Cover Image: Meant to Be: If the Shoe Fits

Meant to Be: If the Shoe Fits

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is my first book by this author and I really enjoyed this modern Cinderella-ish retelling.  Cindy, a plus-sized shoe designer works for her step-mother, who produces a reality dating show.  When a spot needs filling, Cindy volunteers not realizing how her life is about to change.  She becomes the iconic contestant and may even find love...
Thank you Julie Murphy, Disney Publishing Worldwide and NetGalley for allowing me an advance copy for my honest feedback.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Netgalley and Disney-Hyperion for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

I had this book sitting in my Kindle library for a while before finally cracking it open (proverbially) and it was a fun, quick read that I finished in a day. 

If the Shoe Fits is a rom-com retelling of Cinderella that also offers a nod to the Bachelor franchise. If you liked One to Watch or The Charm Offensive, you’ll probably like this. 

I enjoyed Cindy’s character, her sense of humor and style, and the supporting cast of friends and family, and I especially loved how the author flipped the evil stepsister trope around and made them supportive friends. 

I give this a 3.5 for a few reasons: I felt like there was some missing tension that would’ve made the ending more satisfactory, I didn’t buy into the fact that no one would care (or find out) that Cindy lied about her family on the show (especially with how fanatic Bachelor fans are), and I didn’t really feel invested in Henry or Cindy’s romance. It was also very closed door, which makes sense as a Disney retelling but left me wanting more. This one is a very minor complaint that doesn’t apply to the published version, but the unedited ARC had some incorrect names, plot errors, and general misses that took away from the overall reading experience. Not docking a star for that, though, since I’m sure those were fixed before publication day!
Was this review helpful?
Murphy, beloved for YA hits like Dumplin’, makes her foray into adult lit with this Cinderella adaptation, even though it still feels quite YA. Cindy is a recent fashion grad with no career prospects who moves back to LA to be with her stepfamily while she figures it out. She quickly ends up a bachelorette on her stepmom’s reality TV show, Before Midnight (it’s The Bachelor guys). The first plus-size contestant, she becomes an overnight body positivity icon while also catching real feelings for the “prince,” the son of a fashion legend. While the book falls into a lot of traditional romance cliches and tropes, there’s also some great commentary on reality TV and the happily ever after worked particularly well.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this. Its funny that I did because I despise reality shows. I think I’ve watched 2 in my life. And that was years ago. 

The main character in this story was fiesty, talented and plus-sized. I know there are a lot of readers who want to see more plus sized main characters and I think this is a good one. Plus its a Cinderella retelling without the evil stepsisters and evil step mother. Cindy is loved by the family she has after her father died and it was a nice change to the story. 

This book was super sweet in parts and funny in others, I would definitely recommend this book to a friend.
Was this review helpful?
There is so much to like about this book.
Cindy is such a great character. I was thrilled with the body positivity that she has. Every book i read with a plus size heroine, she is always trying to lose weight or is hyper-critical of her body. What a relief to just read the book without the heroine being embarrassed by her weight.
I loved the Bachelor setup. It was so fun.
Cindy’s family is fantastic and loving.
My only problem with the book was there was so little interaction between Cindy and Henry. I just wanted more time with them together.
It is a good beach read.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an arc in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Oh gosh I loved this! I'm between 4 & 5 stars... It wasn't a total homerun for me, but this was a great time nonetheless. Argh.... so difficult to rate... let's see if writing a stream of consciousness will help me rate it.

Cinderella retelling + Bachelor set up = YES PLEASE.

So right off the bat, I knew I was going to enjoy this because the author didn't pit Cindy against her stepsisters and stepmother. It was actually more of a loving relationship and they considered each other family. I know it's a Cinderella retelling, but I just have wanted to see something other than the ugly/evil stepfamily trope and this book really delivered on that. I also loved the take on names - Cindy, Anna, and Drew from Cinderella, Anastasia, and Druscilla. Cindy, Anna, and Drew really tried to build each other up than tear each other down for jealousy. The same can be said for the stepmother, Erika, who looked after Cindy as a real mother should. This change from Cinderella was a breath of fresh air. 

Now to the Bachelor nods... I am a proud member of Bachelor Nation and I could see the nods to several Bachelor couples and notable moments. I lapped it up. This was a fine mash up of Cinderella + Bachelor. If you are both a fan of fairytale retellings and The Bachelor, this book is most definitely for you.

I will be honest... the romance left a little something to be desired which is why I waffle back and forth between 4 & 5. Even as I'm writing this, I'm changing my mind. I guess that means it's a solid 4.5. 

Whatever, screw it. I'm rounding up. Bachelor Nation for the win.
Was this review helpful?
Giving this a generous three stars. I enjoyed Cindy's story (the idea of the evil stepmom being a reality TV person was genius), but did not care about the romance. Also as a Bachelor fan...this is not how the show works even at all. I had a hard time seeing stuff unfold without being like THAT ISN'T HOW IT WORKS. PLAY THE GAME CINDY. 

I also had a hard time tracking all the random side characters and the timing/pacing of this novel did not work for me. I almost DNF'd this, but I am trash for reality dating show books so I powered through and did find moments enjoyable, but as a whole....it was fine. 

I always appreciate how Julie Murphy has fat rep in her books and a lot of the side characters are diverse with one being nonbinary.
Was this review helpful?
What a delight! If you enjoy modern day retellings this is a must! Julie Murphy is an icon when it comes to size representation in contemporary romance. Cindy, our plus size Cinderella, decided to enter a reality dating competition. She is instantly a hit and it's not just audiences falling in love! 
This a must read for every Disney adult that knows how magical the right pair of shoes can be.
Was this review helpful?
As someone who grew up with Disney I was delighted to find this modern retelling of Cinderella for adults! I loved Cindy and the setting of the reality dating show. Can’t wait for the next in the series.
Was this review helpful?
I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. I had previously read One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London and was a little worried that the book might be too similar but it was unique and I ended up liking it even more than One to Watch. I loved the emphasis on family relationships and how Erika (sp?) and her daughters were not evil villains like in the original Cinderella story. Cindy was such a great character.  I am looking forward to reading more books from this series.
Was this review helpful?
Cute! Charming! Fun! I have had the privilege of meeting Julie Murphy twice now and she is such a joy--reading her books? Even more so! So far, Puddin' has been my favorite book of hers and this one is now a close second. I loved this contemporary retelling and what Julie did with it. If you are looking for your next contemporary romcom, body positive, fun and fabulous, hilarious book, definitely pick this one up!
Was this review helpful?
After graduation from Parsons School of Design, shoe designer Cindy Woods moves back home to California with her stepmother, stepsister, and half siblings. Her stepmother is a producer on a dating reality show, Before Midnight, and they have a spot to fill at the last minute. Cindy agrees to be on the show to get some recognition for her shoe designs. Cindy is the first plus-size woman to be a contestant on the show, so she’s nervous about how she will be perceived, but she doesn’t expect to become a social media star. The problem is that Cindy starts to fall for Henry, the Prince Charming of the show. Cindy has to figure out if she’ll stick around waiting for love or if she will follow her dream in fashion.

I’ve read many Cinderella retellings, and this one had something that I’ve never encountered before. Cindy was friends with her stepmother and stepsisters. She was very close with her stepsisters, and they all supported her in her dream of being a shoe designer. It was so nice to see the women all get along. They don’t have to be enemies just because the original story depicts them as hating each other. There were some other antagonists in the story, but Cindy got along well with her family.

I loved the plus-size representation in this story. Cindy would often point out how little diversity there is in plus-size fashion. At least in shoe design, there is more of a variety in sizes than in clothing. There was one point where someone said that studies show that plus-size women don’t buy luxury brands. However, if the bigger sizes aren’t available in luxury brands and designers, they don’t have the option to buy from them. This was an authentic representation of how it is to shop for clothing for a plus-size body.

If the Shoe Fits is a fun modern Cinderella retelling!

Thank you Disney Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
At first, I almost DNF this book. I was about 10% in and the characters were getting on my nerves. I had read a couple of reviews saying it was a Cinderella retelling then it made sense to me of why some of the characters were shallow. I'm really glad to it. It ended up being a cute book. Would I reread it again? Maybe. Would I watch it if it became a movie? Definitely.
Was this review helpful?
The main character was relatable and personable! A very cute romance that has a fun take on reality tv, dating in a modern world, and friendship building.
Was this review helpful?
Julie Murphy is one of the most popular authors in the YA community. Even though If The Shoe Fits is not a YA novel, I am so glad that this is the first Julie Murphy novel I picked up. :') A story that centers around a reality show + features a plus-sized heroine - can anything get better than that? This modern Cinderella retelling was everything I needed and so much more.

The representation of plus-sized women was perfectly done through this book. The author doesn't shy away from discussing the struggles of being plus-sized along with how society treats people according to their body sizes. I adored Cindy with my whole heart. Her positive attitude was just what I needed to make my gloomy mood turn 360 degrees around! I loved how the author implemented the original Cinderella story into the plot. The way the dating reality show premise worked out by following the "Bachelor/Bachelorette" theme was just incredible. It was so entertaining, and I was hooked from the very beginning of the story. I couldn't keep the book down at all! 

The Prince Charming of this Cinderella story, A.K.A Henry was just... SO CHARMING. I swooned, ya'll. He just fitted perfectly into Cindy's life. I loved their relationship and chemistry so, so much. Reading about their moments together literally made me feel like I was experiencing a fairytale. OBSESSED 💯

Even though the book has a light-hearted plot, for the most part, it also had tackled issues of grief and trying to fit in a world that caters to people of a certain size. The body positivity aspect of the story made my heart so happy. If The Shoe Fits is officially my favorite modern Cinderella retelling. 5/5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book! The title and this beautiful cover drew me in and i was excited to read this book! I will be recommending this book to others for readers advisory
Was this review helpful?
This was a cute and fast read. Not as much spice as I generally enjoy, but considering this is Disney's first venture into actual romance, not too surprising. Julie Murphy, as always, does an excellent job at highlighting some of the major frustrations of being a larger lady. The dating show format was entertaining to read, but it was hard to be completely sold on Cindy and Henry just because of the vastly limited time they actually spend together. I really really really loved the triplets (Gus-Gus, Jack, and Mary) and Cindy's un-evil stepmother and stepsisters, which helped to scale back on the cartooney-ness. Overall, a pleasant read!

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my opinion!
Was this review helpful?
From the very beginning of this book, I knew that I was going to love it. Julie Murphy touches on the realities of being plus size in America. From having to order your clothes online to having to have a reason to be confident in your own skin. This book was what I wanted and needed when it comes to plus-size representation and characters that have struggled with their body image.

I loved how confident Cindy was,  which may be why I loved the fat-positive take that Murphy took. I felt as though I could be Cindy, someone that owned who she was.  

Henry truly was a Mr. Prince Charming. His willingness to be open and vulnerable with Cindy had me swooning. I loved both of their meet-cutes and while I think they both fell fast, I think I was right there with them. I didn't even miss the steam because they had palpable on-page chemistry.

As far as the reality show went, I loved the drama, the fun dates, the stolen moments on a stolen radio, and the inner workings of a reality tv show.
Was this review helpful?
After finishing design school Cindy packs up her entire life and goes to live with her stepmother and siblings to help care for them. Her mother is an executive producer for Before Midnight, a dating reality show where singles are try to win the heart of whatever suitor they have chosen. When one of the contestants drops out and a spot needs to be filled Cindy volunteers. The exposure could be helpful if she wants to create her own brand of clothing, and if she wins the prize money would be enough to get her started. 

When she arrives on set she meets all the other contestants. She even becomes really good friends with some of the other girls and being a plus sized woman on a reality dating show ends up being a huge hit. The suitor isn't half bad either, and Cindy has a connection with him that could truly lead to love. 

This was an adorable premise, that in reality I wouldn't really be interested in. But as a modern cinderella retelling I had to give it a try, and I am truly glad I did. I love a novel that focuses on a plus sized person especially someone written so well, who is just living and happens to be fat. As a fat person myself seeing someone doing so well is a breath of fresh air compared to what you normally get. I would deifnitely recommend this sweet novel to anyone looking for a wholesome romance.
Was this review helpful?
I am a big fan of everything Disney. Upon hearing of If the Shoe Fits, I immediately figured it would be a book I would love — a Cinderella retelling that features a plus size main character and a Bachelor/Bachelorette show premise? Written by Julie Murphy? Sign me up! 

I am so pleased to say that I really enjoyed this book and am super excited for the series to continue with Jasmine Guillory's addition next year. 

There are a few things that I really enjoyed about this book. First, the characters are just really enjoyable. I loved the twist in this novel that Cindy actually has a strong relationship with her stepmother and stepsisters. While it is rocky at times, and it has been a journey to get to where they are, I think it was a really refreshing take on the classic story we all know and love. Cindy is a great main character — I loved her commentary, her obsession with shoes, and overall, just how down-to-earth and loveable she was. 

The bachelor show premise is so fun. While I'm not a huge fan of watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette, I have seen some seasons and I loved this take on it. It was so fun to see Cindy step out of her comfort zone and experience something that in the end, works out the best for her. It really shows that sometimes trying new things and accepting life's curves, works out for the best. 

If the Shoe Fits is full of positivity, self-love, and self-acceptance which I thoroughly appreciated. It's quick and lighthearted and definitely a book I can see myself coming back to in the future. While I wish I could get more of Cindy in the future, I'm really excited to see what Jasmine Guillory brings to the table, next!
Was this review helpful?