Book Review: Meant to Be: If the Shoe Fits. by Julie Murphy

Posted August 5, 2021 by WendyW in Blogging, Book Review, bookblogger / 19 Comments

If the Shoe fits
If the Shoe Fits
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

by Julie Murphy
Publication Date August 3, 2021
Published by Disney Electronic Content
Purchase Here Buy on Amazon US - Buy on Apple - Buy on Kobo - Buy on Google - Buy at Barnes and Noble - Buy on Audible
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Pages: 303
Format: ARC

"If the Shoe Fits encompasses everything I love about rom-coms. I laughed, I swooned, I smiled. Another hit for Julie Murphy!"
—Colleen Hoover, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Hopeless
If the shoe doesn’t fit, maybe it’s time to design your own.
Cindy loves shoes. A well-placed bow or a chic stacked heel is her form of self-expression. As a fashion-obsessed plus-size woman, she can never find designer clothes that work on her body, but a special pair of shoes always fits just right.
With a shiny new design degree but no job in sight, Cindy moves back in with her stepmother, Erica Tremaine, the executive producer of the world’s biggest dating reality show. When a contestant on Before Midnight bows out at the last minute, Cindy is thrust into the spotlight. Showcasing her killer shoe collection on network TV seems like a great way to jump-start her career. And, while she’s at it, why not go on a few lavish dates with an eligible suitor?
But being the first and only fat contestant on Before Midnight turns her into a viral sensation—and a body-positivity icon—overnight. Even harder to believe? She can actually see herself falling for this Prince Charming. To make it to the end, despite the fans, the haters, and a house full of fellow contestants she’s not sure she can trust, Cindy will have to take a leap of faith and hope her heels— and her heart—don’t break in the process.
Best-selling author Julie Murphy’s reimagining of a beloved fairy tale is an enchanting story of self-love and believing in the happy ending each and every one of us deserves.

My 5 Star Review:

Meant to be: If the Shoe Fits, by Julie Murphy is a modern retelling of Cinderella. And it’s awesome! When they say it’s a modern retelling, they mean it.  It’s fresh, full of pop culture and diverse characters, and a plus-sized heroine.  I loved it all. 

Cindy just graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City and aspires to be a shoe designer.  After a rough senior year, she doesn’t have any job prospects in NYC, so she decides to go home and take care of her three young triplet siblings.  Her stepmother, Erica, is a producer of a reality dating show, very similar to The Bachelor, called Before Midnight.  When three other contestants drop out of Before Midnight, only days before filming starts, Cindy, and her two older stepsisters, fill in the empty spots.  Cindy is hoping to jumpstart her shoe design career, and a bit of television exposure is just what she thinks she needs.  

As the first plus-sized contestant on the show, her popularity soars, but so does her attraction for the “suitor”, the son of a prominent fashion icon.  

This book totally surprised me.  It’s fun, entertaining, and relevant.  If you are a Disney Cinderella fan, you’ll notice many references to the old outdated movie, but updated to fit into today’s world.  Instead of a pumpkin chariot, it’s an orange minivan that takes her to her date with the Suitor (Henry), and it’s a shoe, bejeweled with crystals instead of a glass slipper, and so many other references.  

I loved the heroine, Cindy.  She’s tough, confident, and not afraid to speak her mind.  She knows she’s plus-sized, but she doesn’t make any excuses or let herself feel bad about her size.  She doesn’t diet or fret about her size, and instead, she accepts herself and is happy in her own skin.  The book is full of diverse characters and modern settings and situations.  

I’m not a fan of the show The Bachelor, and I liked the fact that this book did not put a “positive spin” on reality TV.  Yes, Cindy and Henry fall in love during the filming of the show, but the book also highlights the drawbacks and the downsides to reality TV and especially the emotional toll shows like this take on the contestants.   Cindy and Henry fall in love IN SPITE of the show, and the filming, not because of the show. 

This book is fun, entertaining, and romantic, and I highly recommend this book to all romantics out there!  I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

19 responses to “Book Review: Meant to Be: If the Shoe Fits. by Julie Murphy

  1. Thank you Carla, I think I could easily read this book a second time and pick up so much more of the Cinderella references. It was so cute too.

  2. Wonderful review Wendy. I liked that the book did not glamorize Reality TV. I didn’t equate the orange mini-van with the pumpkin, but that is awesome. There are so many comparisons like the makeup, hair and costume people being like the three mice who help make her first dress. I need to go back and see how many references I missed.

    • Thank you Hannah. It was refreshing to see such different characters. Even the side characters are very different and quirky. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  3. I’m seeing this book everywhere lately, and people seem to love it! I love a good modern retelling of a fairytale, so I might check this out someday. 🙂

  4. I’m not a fan of The Bachelor either, but I’m happy they fell in love despite the show. Sounds like a fun romance!

  5. Kaceey

    Fabulous review Wendy! This sounds so cute! I’ve requested it… fingers crossed!🤞💜📚