Carrie Soto is Back
Taylor Jenkins Reid
August 30, 2022
What I Liked: I’ll be the first to admit that when I found out TJR’s next book was going to be about Carrie Soto, the woman we briefly met in her previous book Malibu Rising, I was not excited. My first thought was, “her?” Of all the fabulous women TJR she has introduced the world to, Carrie is not the one I would have picked to learn more about. Camilla from Daisy Jones and the Six? YES PLEASE. Tarine from Malibu Rising? SIGN ME UP. Literally any character from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo? I WOULD READ THIS BOOK IN A HEARTBEAT. But Carrie? Well, I should know by now to never doubt TJR (even when she has slight misses like Malibu) because this book was a wonderful surprise and Carrie has joined the ranks alongside Evelyn and Daisy as an incredible female character created by one of today’s most consistent and enjoyable authors.
What I liked most about Carrie is that she is not likable and doesn’t pretend to be something she isn’t for the sake of others. When she beats an opponent because she is the better athlete, she says so. It was refreshing to read a female character, especially one in the sports world, who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and say what she’s thinking. This isn’t always a good thing (as Carrie and the reader learn later in the book) but she never stops being true to herself and I loved it. TJR managed to find the perfect balance of describing the tennis matches just enough to understand the importance of them without letting the minutiae bog down the momentum of the story. I am not a tennis fan but she made me enjoy learning about the game and the ins and outs of what makes a great player! Even if you don’t know a thing about the game, you won’t be lost.
What I Didn’t Like: With the exception of one thing, I was able to predict most of what happened in this book. This didn’t take away my enjoyment of the story but TJR can usually surprise me once or twice a book.
Who Should Read It: I have a feeling fans of TJR will love this book, even ones that were disappointed in Malibu Rising. First-timers to the world of TJR will also enjoy this one.
Review Wrap Up: Despite my reservations about this one, I will read anything TJR writes so I was happily surprised by how much I loved this book. I devour her novels and this one was no different. Carrie is a hard character to like but an easy one to love and I was left wanting more time with her in the end. Her story, and by extension the story of all female athletes who struggle to feel good enough, to be the best, to be taken seriously, is a timely one and needs to be told. I loved this book.
*Thank you to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review*