Review: Carrie Soto Is Back - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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.

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Review: Carrie Soto Is Back
By Taylor Jenkins Reid

Review: Carrie Soto Is Back

A retired tennis player returns to reclaim her record and cement her legacy as the GOAT—in Taylor Jenkins Reid’s CARRIE SOTO IS BACK.

In 1989 and at 31, Carrie Soto bows out of the game, retiring as the best tennis player in the world, with records aplenty.

“I was now the most decorated tennis player by nearly every measure. Most Grand Slam singles ever. Most weeks at number one for any player in the history of the tour. Most singles titles, most aces over the course of a career. Most years ending number one. Highest-paid female athlete of all time. I was the Carries Soto I had always believed I could be.”

Five years later, she and her father (former coach and retired Argentinian tennis player) sit in the stands and watch Nicki Chan tie her record. Both Soto and Chan aren’t looked on favorably by the media—criticized for their aggressive tennis playing and not-so-soft temperaments. Chan is dubbed “The Beast” while Soto, “the Battle Axe,” makes her comeback amidst continuing vitriol that she’s cold, “a machine” (cue The Bitch is Back by Elton John).

Soto rejoins the circuit—the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the final, nail-biting match—the 1995 U.S. Open.

Carrie is a brash, often unlikeable character, her ambition and competitiveness driving her every decision. It’s exactly these traits, however, that make her fascinating and deepen the narrative’s impact. CARRIE SOTO IS BACK probes the scrutiny around women’s ambition. The unfeminity of it, the unlikability of it, the sexism of it—especially when levied against how the media treats men of similar ambition. The timing, and parallels to Serena William’s own story and retirement, makes this novel all the more topical, and impossible to put down.

I’ve been a devoted fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid for many years, have read—and loved—every single novel she’s published, and this latest once again proves her storytelling prowess.

An immediate 2022 favorite, and a riveting and powerful must read.

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