‘Carrie Soto Is Back’ proves to be must-read, riveting sports fiction novel


Carrie Soto is back, a new sports fiction book by popular author Taylor Jenkins Reid was recently released, and has been receiving lots of positive feedback on goodreads.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is the New York Times bestselling author of “Malibu Rising,” “Daisy Jones and The Six,” and “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.” All of her books have been extremely gripping and addictive, so I’ve been anticipating the release of her first sports fiction novel about tennis: “Carrie Soto Is Back.”  I am not typically a sports fan, but this book did not disappoint in the least.

The story follows Carrie Soto’s rise to fame as an exceptional tennis star who was coached by her father, Javier, and eventually wins the most grand slam wins. She then retires from the sport but finds it unbearable to see an up-and-coming athlete, Nicki Chan, getting close to taking her title of most grand slam wins. The story describes her attempt to make a comeback to the sport to defend her title as one of the oldest tennis players to compete.

Jenkin Reid wrote a captivating and thrilling story filled with so much imagery, to the point that I felt like a spectator in the stands watching Carrie practice and play through the years. I could not put this book down because I was rooting for Carrie the whole time, and I was at the edge of my seat for every match. 

— Kiswa Khan '23

The story has an intricate plot with Carrie, the protagonist being an extremely complex and multidimensional character. Initially, I found Carrie extremely unlikeable. She was so driven by her ambition, to the point that she came across as overconfident and arrogant. But as I delved deeper into the story, I gained a new understanding of Carrie’s life. I saw that her flawed character is a result of her loneliness and the fact that she had not been taken seriously as a professional athlete in the past. 

I loved this book despite not being much of a sports fan, and also not knowing much about tennis.  However, what’s funny is that when I finished the book at some ungodly early hour on Saturday morning, I found myself watching Serena Williams’s old matches. The book made tennis sound exciting, and it gave me a lot of insight about the sport. When I watched Williams’s matches, it made me see tennis in a new light. I no longer looked at the sport as just a rally between two people; I was more focused on the athletes and thinking about the sacrifices they had made in their lives to be able to compete.

Additionally, this book taught me about how ageism and sexism play a huge role in the lives of female athletes. Ambitious women like Carrie who try to make a comeback at an age that the media considers “out of their prime” are looked down upon. Furthermore, I was able to get a glimpse of the unattainable expectations placed on female athletes and learn how mentally draining it becomes when ambition becomes oppressive. 

I highly recommend reading this book, even if you aren’t a huge fan of sports fiction.

Happy reading!