Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

Taylor Jenkins Reid succeeds again with Carrie Soto is Back. Reid’s most recent book, released in August of 2022, follows a Latina tennis player coming out of retirement to earn back her record for the most tennis tournaments won. The story is the perfect mix of hard work, personal relationships, and finding meaning in life. 

After losing her mother at a young age, her father, Javier Soto, raised her and began training her to become the greatest tennis player in the world. While they experienced a rift in their relationship, when entering the game yet again, Soto requests her father to be her coach. 

Soto is 37 years old and plays against competitors 20 years younger than her. She not only struggles with having an older body but also the mental game of getting back into intense training and being in the public eye. The media refers to Soto as the “Battle Ax” as she is thought of as ruthless and not as gratuitous as some would like her to be. Soto has the mindset that she is great and deserves to win because she puts the effort in. It is this mindset that makes her fairly unpopular. While not all readers may agree, I found Soto’s winning mindset, and overall confidence, inspiring. Reid pushes the idea that if you believe in yourself enough and put in the effort, almost anything is achievable. 

Throughout the book, Soto works on her relationship with her father, her competitor, and an older male tennis player who is playing his last season. Reid writes Soto in a way that maintains her unique identity while also allowing room for subtle character development. Ultimately, Soto remains her confident self but discovers how she wants to take meaning from her life. 

The first section of the book focuses on Soto’s initial rise to fame and her obsession with winning. When she loses a match, but played the best she has ever played, her father tells her that she is “not yet who you will be.” His sentiment is displayed throughout the book. Every match, every training, Soto evolves into a different player but, more importantly, a different person. 

Reid has a powerful and unique writing style that never fails to surprise me. Her books always evoke a range of emotions, usually including tears at some point, that change quickly and effortlessly. One minute, I find myself laughing at a side character, and the next I am tearing up because of a new development. Most of all, Reid makes you want to root for her characters in a way I have not experienced with many other authors. As you read, you change along with the characters (I had the overwhelming urge to learn tennis, but unfortunately I had to settle for the Wii version).

Overall, Carrie Soto is Back is an inspiring story packed with character development. If you’re looking for a book to encourage your confidence or tennis skills, Carrie Soto may be for you. 

Ella Cuneo

Washington '26

Ella is a first year hoping to study psychology and communications at the University of Washington. When she doesn't have her nose in a book, Ella loves to listen to music, create and hangout with friends!