlete? No. Am I retired in any way shape or form? I’m 24. Did I love every second of this book? 100% yes!! Absolutely.
As an avid Taylor Jenkins Reid fan (three of her books are neck and neck on my list of Favorite Books of All Time), to say I was eagerly anticipating this one would be a catastrophic understatement. When it came in, I screamed, put down the book that I was currently reading (which was also very, very good), and finished Carrie Soto is Back in under 24 hours. I simply could not put it down.
Carrie Soto is a retired, 37 year-old professional tennis player, and the current Grand Slam winning record holder. But when she sees a young tennis player on track to take her title, she decides to return to the game with something to prove. Obviously not just about tennis, this had everything I hope for in a good fiction book, and more: an incredible father-daughter relationship, a heartwarming love interest that isn’t at the center of the story, and an imperfect but badass main character. Carrie Soto is Back is an excellent illustration of how we view women in sports, especially successful women.
I feel like as long as you have something in your life that you’re passionate about, you could take the tennis aspect of this book and see the similarities to your own passion (reading Carrie Soto took me right back to my competitive color guard days, and if you have any idea what that is, you know it has nothing to do with tennis). Carrie Soto is Back is an instant favorite of mine. Jenkins Reid writes flawed people and complex relationships like no one I’ve ever read, and she is at the top of her game with this book.
“A heart-filled novel about an iconic and persevering father and daughter.”—Time
“Gorgeous. The kind of sharp, smart, potent book you have to set aside every few pages just to catch your breath. I’ll take a piece of Carrie Soto forward with me in life and be a little better for it.”—Emily Henry, author of Book Lovers and Beach Read
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Time, NPR, PopSugar, Glamour, Reader’s Digest
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. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet.
“Carrie Soto [Is Back] . . . is like other sports novels in which underdogs punch, volley, bat and birdie their way to victory or additional defeat, but it goes beyond this to explore sexism and racism in the tennis world in the 1990s. . . . This novel will grab you. You’ll tear through blow-by-blow descriptions of championship matches on some of the most famous tennis courts in the world. . . .”—The Washington Post
“An epic story about bravery, endurance, but also the power of vulnerability.”—BuzzFeed
“Reid . . . draws on the lives of actual tennis pros (think Serena, Sharapova) to build a world of believable rivalries and intrigue infused with the whiplash suspense of a nail-biting tennis match.”—People (Book of the Week)
“Nearly every Taylor Jenkins Reid novel reads like a survey course in some flagrantly glamorous specialty and era. . . . Come for the King Richard–level attention to the art of the game; stay for the more personal soap operas unfolding off the court, and the final score.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest is set in the world of the tennis elite, following a ruthless former champion who—after losing her record to a rising star—decides to come out of retirement at 37 in order to reclaim her title. It’s seriously inspiring.”—Cosmopolitan
“Reid writes about the game with suspense, transforming a tennis match into a page-turner even for readers who don’t care about sports. . . . A compulsively readable look at female ambition.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Reid has written another knockout of a book.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Reid captures the excitement of elite sports in her descriptions of Carrie’s games, as well as the struggle that women athletes face when their ambition and confidence is ‘too much.’ It’s another triumph for bestselling author Reid, and her growing number of fans . . . ”—Booklist (starred review)
“Another ace by Taylor Jenkins Reid, straight to the baseline! . . . An immersive delight.”—Emma Straub