In recent years, Taylor Jenkins Reid has been at the top of numerous bestseller lists and on the radar of readers of all genres. Her newest release, “Carrie Soto is Back,” has proven that the future is still bright for her as a novelist.
Carrie Soto, the protagonist, is a highly acclaimed female tennis player who had broken numerous records before her retirement from the sport. When one of those records is threatened, Soto sets out to reclaim what was once her own.
“Carrie Soto is Back” beautifully demonstrates Reid’s strength of creating thrilling plots that keep the reader on the edge of their seat. The novel is thoroughly appealing through its accurate portrayal of emotions, as anger, sadness, loss and triumph engage the reader throughout. These emotions tend to arise during Soto’s more intense scenes, like her tennis matches.
The descriptions of these matches in the present tense, along with the first person narration, develops a story that the audience can attach themselves to. This creates a personal sense to the story, and allows the reader to connect with the characters. With this, Reid creates scenes that are emotionally driven and intense, which is displayed consistently throughout this novel.
Reid’s exciting plot creates an unforgettable story, which is in part the result of creating relatable characters. Soto is emotionally and physically driven by her father and tennis coach, Javier Soto. The development of these two characters is impressive, as Reid paints their relationship to have some faults. Doing this creates a relatable father-daughter relationship that is easy to connect with, which further entices the reader.
Individually, Soto and her father are quite similar: they both have common goals for her tennis career. What is most impressive about these characters, though, is the development of their relationship, which eventually becomes a main story arc.
In order to create an edge in the story, Reid carefully controls the relationships in the novel. The narration makes the reader believe that they know everything about Soto and her father with how they each navigated the other in their relationship. However, these beliefs are later challenged.
By being selective in what she reveals throughout the story, Reid is able to compel readers, as she hides minute details that later go against the reader’s intuition. Being unpredictable in her storytelling has proven to be quite popular among readers, as it allows for a unique experience with each of her novels.
“Carrie Soto is Back” is a novel for any reader. The novel’s subjects of competition, adrenaline, emotional guidance and individual growth make the story accessible for a wide audience. I highly recommend the novel to bookworms and new readers alike.