If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy
Series: Meant to Be #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on August 3, 2021
Reading Challenges: GoodReads, NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2021
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About If the Shoe Fits
Julie Murphy, the author of awesome YA books like Dumplin’, makes her foray into New Adult with If the Shoe Fits, the first book in the Meant to Be series.
This contemporary retelling of Cinderella is a total delight! Cindy’s just graduated from design school with no true plans or prospects so she moves back home with her stepmom, stepsisters, and triplet half-sibs. Her stepmom is the executive producer of America’s favorite reality dating show (think The Bachelor/Bachelorette), Before Midnight.
Cindy’s most intense dream is to design shoes. Yet due to lingering grief from her father’s sudden and unexpected death has left her feeling uninspired. Then an assistant producer from Before Midnight approaches Cindy and asks her to be a contestant on the show. At first hesitant because of her weight, Cindy agrees to do it. She hopes that being a contestant will give her a moment of fame that she can use to jumpstart her design career.
Imagine Cindy’s surprise when she discovers that the Prince is Henry, the hottie she shared a moment with on her flight from New York home to California. Maybe their connection was real but what does that mean now that she’s one of two dozen women vying for Henry’s attention.
My thoughts about If the Shoe Fits
This book gave me so many reasons to love it. Cindy was consistently relatable. I appreciated that she was fashionable and unapologetic about her size, even when surrounded by thinner, more conventionally attractive women. Despite her grief, she was determined and mostly upbeat. While she was open to a relationship, she wasn’t seeking one out to “complete” herself. In fact, I’m glad that she got to show that what she valued most was herself.
The storyline is character-driven and like a fairy tale retelling, I’m so glad that the author made the choice to update Cindy’s stepmom and stepsisters. They weren’t cruel or evil. All of them were kind, loving, and supportive of each other. The same with the other contestants (mostly) – while they were competing for Henry’s attention, they weren’t usually cruel to one another. I’m so over women being depicted as shallow, backstabbers competing for men’s attention so THANK YOU, Julie Murphy!
Also a shout out for If the Shoe Fits including LGBTQ and nonbinary rep in an honest way instead of a “hey, look, we have a Token Character here” fashion.
One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London is another body positive, plus size MC in the fashion world, finding love. Read my full review.
First Comes Like by Alisha Rai features an Islamic MC making it as a beauty influencer, looking to elevate her career to the next level.
If the Shoe Fits features a fashion-conscious, plus-size woman who calls out the industry for its lack of options for plus size women and is determined to find happiness and success.
Thank you NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for the ARC.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2021