Taylor Jenkins Reid returns with her new novel Carrie Soto Is Back


Vanya Arakelian

Carrie Soto Is Back becomes the new addition to my Taylor Jenkins Reid collection.

Author Taylor Jenkins Reid returns to the book world with the release of her new novel, Carrie Soto is Back. Reid is known for her cinematic writing, and she reintroduces that same style in her book surrounding tennis champion Carrie Soto. 

Carrie Soto Is Back is a nonfiction book that was released on August 30th 2022. The book follows Carrie Soto, the women’s tennis record holder for 20 Grand Slam titles. When up and coming athlete Nicki Chan starts inching closer to her record, Carrie comes back into the tennis game after being in retirement to state her presence back in the tennis world. 

Whether you are an athlete or not, this book will help you understand an athlete’s mentality. This “win or fail” attitude that fuels them or eats them alive. With Carrie, readers see a woman hungry for titles and success, as well as the struggle of a woman to defend her hard work. 

With very famous professional athletes, it’s easy for news outlets to tear them down and judge them for their actions. While Carrie has every single odd against her, she defies all expectations, and plays the beautiful game of tennis. 

The story dives into deeper themes of athlete stress, stress they put on themselves, and the public eye puts on them. 

While the people in the book don’t like Carrie, I can’t help but relate to her. She is exceptionally hard on herself, and she is stone cold toward others because she knows she can beat them all. That kind of cutthroat attitude is one that I envy, and search for every time I myself step onto the volleyball court. She does not play games for fun, she plays to win, perfecting each and every move until the match is over. 

I admire Reid for writing Carrie as a woman. If Carrie were a man looking for a comeback, the world would have nothing but good things to say. However, because she is a woman she gets called a rude name by a news reporter on live television. 

The double standard exists, and Reid elevates it and reintroduces it into places you don’t even think you knew. 

However, Reid also tells you that Carrie is more than a cutthroat athlete, she is a daughter, craving the approval of her father no matter how much she tries to deny it. One of Carrie’s most admirable traits in my opinion is her carelessness. She trains for hours and hours on end, not for other people but for herself. She won all those tennis titles for herself. She won them because she could. And now, she chases after another one after a teenager who took the tennis world by storm is up for her record. 

I won’t be spoiling the novel here, but I will say that the ending is a perfect conclusion to Carrie’s character. She remains the strong and determined girl she always has been and she receives clarity. Her whole life she thought she had to be one person specifically, she wasn’t ever able to be anything else. Throughout the novel, she slowly begins to learn this lesson, and teaches herself how to live outside of tennis. With her return, she finds new light and a fresh take on life.