Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“Your faith in yourself drove you to the top once. And it can drive you there again,” my father says finally. I know that he is right. For decades, my talent and drive were utterly devastating to those who stood in my wake. If each person is blessed with an individual gift, determination is mine.”
― Taylor Jenkins Reid, Carrie Soto Is Back

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest novel, Carrie Soto is Back, proves once again that Reid is a master of writing books involving multiple characters and threads. The audiobook versions of her books feature an ensemble cast and added audio details that make them some of my favorites: Carrie Soto is Back is no exception.

Carrie Soto is determined to be the best tennis player in the world. Her determination however hasn’t made her very popular, amongst fans and other players alike. When Carrie retires in 1989 at the age of thirty-one, she is the best in the world. She has broken every record in the world and has claimed twenty Slam titles. Carrie believed she deserves and is entitled to every record and title she has won. Her dad has trained her since she was a toddler to be the best. Javier, Carrie’s dad, is a former championship tennis player.

Flash forward six years. Carrie and her dad are in the stand watching Nicki Chan fight for her twentieth Slam title. Carrie is angry that Nicky is even close to hitting her record, let alone that she has the ability to beat her. Her championship record is no longer going to belong to her and Carrie refuses to let that happen. She decides, at the age of thirty-seven, to come out of retirement to defend her title. There are four opportunities to win a title each year. Carrie will win one of them and become the best in the world yet again.

The road to victory is going to be an uphill battle. The sports media believe she is too old to be playing professionally. Her fans don’t want her back. Her body isn’t as limber and fast moving as it used to be. She is going to have to trust her father to be her coach again. Even though there is a slew of negativity determined to push her back into retirement, Carrie won’t have it. She is back and wants that title. She needs to prove to the world, and to herself, that she is the greatest tennis player in the world. After all, Carrie has been told since birth that she is destined to be the greatest. She deserves to fight for that no matter the cost.

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