ARC REVIEW: Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Title: Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published by: Penguin
Publication date: 30th August 2022
Genre: Literary Fiction
Amazon UK

Synopsis:

Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular.

By the time Carrie retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Slam titles. And if you ask her, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father as her coach.

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, British 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.

My review:

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Carrie Soto Is Back is such a fun and exhilarating read! It actually made me excited about tennis and invested in Carrie’s return. I loved that it also explores her relationship with her father and coach who is with her every step of the way, through the good and the bad. It was a very emotional read and one that I still haven’t recovered from.

I loved that it started off with Carrie wanting to return to defend her record, before taking us back to when she was younger and playing her first matches. I love how fierce and unapologetic she is. Her determination to win and smash every record makes her very unpopular among her fellow players and also the public. Her drive to succeed when she was younger came with its sacrifices as she has no friends and has never been in a proper relationship with anyone. However, we slowly see a change in her as she gets close to another tennis player, Bowe Huntley, who has also returned to the sport. The slow burn romance between them was perfect as it showed Carrie slowly overcoming her fears and reluctance to let anyone into her life. They train together with the help of Carrie’s dad and the three of them become closer as the story progresses. It was honestly so heartwarming seeing how much Bowe cared for her father.

The relationship between Carrie and her father was explored beautifully. There was definitely some ugly moments, however, seeing how proud and supportive her father is no matter if she wins or loses was so heartwarming. I was definitely not expecting to cry while reading this but there’s a couple of moments that had me in tears. I just cared about these characters so much. I really love how developed they are and how you can see the ups and downs of their lives so clearly.

This is my first book by this author and it definitely won’t be the last. It’s a beautifully written story that had me completely falling in love with the characters and had me on the edge of my seat during the intense tennis matches. It’s a captivating and unputdownable story that I’m sure many people will love.

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