Carrie Soto Is Back: A Novel Book Review

Anyone who excels in sports obviously needs both passion and drive to succeed. But at what point are friendships and relationships in general sacrificed to reach the top?

Carrie Soto Is Back: A Novel, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, was published in August. Raised by her widower father Javier, Carolina “Carrie” Soto is a tennis wunderkind. The Serena Williams of her day, she ascends to fame and glory at an early age. But Carrie is also solely focused on the game. Nothing else matters except for the win. By the time she reaches her twenties, she has claimed every championship title that is available to her.

Six years after announcing her retirement, Carrie decides that it is time to re-enter the game one last time. The problem is that she is nearly 40, out of shape, and playing against competitors who are younger and stronger than she. In addition to that internal pressure, the press believes that her time in the sun has set.

While trying to get back to where she was, Carrie is forced to reckon with the hardest thing of all: her heart. Can she open up, live a little, and win for the final time? Or is she done for good?

Jenkins Reid does it again. I was holding my breath throughout the novel, waiting to find out if she reaches her goal. What makes Carrie interesting as a character is that she is unlikeable. As a female, even in 2022, that is extraordinary.

I wanted to dislike her for her singlemindedness and her inability to see past the nose on her face. Instead, I was rooting for her. I wanted Carrie to prove to everyone that she still had it.

I’m the first to admit that I know next to nothing about tennis. The author brilliantly balances the details of playing while telling a story of a woman whose internal flame still burns as brightly as it ever did.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely. It is one of my favorite books that I have read in 2022.

Carrie Soto Is Back: A Novel is available wherever books are sold.

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Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman Book Review

From an early age, women are taught to conform. If we do not conform, we are labelled as outsiders and called names that are meant to shame us for our rebellion.

Earlier this year, Buzzfeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen published Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman. She writes about a number of women who by reputation have stepped out of what is considered to be a normal woman. The list of women profiled includes tennis star Serena Williams, actress Melissa McCarthy, Madonna and Hillary Clinton.

This book is one of my favorite books of 2017. I loved it because not only did it call out the b*llsh*t that women have to deal with on a daily basis, but it also honors the women who give a middle finger to conformity and choose to live as they want to.

I absolutely recommend it.

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