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CARRIE SOTO IS BACK by Taylor Jenkins Reid

In this powerful novel about the cost of greatness, a legendary athlete attempts a comeback when the world considers her past her prime – from the ‘New York Times’ best-selling author of ‘Malibu Rising’, ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’, and ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’.

Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed 20 Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father as her coach. Javier – a former champion himself – has trained her since the age of two.

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 player named Nicki Chan.

At 37 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. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet. 


Title : Carrie Soto Is Back
Author : Taylor Jenkins Reid
Narrator : Full Cast
Format : Audio
Page Count : 10 hours, 18 minutes
Genre : Contemporary Fiction
Publisher : Random House Audio
Release Date : August 30, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3 star review

Headlines:
This is a sports autobiography (or you would think)
Strangely compelling
Non-tennis lovers invited

Carrie Soto is Back was an odd read for me but I did enjoy it in some ways. I started the book with high hopes and TJR has a way of bringing you into a character’s world whole-heartedly. Carrie Soto and her father were 100% interesting and their world of obsession and drive was compelling.

About 25% into this listen, I was starting to think…is this going to be the tone of the whole book? I accepted that it was the case when at halfway I was still finding the same experience. This book was less contemporary fiction and it read exactly like a sporting autobiography, a gripping one but still…not what I would have expected from this author.

Carrie Soto herself was a generally unlikeable character but again, compelling to observe and listen to. She had that obsessive personality that elite athletes often have, the personality of a rock to outsiders and really there was only herself, her father and tennis in her world. In a much later part of the story, her world opened out a bit more to other friendships and relationships but you have to wait a long time to get to this.

The narration was a full cast but to be honest because this story is so Carrie-centric, the full cast isn’t featured that much. Nevertheless, the narration was very good.

Overall, I wasn’t wowed by this book but I was also puzzled why I still kept reading avidly. I can only surmise that TJR can write very well, so that she made me enjoy a tennis autobiography!

Thank you to LibroFM for the audio review copy.

https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9780593614167-carrie-soto-is-back

MALIBU RISING by Taylor Jenkins Reid

From the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six . . . Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over–especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud–because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own–including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.


Title : Malibu Rising
Author : Taylor Jenkins Reid
Format : eARC
Page Count : 384
Genre : Contemporary Fiction
Publisher : Cornerstone Books
Release Date : May 27, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ .5


Micky’s 2.5 star review

Headlines:
Family dysfunction
Sibling strength
Predictable storyline

I anticipate anything written by TJR, I’ve read all her books except one and enjoyed them, so I guess it was inevitable that one day, one would not hit the mark for me. I’m super sad I didn’t enjoy this and my experience is definitely an unpopular opinion but valid all the same.

This was a story told between two past eras, one was 1960s and the other was 1980s. At first, I didn’t like the 1960s but I did slip into it eventually. The story focused on the Riva family, a famous father, a damaged mother and siblings that stuck together.

This dead beat father was revolting in his apathy, he wasn’t a positive part of the story and his actions became unsurprising. I felt that eventually, this family were fighting against history repeating itself. The siblings themselves were resillient thanks to Nina who held centre stage.

This was a family saga, all told and unfortunately, it just didn’t appeal to me. The story direction became utterly predictable, so that I felt I just needed to see the story through. On ending, I didn’t feel much satisfaction, in fact, the ending felt a little to convenient for my taste.

There are triggers in this book galore and please look for the reviews that cite them or DM me for details.

Thank you to Cornerstone for the early review copy.