Audiobook Review: Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid


Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular.

By the time Carrie retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Slam titles. And if you ask her, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father as her coach.

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, British 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.


I hate to say it, but Carrie Soto is Back has been my least favourite Taylor Jenkins Reid book so far. From the get-go, I really struggled to connect with the characters, even Carrie. This story didn’t have the ‘did this actually happen’ quality to it that the rest of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books have. Obviously, this isn’t something that is possible to recreate every time, so I’m not being too harsh on this. 

My biggest issue with this audiobook is that I was promised it was full cast. While this is mostly true, the other ‘cast members’ were just little news segments. I thought this was going to have multiple narrators at once, but no. The narrator was ok, but their accents were awful. I didn’t find Carrie Soto is Back immersive in the slightest because the narrator kept attempting British and Austrailian accents, and god were they bad. If you want your narrator to do multiple accents please make sure they can actually do them first.

Ok, so I obviously knew this book was about tennis, but I didn’t realise just how much of it was going to be spent describing matches (which I was fine with, I like the action), running through practices and explaining techniques. I have no interest in the sport, so I was already a bit sceptical about picking up this book, but I love Taylor Jenkins Reid. 

As a whole, Carrie Soto is Back was far too long. Honestly, not a lot happens in the first two hours and then everything seems to happen in the last two. The middle was just a whole lot of Carrie practising, worrying she’d made a mistake by coming back and then having a will-they-wont-they with Beau (p.s I don’t know if this is how he spelt his name). 

I enjoyed the relationship between Carrie and her father, it had real ups and downs but you knew he’d always be there for her. This was definitely the most important relationship in the entire book.

I did want to love Carrie Soto is Back but it took me far too long to get through it. The story just wasn’t interesting enough for me to want to pick it up and I think listening to the audio version was my first mistake. I genuinely think I would have enjoyed this more if I didn’t listen to the audiobook.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Like this post? Why not read this one too: To Be Read: Summer 2023

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