A review by sfbookgirl
Carrie Soto Is Back, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

challenging informative medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I hate to say it, but this was not an enjoyable read. CARRIE SOTO IS BACK is a “historical fiction” book that brings up a lot of issues revolving around race and the portrayal of race written by a white author. The book is about a Latina woman named Carrie Soto who is a professional tennis player. She is kind of a bitch and she knows it, yet does nothing to change her attitude because she is the bomb dot com at tennis. After seeing that a much younger player is closing in on beating one of Soto’s world records, Soto decides to come out of retirement to beat the sh*t out of this young player. This is the entirety of this book. Some good old rally between two characters that literally never ends. 
In regard to the book’s race issues, it doesn’t sit right with me that TJR decides to have Carrie be Latina yet literally mentions it once. It gives off the impression that she was looking to “diversify” her characters without really doing the work to properly represent them. The icing on the cake is a quote written toward the end of the book: 
“Gwen shakes her head. ‘You know damn well there’s another set of rules for you. Just like there’s even another set of rules for me.’ 
I look at her, understanding that as much as I know what it’s like to be a woman in this world, I have no idea what it’s like to be a Black woman” (301). 
So yes…Carrie doesn’t know what it means to be a Black woman because she isn’t Black. Just like how TJR doesn’t know how to write a Latina woman because she isn’t Latina.

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