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If the Shoe Fits

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After having just graduated with a degree in shoe design, and trying to get her feet on the ground, Cindy is working for her stepmother, who happens to be the executive producer of America's favorite reality show, Before Midnight. When a spot on the show needs filling ASAP, Cindy volunteers, hoping it might help jump-start her fashion career, or at least give her something After having just graduated with a degree in shoe design, and trying to get her feet on the ground, Cindy is working for her stepmother, who happens to be the executive producer of America's favorite reality show, Before Midnight. When a spot on the show needs filling ASAP, Cindy volunteers, hoping it might help jump-start her fashion career, or at least give her something to do while her peers land jobs in the world of high fashion. Turns out being the only plus size woman on a reality dating competition makes a splash, and soon Cindy becomes a body positivity icon for women everywhere. What she doesn't expect? That she may just find inspiration-and love-in the process. Ultimately, Cindy learns that if the shoe doesn't fit, maybe it's time to design your own.


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After having just graduated with a degree in shoe design, and trying to get her feet on the ground, Cindy is working for her stepmother, who happens to be the executive producer of America's favorite reality show, Before Midnight. When a spot on the show needs filling ASAP, Cindy volunteers, hoping it might help jump-start her fashion career, or at least give her something After having just graduated with a degree in shoe design, and trying to get her feet on the ground, Cindy is working for her stepmother, who happens to be the executive producer of America's favorite reality show, Before Midnight. When a spot on the show needs filling ASAP, Cindy volunteers, hoping it might help jump-start her fashion career, or at least give her something to do while her peers land jobs in the world of high fashion. Turns out being the only plus size woman on a reality dating competition makes a splash, and soon Cindy becomes a body positivity icon for women everywhere. What she doesn't expect? That she may just find inspiration-and love-in the process. Ultimately, Cindy learns that if the shoe doesn't fit, maybe it's time to design your own.

30 review for If the Shoe Fits

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    3.5 stars. This was a lot of fun! I didn't know whether or not I was going to be the hugest fan of the Bachelor-esque premise, but I ended up totally hooked by it and could not put this book down. My only real gripe with this one is that I felt like the ending was kind of.. unspectacular? But I will definitely cut it some slack as this is a Cinderella retelling and I feel like (while maybe a little boring) the ending really did the Cinderella elements justice lol. Honestly y'all this was a LOT o 3.5 stars. This was a lot of fun! I didn't know whether or not I was going to be the hugest fan of the Bachelor-esque premise, but I ended up totally hooked by it and could not put this book down. My only real gripe with this one is that I felt like the ending was kind of.. unspectacular? But I will definitely cut it some slack as this is a Cinderella retelling and I feel like (while maybe a little boring) the ending really did the Cinderella elements justice lol. Honestly y'all this was a LOT of fun and Julie Murphy is an absolute dream come true when it comes to writing positive fat representation. I couldn't be more excited to hopefully read more adult titles featuring fat characters from her in the future and I definitely recommend checking this one out! CW: death of a parent, terminal illness, car accidents, fatphobia

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lea (drumsofautumn)

    me: I'm kinda sick of Cinderella retellings Julie Murphy: here's my first Adult novel and it is a Cinderella retelling with a plus-size main character me: SIGN ME UP!!!!!! Instagram | Blog | Booktube Channel | Twitter me: I'm kinda sick of Cinderella retellings Julie Murphy: here's my first Adult novel and it is a Cinderella retelling with a plus-size main character me: SIGN ME UP!!!!!! Instagram | Blog | Booktube Channel | Twitter

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    I so desperately wanted to LOVE this, but I ended up feeling like it was just okay. I love books with a Bachelor-like show premise, and I really enjoyed reading from a plus size protagonist, and I think it’s so important to see that rep in more romance novels, but the romance in this book just didn’t do it for me. I don’t know if it’s because I just read The Charm Offensive but that’s another Bachelor-like show book, and I feel like the romance was a million times better in that book. Since I re I so desperately wanted to LOVE this, but I ended up feeling like it was just okay. I love books with a Bachelor-like show premise, and I really enjoyed reading from a plus size protagonist, and I think it’s so important to see that rep in more romance novels, but the romance in this book just didn’t do it for me. I don’t know if it’s because I just read The Charm Offensive but that’s another Bachelor-like show book, and I feel like the romance was a million times better in that book. Since I read it so recently I couldn’t help but compare the two, and I’d definitely recommend that over this. Also, I feel like the plot of this book is somewhat similar to One To Watch and I enjoyed that book slightly more than this one. I flew through this book though, I got the audio downloaded from my library and I finished it all in one night, so it’s a super fun, quick story, and it has really great characters, I just wanted more from the romance 🤷🏻‍♀️

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    4.25 stars 

 I loved this book to pieces. If the Shoe Fits is a Cinderella re-telling by the fabulous Julie Murphy featuring a plus size main character who is going on a show similar to The Bachelor. It was fun, made me smile so big and feel giddy while reading. Cindy is one of the best heroines and Henry was wonderful as well. I loved the romance, watching Cindy go after her dreams, and the family/friendship element. Plus all the fashion stuff was really fun! Last year I read ‘One to Watch’ whi 4.25 stars 

 I loved this book to pieces. If the Shoe Fits is a Cinderella re-telling by the fabulous Julie Murphy featuring a plus size main character who is going on a show similar to The Bachelor. It was fun, made me smile so big and feel giddy while reading. Cindy is one of the best heroines and Henry was wonderful as well. I loved the romance, watching Cindy go after her dreams, and the family/friendship element. Plus all the fashion stuff was really fun! Last year I read ‘One to Watch’ which has a similar premise, but that one fell flat for me. This was everything I wanted it to be and more! A new adult romance (that I would consider YA friendly, I will be buying this for my 15 year old niece) that I enjoyed so much! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again and again- thank you Julie for writing relatable plus size characters! I wish we had this kind of representation when I was young.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kerrin P

    ***NOW AVAILABLE*** If The Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy is a modern and creative re-telling of Disney’s Cinderella. Ms. Murphy’s new cast has been re-imagined with many nods to the classic. Classic: Cinderella, an orphan who is living with her wicked stepmother and step-sisters. New: Cindy Woods, an orphan, returning to her step-mother’s house in Los Angeles after graduating from Parsons School of Design, emphasizing in footwear design. Cindy had a rough last year of school due to depression. Withou ***NOW AVAILABLE*** If The Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy is a modern and creative re-telling of Disney’s Cinderella. Ms. Murphy’s new cast has been re-imagined with many nods to the classic. Classic: Cinderella, an orphan who is living with her wicked stepmother and step-sisters. New: Cindy Woods, an orphan, returning to her step-mother’s house in Los Angeles after graduating from Parsons School of Design, emphasizing in footwear design. Cindy had a rough last year of school due to depression. Without a job prospect, she has agreed to be the nanny to her triplet half-siblings. She is a plus-size woman trying to figure out her next steps. Classic: Lady Tremaine, the wicked stepmother. New: Erica Tremaine, Cindy’s step-mother and the producer of the incredibly popular dating reality show Before Midnight (think The Bachelor). Erica is not wicked and tries to support Cindy the best that she can. Classic: Anastasia and Drizella, the ugly step-sisters. New: Anna and Drew Tremaine, Cindy’s two older and very attractive step-sisters who are social media influencers. They have always been kind to Cindy, even though she only lived with them for three years in high school. In a last-minute need to fill vacant spots, the two sisters agree to be contestants on Before Midnight. Classic: The Fairy Godmother, who gets Cinderella to the ball. New: I can think of several characters that acted as Fairy Godmothers to Cindy. My favorite is Beck, the assistant producer of Before Midnight. She convinces Cindy that being a contestant on Before Midnight is a way to promote her talents as a shoe designer. Classic: Prince Charming, who really isn't interested in looking for a wife. New: Henry MacKenzie, the charming “Suitor” on this season of Before Midnight. He works for his mother’s company in New York. Classic: The Mice: Gus (Octavius), Jaq (Jaques), Mary, and Perla. New: The triplet half-siblings of Erica Tremaine and Cindy’s father, Simon Woods, are Gus, Jack, and Mary. Petra was the surrogate who carried the triplets. Classic: The King, Prince Charming’s father, who wants his son to get married. New: Lucy Mackenzie, Henry’s mother, and a famous fashion designer. Unfortunately, her company LuMac is close to going under. She thinks that it will be a great boom to her business to have Henry on Before Midnight. Classic: Lucifer, the cat who is a bully. New: Addison, the mean girl contestant on Before Midnight. Classic: The Ball, where Cinderella must leave before midnight. New: The Ball" is a popular event where the girls meet the suitor on Before Midnight. Classic: The Glass Slippers, one of which Cinderella loses. New: The Jimmy Choo stilettos encrusted with Swarovski crystals clustered together at the toe that Cindy gets to wear during her one-on-date with Henry on the show. I am not a big fan of romance novels, but I am trying more of them. I am also not a fan of the television show The Bachelor. Imagine my surprise when I really enjoyed this story. I was entertained by the witty dialogue and interesting characters. I even found myself rooting for Cindy to be chosen by Henry. As a plus-sized person myself, I love the way Julie Murphy advocates for fashionable clothing to be made for larger women. 4-plus stars. If The Shoe Fits is the first of a series called “Meant To Be”. Each classic retelling will be written by a different author. This fun novel will be published on August 3, 2021. Thank you to NetGalley and Disney Hyperion Avenue for my advanced reader copy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sofia

    IF THE SHOE FITS, WALK IN IT TILL YOUR HIGH HEELS BREAK AND I FELL FROM THE PEDESTAL RIGHT DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE LONG STORY SHORT IT W

  7. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    TW: death of parents off page This is a loosely inspired by Cinderella contemporary romance with a Bachelor esque show. I was a bit skeptical of the retelling aspect since I hate mean girl plots but was pleasantly surprised that the step family was not evil. But as clever as this was, I did not like the romance part. Maybe because my bias against dudes on the bachelor came through.. I just hate how unfair it is to the girls on the show. But I did love that this featured a plus sized lead and tha TW: death of parents off page This is a loosely inspired by Cinderella contemporary romance with a Bachelor esque show. I was a bit skeptical of the retelling aspect since I hate mean girl plots but was pleasantly surprised that the step family was not evil. But as clever as this was, I did not like the romance part. Maybe because my bias against dudes on the bachelor came through.. I just hate how unfair it is to the girls on the show. But I did love that this featured a plus sized lead and that the story didn’t revolve around her body so I will likely continue this companion series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    Julie Murphy's new rom-com asks the question, Can a real happy ending be found on reality television? So here’s a question: is a “Cinderella story” the same as a retelling of Cinderella? Because while I’ve heard If the Shoe Fits called a retelling, it’s perhaps one in the loosest sense, but that doesn’t detract from its charm. Cindy is an aspiring shoe designer with a passion for fashion, but as a plus-sized woman, she’s often frustrated by the lack of options she has. With no real career pros Julie Murphy's new rom-com asks the question, Can a real happy ending be found on reality television? So here’s a question: is a “Cinderella story” the same as a retelling of Cinderella? Because while I’ve heard If the Shoe Fits called a retelling, it’s perhaps one in the loosest sense, but that doesn’t detract from its charm. Cindy is an aspiring shoe designer with a passion for fashion, but as a plus-sized woman, she’s often frustrated by the lack of options she has. With no real career prospects on the horizon, she moves home to live with her stepmother, a famous reality show producer, to help care for her three young half-siblings. When a contestant is needed on her stepmother’s most famous dating show, Cindy decides to take the chance and fill in. She can show off her fashion sense and maybe jumpstart her career. What she doesn’t expect is that she’ll capture the hearts of the viewing public because of her size and her clothes. To her surprise, she finds herself actually falling for the show’s eligible bachelor, and she deals with jealous and competitive contestants and the manipulation that comes from “reality” television. But in the end, will the show allow someone like her to get her happy ending, or does she need to go after it herself? If the Shoe Fits was a sweet story, a kinder, gentler version of the spectacular One to Watch , which was one of my favorites last year. Murphy’s writing is always so positive and charming, but not really focusing on much of the negatives that a plus-size contestant would actually face on a show like this made the book seem more like a fairy tale. Not that there's anything wrong with that... Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Reads Ravenously

    If the Shoe Fits is a modern day Cinderella retelling with a plus-sized heroine Cindy, who just graduated from fashion school and needs help figuring out what next. When a vacancy opens on her stepmother’s reality dating show, Before Midnight, happens at the last second, Cindy jumps at the chance for some exposure in the hopes of working in the fashion industry. But she gets more than what she bargained for when she actually begins to fall for the show’s suitor, Henry. I ended up loving this boo If the Shoe Fits is a modern day Cinderella retelling with a plus-sized heroine Cindy, who just graduated from fashion school and needs help figuring out what next. When a vacancy opens on her stepmother’s reality dating show, Before Midnight, happens at the last second, Cindy jumps at the chance for some exposure in the hopes of working in the fashion industry. But she gets more than what she bargained for when she actually begins to fall for the show’s suitor, Henry. I ended up loving this book so much and I honestly didn’t expect to. I can’t help but compare it to the book One to Watch which was so disappointing, and I feel like this book gave me everything I ever wanted from that one that I didn’t get. I loved Cindy as a plus sized heroine, I loved the family dynamics between her and her stepmother/siblings and how they were a loving, supportive family instead of the typical evil family. I’m not a huge fan of shows like The Bachelor, but for this book the fake show Before Midnight worked really well. Loved all of it. I wish Julie Murphy would write more adult romance!

  10. 5 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    a new series of adult romance fairytale retellings with plus-size leads! 🙏 Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram a new series of adult romance fairytale retellings with plus-size leads! 🙏 Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    I should have known better, but when I saw “Julie Murphy” I just couldn’t stop myself from clicking the request button. The funny thing is I was denied Pumpkin and that will probably end up being a huge winner for me. But whatever. The NetGalley gods – they are a fickle. So the problem here is I really don’t like Disney princess stuff and I would also rather stick my head in the oven rather than endure even one episode of The Bachelor. Why did I think I would like this again? Oh yeah, because I should have known better, but when I saw “Julie Murphy” I just couldn’t stop myself from clicking the request button. The funny thing is I was denied Pumpkin and that will probably end up being a huge winner for me. But whatever. The NetGalley gods – they are a fickle. So the problem here is I really don’t like Disney princess stuff and I would also rather stick my head in the oven rather than endure even one episode of The Bachelor. Why did I think I would like this again? Oh yeah, because Julie Murphy is a QUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN. But I think she’s a queen of YA and this foray into contemporary/adult romance was a bit of a miss. It also didn’t help matters that One To Watch just came out about 12 seconds ago so there’s an obvious apples to apples comparison right at the forefront of my brain. I already have my name on the waiting list for Pumpkin so we’ll simply call this a glitch in the Matrix. ARC provided by NetGally in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    Actual Rating: 4.5 stars Cinderella meets The Bachelor in this fun modern take on a classic! If you (like me) were disappointed by One to Watch, I urge you to check out If the Shoe Fits! This gave me everything I was hoping for there and didn't get. Great fat rep and body positivity, reality TV drama, and a romance I could really root for. This was so much fun and a fantastic first outing for Disney dipping their toes in publishing romance for adults. (though if you're looking for something steamy Actual Rating: 4.5 stars Cinderella meets The Bachelor in this fun modern take on a classic! If you (like me) were disappointed by One to Watch, I urge you to check out If the Shoe Fits! This gave me everything I was hoping for there and didn't get. Great fat rep and body positivity, reality TV drama, and a romance I could really root for. This was so much fun and a fantastic first outing for Disney dipping their toes in publishing romance for adults. (though if you're looking for something steamy, you aren't going to find much of that here) There are definitely nods to the source material which was very fun. Our heroine Cindy went to design school and has a passion for shoes. The hero is the heir to the throne of his mother's fashion empire, but the couple get to know each other on a reality tv show much like The Bachelor. It's fun, modern, and feminist and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also appreciated that we've moved past the "evil" stepmom & stepsisters, instead just making it a complicated yet affectionate relationship. Which feels appropriate for something today. I really appreciated how this dealt with Cindy as a fat character too. She's mostly pretty confident and doesn't doubt that the hero could be into her, but we see her deal with microagressions and other very realistic challenges, like finding clothes in the right size on a show mostly populated with thin people. This book gave me exactly what I was hoping for (and didn't get) in One to Watch. I loved the main character, enjoyed the TV show setup, and liked the romance. Although because this is only from Cindy's perspective I don't feel like I got quite enough to know how Henry was feeling throughout. But a really great book regardless and one I certainly recommend! I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carly

    Is Julie Murphy going to give us a companion series of contemporary inspired fairy tales with plus size leads? ...Because this is literally everything I've ever dreamed of!!! Is Julie Murphy going to give us a companion series of contemporary inspired fairy tales with plus size leads? ...Because this is literally everything I've ever dreamed of!!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rosabel

    In spite of all the mixed reviews, I decided to read this for the size representation. I. REGRET. NOTHING! ❤ This was lovely!! 🤗🥰 I'm not big sized, but a very important person to me is and I know the struggles, the comments and the hurt, I've always tried to help but society doesn't so fuck yeah this book rocks!!! And tells it how it is!!!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻 I mean... Cindy loves shoes because they are inclusive, they fit everyone no matter the size of clothes they wear, gender or whatever else. Isn't that lov In spite of all the mixed reviews, I decided to read this for the size representation. I. REGRET. NOTHING! ❤ This was lovely!! 🤗🥰 I'm not big sized, but a very important person to me is and I know the struggles, the comments and the hurt, I've always tried to help but society doesn't so fuck yeah this book rocks!!! And tells it how it is!!!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻 I mean... Cindy loves shoes because they are inclusive, they fit everyone no matter the size of clothes they wear, gender or whatever else. Isn't that lovely? And she goes on the "bachelor" (but in here it had another name), just to get people to know her work. She doesn't expect to fall in love, wich she doesn't expect to be accepted for who she is or how she looks, she just wants people to see her shoes. But she got more than that, people loved her, accepted her and she won the guy WITHOUT leaving behind her own dreams that have nothing to do with dick. This was equality at it's finest, it was inclusive, entertaining, funny, raw, feminist, IT WAS AWESOME!!! And the heroine was independent, funny, smart, witty, proud and kind. Perfect!!! This is not just a romance, it's more complicated than that so beware. 😉❤

  15. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    This sweet and sassy peek behind the curtains of a show like "The Bachelor" was just the right fit. Cindy is a plus-size girl and it is about time that America gets behind a contestant who is not in the 0-4 size range. She loves shoes! Henry is the heir to a high-profile designer label and the two were MFEO. I loved their discussion about the intersection of utility and fashion and the fact that we all wear clothes making us all a part of the conversation. Not just the runway models and designer This sweet and sassy peek behind the curtains of a show like "The Bachelor" was just the right fit. Cindy is a plus-size girl and it is about time that America gets behind a contestant who is not in the 0-4 size range. She loves shoes! Henry is the heir to a high-profile designer label and the two were MFEO. I loved their discussion about the intersection of utility and fashion and the fact that we all wear clothes making us all a part of the conversation. Not just the runway models and designers behind them. Looking forward to seeing which fairy tale Julie Murphy decides to feature in "Meant to Be, #2). Thank you to Hyperion and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Love those shoes! First up I loathe and detest reality shows. Often so dehumanising. I’ve been reading articles lately about contestants who suffer greatly after being on such shows. The suicide rate and severe depression is real. To me such shows are the equivalent of the trials by combat of Ancient Rome, only now the colosseum is our TV screen and the modern Roman citizen watches from the couch tweeting responses of thumbs up or down. So I wasn't really that aware of what I was letting myself i Love those shoes! First up I loathe and detest reality shows. Often so dehumanising. I’ve been reading articles lately about contestants who suffer greatly after being on such shows. The suicide rate and severe depression is real. To me such shows are the equivalent of the trials by combat of Ancient Rome, only now the colosseum is our TV screen and the modern Roman citizen watches from the couch tweeting responses of thumbs up or down. So I wasn't really that aware of what I was letting myself in for with this read. However I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by Cindy, a plump talented shoe designer who’s miles away from the stereotypical contestant. (I was pretty excited about the shoes. I absolutely adored what she did when there were no clothes her size!) The fractured fairytale Cinderella trope works well. Lots of + + + pluses, including her family, some of the contestants and program’s staff, and Henry’s not bad either. I loved the way Cindy turned the tables. Brilliant! Despite my doubt about things, in the end this was a pleasant read. A Disney ARC via NetGalley

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kate (The Quirky Kate)

    5/5 Stars! Loves I relate so much to Cindy's character. Being fat is definitely a part of who she is, but it isn't what defines her. One moment, she's freaking out about whether or not she'd have to awkwardly ask a flight attendant for a seatbelt extender on a plane, and the next moment, she's flirting up a storm with a random cute guy she met on said plane. I think this is a perfect example of how it feels to be inside the brain of a fat girl. She knows she's got the whole package, but at the end 5/5 Stars! Loves I relate so much to Cindy's character. Being fat is definitely a part of who she is, but it isn't what defines her. One moment, she's freaking out about whether or not she'd have to awkwardly ask a flight attendant for a seatbelt extender on a plane, and the next moment, she's flirting up a storm with a random cute guy she met on said plane. I think this is a perfect example of how it feels to be inside the brain of a fat girl. She knows she's got the whole package, but at the end of the day, she's a young woman with insecurities just like everyone else, and she owns them. Julie always tackles the tough truths about what it means to be a plus-sized woman in a world made for straight-sized people, and If The Shoe Fits hits the mark perfectly. There's a part in the book where Cindy is shopping at a trendy boutique that flaunts they "now carry extended sizes" only to learn that their "extended sizes" are only available online. This is a legitimate thing that I have dealt with! With this being a retelling of Cinderella, I expected to see some parallels and references in the book. I think my favourite was how Julie changed the family dynamic. Cindy doesn't have an evil stepmother and evil stepsisters. She actually has a really great relationship with all of them. I found this incredibly refreshing, and it completely added to Cindy being a well-rounded character. And that Gug-Gus reference! I see you, Julie. I see you! Let Downs If I'm being honest, the only letdown I have of this book is that it's just one book. The Meant To Be series that Disney Publishing is releasing will obviously have other retellings of famous Disney stories, but I would have LOVED to read more Cindy. I loved her dynamic so much! The Gist Read this book. Whether you're a Disney fan, a romcom fan, or a fellow fat girl who needs to see more representation, this book is the perfect "fit". Read the full review on my blog!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brooke — brooklynnnnereads

    I love Cinderella retellings in general but to read one that also has a reality show similar to "The Bachelor" mixed in, made this book truly entertaining. When it comes to Julie Murphy, I have loved her writing in all of the books that I've read written by her and this book didn't disappoint. This story had the perfect balance of humour and entertainment while also being charming and emotional. This book was positive for representation in many ways whether it be for the LGBTQIA+ community or fo I love Cinderella retellings in general but to read one that also has a reality show similar to "The Bachelor" mixed in, made this book truly entertaining. When it comes to Julie Murphy, I have loved her writing in all of the books that I've read written by her and this book didn't disappoint. This story had the perfect balance of humour and entertainment while also being charming and emotional. This book was positive for representation in many ways whether it be for the LGBTQIA+ community or for self-love and body positivity. A unique element that I really loved about this novel was how the author altered the original Cinderella story in regards to the stepmother and stepsisters. Most retellings stick to these characters being portrayed as "evil" but this retelling didn't and I really appreciated that change. As for the reality show component, while reading I couldn't help but wonder if this portrayal is similar to how reality shows actually are behind-the-scenes. I know these shows are often scripted but I don't think I realized how far from reality these shows actually are. I found this story quite inspiring and motivational. I think that was one of the most important messages to takeaway from this novel: believe in yourself and believe in your dreams.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    Having more plus-size women in fiction is an aspect that should have happened ages ago. The writing industry still lacks body shape diversity and seeing a plus-size protagonist was refreshing. This is why it shame's me that I couldn't get into this story. I found that the plot was too fast-paced, which neglected time for the romance in the story to blossom. There wasn't much drama and since I couldn't connect with both of the main characters, it was hard to be emotionally attached to this tale. Having more plus-size women in fiction is an aspect that should have happened ages ago. The writing industry still lacks body shape diversity and seeing a plus-size protagonist was refreshing. This is why it shame's me that I couldn't get into this story. I found that the plot was too fast-paced, which neglected time for the romance in the story to blossom. There wasn't much drama and since I couldn't connect with both of the main characters, it was hard to be emotionally attached to this tale. I did really appreciate the flaws in the fashion industry that are presented, especially the lack of diversity in clothing sizes. Overall, this story was one that I couldn't connect to but could appreciate the diversity presented and the critics on the fashion industry. Thank you, NetGalley, Disney-Hyperion and Julie Murphy for the arc.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sakshi Dabhade

    I picked up If the Shoe Fits because it instantly reminded me of Taylor Swift's song - 'Long Story Short'. Bear with me for a moment while I recall the lyrics- "If the shoe fits, walk in it 'til your high heels break!" 🎼 Cindy, who recently graduated from design school, returns home to her stepmother Erica who is a executive producer of Before Midnight show (which is similar to The Bachelor). When some spots are open in show as few contestants drops out- her stepsisters Anna and Drew step in to fi I picked up If the Shoe Fits because it instantly reminded me of Taylor Swift's song - 'Long Story Short'. Bear with me for a moment while I recall the lyrics- "If the shoe fits, walk in it 'til your high heels break!" 🎼 Cindy, who recently graduated from design school, returns home to her stepmother Erica who is a executive producer of Before Midnight show (which is similar to The Bachelor). When some spots are open in show as few contestants drops out- her stepsisters Anna and Drew step in to fill those places. But when Cindy is asked by Beck (I made her the fairy godmother!) to join to show too-not for love-but just to jumpstart her career - what has she got to lose!? What she doesn't predict is public to fall for Cindy for her being a plus size woman on a dating reality show as well as her clothes and of course, shoes. (um, also, for her to fall too...!) Now. I really loved the concept of a plus size character making into a reality show. I would like to quote few lines from the book - 'So I like to think that bit by bit, I’m showing people there’s a whole world out there bigger than themselves. I mean, take last season, for example. That was our first interracial couple. Maybe that’s not a big deal for a lot of people, but in parts of this country they still look at you like you’re an abomination for something like that.” “Wow,” I say. “I hadn’t thought of it like that.” “Sometimes you gotta sneak people their vegetables. Give ’em the good stuff with a little bit of what they need but aren’t ready to digest.' I liked how the idea of reality shows were highlighted. It is a sad reality that they tend to be manipulative, made up and fake, but after reading the above lines... they also have the power to bring the right changes in the society. There were few things I liked in the book. Considering this was a loose interpretation of Cinderella, the stepmother and stepsisters were not evil! Phew, that was a lovely change. I also loved all the shoes in it. I had tears in my eyes when Cindy talked about her father to Henry and while (view spoiler)[she was reading the letter from her mother (hide spoiler)] . The author highlighted the fact of lack of diversity in clothing sizes for fancy brands. What I didn't like was the chemistry between Henry and Cindy. Initially meeting and getting to know him a little in the first chapter, Henry's character did not really progressed until the second half of the book. I got to actually know him better when they both went on a date. Considering this a romance novel, there should be more of him. As a reason I felt the essence of the story was missing. Secondly, I felt the dark aspects of Cindy being on show was consciously neglected. The negative side of popularity should also have been addressed. It seemed the author discussed some really good ideas that would add to the value to the book, but left all the hard stuff. Importantly, I was left feeling ambivalent about the ending. It is HEA, but the last chapters just felt... flat. I would love to admit- writing and the dialogues were good. Despite all my fixed feelings about this book - I enjoyed reading it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay (pawsomereads)

    This book promised dramatic reality tv merged with a modern day plus-size Cinderella retelling and it did not disappoint! I love fairytale retellings and all things reality television so this was right up my alley. If the Shoe Fits follows Cindy, a recent graduate from Parsons School of Design in New York City who aspires to be a shoe designer. After a tough senior year, she doesn’t have any job prospects in NYC and decides to move home and take care of her three young siblings for the summer. H This book promised dramatic reality tv merged with a modern day plus-size Cinderella retelling and it did not disappoint! I love fairytale retellings and all things reality television so this was right up my alley. If the Shoe Fits follows Cindy, a recent graduate from Parsons School of Design in New York City who aspires to be a shoe designer. After a tough senior year, she doesn’t have any job prospects in NYC and decides to move home and take care of her three young siblings for the summer. Her stepmother, Erica, is a producer of a Bachelor-esque dating show called Before Midnight. When three contestants drop out of Before Midnight only days before filming starts, Cindy and her two 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 she needs, but what she gets instead might surprise her. This was all around such a good book and I think it fully delivered what Julie Murphy set out to achieve. The writing was really inviting and pulled me right into the story from the very beginning. It was a super fast and fun read about a plus-size woman just living her life. It provided great fat rep without making it the sole focus of the book. It was lighthearted while still covering the important topic of body diversity being displayed on TV. Cindy was an extremely likable character and I was rooting for her the whole time! I liked that the romantic interest wasn’t just a typical one-dimensional Prince Charming type and he actually had his own depth to him. I’m so excited that this is the start of a new fairytale-inspired romance series. I had such a great time reading this and I can’t wait to see what retelling comes next! If you enjoyed One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London then I definitely recommend this one to you as well!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    ↠ 4 stars Modern romance gets a fairytale twist in Julie Murphy's latest novel about a college graduate turned reality TV show contestant. All Cindy wants is to propel herself into the world of high fashion, but with few connections in the industry, she has little to no options on how to go about doing so. Working for her stepmother, the executive producer for one of America's most renowned reality dating shows Before Midnight does have its perks though, ones that Cindy can leverage. When a spot ↠ 4 stars Modern romance gets a fairytale twist in Julie Murphy's latest novel about a college graduate turned reality TV show contestant. All Cindy wants is to propel herself into the world of high fashion, but with few connections in the industry, she has little to no options on how to go about doing so. Working for her stepmother, the executive producer for one of America's most renowned reality dating shows Before Midnight does have its perks though, ones that Cindy can leverage. When a spot opens up for a contestant on the latest season, Cindy volunteers, thinking that it will at least keep her busy for the time being and perhaps help her career finally take off. The last thing she expects is to become a body positivity icon as the only plus size person on the show, nor find love itself. The funny thing about reality TV is that a lot can happen in one season, and you'll for sure want to tune into this one. If the Shoe Fits is simply put, one of those romances that accomplished everything it set out to initially. This being my first book by Julie Murphy I can honestly say that I wish I had read more by her sooner because it was all in all a freaking delight. Cinderella retellings may have been reinvented more times than the wheel, but Murphy provides a fresh and modern perspective to a story that was in desperate need of it. Rather than play off the rehashed stepmother trope, If the Shoe Fits ditches that narrative for a different familial relationship between Cindy and her step-family. Not going to lie, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop in regards to this (pun intended), but am so happy that Murphy decided to take this route with the characters. All of the relationships within the family were so real and complicated, which I loved watching play out throughout the story. My favorite part of the novel was definitely the dating show portion, it made for such a page-turner and a deeper look into the characters. There was drama, emotion, and high stakes on both sides of the camera that had me sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for more. The reason why this romance didn't hit the mark for me exactly was the pacing and general length of the novel. While I think that every aspect aforementioned in the synopsis was executed strongly, the overall speed of the story hindered it from being stronger. I was enjoying this so much that what I really wanted was for it to slow down a bit. This tends to happen a lot with romances when they try to wrap everything up so quickly, and it was certainly the case here. Regardless of that, this really was a charming fairy-tale romance. With a plus sized lead and wholesome relationships, this is a reality TV show worth giving your time to. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review. Trigger Warnings: Fatphobia

  23. 4 out of 5

    julia cudney

    i’ll talk about why i didn’t love this as much as i expected to in an upcoming video about cinderella retellings, but the most pressing issue is that the leads never profess their love?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I love quick & fun reads which this book definitely is as it is under 300 pages which I really enjoyed. This is a Cinderella retelling meets the bachelor with a swoon worthy romance that hand me hooked. I definitely enjoyed reading about a plus sized main character as books are truly lacking that representation. My favourite part of the story was that the step mother & sisters weren’t mean to Cindy but in fact loved her. I definitely recommend this book

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    This was awesome retelling of Cinderella with a modern twist. A one-sit reading binge. Henry and Cindy are both two wonderfully crafted and incredibly relatable protagonists, them as couple was so fun together, their banter was fun and never forced. Cindy's relationship with her step family great, they all cared about each other and I would love to see the other sisters as the next heroine in this series. The writing style is very delightful, and fun and it will arrive without doubts to your heart This was awesome retelling of Cinderella with a modern twist. A one-sit reading binge. Henry and Cindy are both two wonderfully crafted and incredibly relatable protagonists, them as couple was so fun together, their banter was fun and never forced. Cindy's relationship with her step family great, they all cared about each other and I would love to see the other sisters as the next heroine in this series. The writing style is very delightful, and fun and it will arrive without doubts to your heart, besides it's a light and fast reading ! Special thanks to NetGalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dallas Strawn

    All the stars for this fun, breezy, light, fast paced rom-com that I DEVOURED from the incredible Julie Murphy. In her adult debut, YA queen Murphy gives us a modern take on Cinderella meets The Bachelor, except Cindi is plus size. It’s really fun and fans of Kate London’s book ONE TO WATCH from last year, should really like this one. It was adorable from start to finish and I think it’s a perfect summer read. Marketed as an adult book, but I think the themes are easy enough, and it isn’t racy a All the stars for this fun, breezy, light, fast paced rom-com that I DEVOURED from the incredible Julie Murphy. In her adult debut, YA queen Murphy gives us a modern take on Cinderella meets The Bachelor, except Cindi is plus size. It’s really fun and fans of Kate London’s book ONE TO WATCH from last year, should really like this one. It was adorable from start to finish and I think it’s a perfect summer read. Marketed as an adult book, but I think the themes are easy enough, and it isn’t racy at all, I think ages 15+ will love it, and it will cross over well with Murphy’s audience of her Dumplin’ series. Comes out August 3rd! Highly recommended!

  27. 5 out of 5

    RateTheRomance

    I am always looking for Plus Size female leads in romance. I find Plus Size women written with only two options: Sassy, opinionated, and 1000% confident or a mousy pushover who hides in baggy clothes and loathes her body until a man (the hero) tells her she is beautiful. Then...suddenly...FIXED body issues! IF THE SHOE FITS has a female lead who is nicely in the middle of the usual Plus Size brush strokes. Cindy is fairly confident and mostly at peace with her body. But she also sometimes falters I am always looking for Plus Size female leads in romance. I find Plus Size women written with only two options: Sassy, opinionated, and 1000% confident or a mousy pushover who hides in baggy clothes and loathes her body until a man (the hero) tells her she is beautiful. Then...suddenly...FIXED body issues! IF THE SHOE FITS has a female lead who is nicely in the middle of the usual Plus Size brush strokes. Cindy is fairly confident and mostly at peace with her body. But she also sometimes falters in that confidence and she never, never, stands up for herself when fat shamed except in her head. This book is a modern retelling of Cinderella that bares almost no resemblance to Cinderella. Yes, Cindy's parents are dead, but she has good relationships with her Step Mother and Step Sisters. It is set in the world of a Reality TV competition for love (a la The Bachelor) and the hardship portion of the story (that is supposed to be her being a maid and not allowed to be in her family's same socio-economic class in the fairy tale) seems to be that she is...*checks notes*...plus size in a world of skinny women? I just....what? Nope. That's not for me. The main issue I have with this book is that our lead female is supposed to be a beacon for plus sized women as they watch her on Reality TV, but Cindy never once verbally defends herself or her size to anyone in this book despite her being bullied about it often. She THINKS it and then smiles and moves on. WTF? We are also led to believe that she is championing the chubby cause merely by existing in this reality TV space, but we get no description of her ever being on camera after that first elimination ceremony. But we are told that she has become a mini celeb in the real world while sequestered in the Mansion. I don't get it. It makes no sense. This book is better than ONE TO WATCH, but it's still not great. The reigning queen of Plus Size remains author Olivia Dade. She remains the only author of plus size heroines who manages to get it right every time. If you are looking for a strong, but flawed, plus sized heroine, skip this book and read Spoiler Alert instead. RATING:⭐️⭐️⭐️ STEAM LEVEL: Rated PG TRIGGERS:death of parent, cancer, fatal car accident, fat shaming (unchallenged), emotionally distant parents FEELS-O-METER: 2/5 - a bit of drama, but still pretty light. I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 👇🏻HANG OUT WITH ME HERE!👇🏻 INSTAGRAM | YEAR OF SMUT CHALLENGE

  28. 4 out of 5

    BookNightOwl

    When you read a book that give you The Bachelor Vibes!!! When I started If the Shoe Fits By Julie Murphy I couldn't put it down. I loved the plus size representation. I loved how confident Cindy the main character was. I loved how a book could be so emotional. Trigger warning ⚠️ death of parents... but at the same time make you so happy. Finding your true Love 💘. When Cindy graduates College when a degree in shoe design she decides to head. The boy she meets on the plane is the last person she t When you read a book that give you The Bachelor Vibes!!! When I started If the Shoe Fits By Julie Murphy I couldn't put it down. I loved the plus size representation. I loved how confident Cindy the main character was. I loved how a book could be so emotional. Trigger warning ⚠️ death of parents... but at the same time make you so happy. Finding your true Love 💘. When Cindy graduates College when a degree in shoe design she decides to head. The boy she meets on the plane is the last person she thought would end up being the suitor in the Before Midnight Show that at the last minute Cindy decides to participate. A+ Thank you Netgalley and Disney-Hyperion for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rhianna

    Guess who got an ARC copy? I DID AND I AM SO EXCITED

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Who doesn't love a good retelling? I certainly do, especially Cinderella based as it is my favorite fairytale (despite how bad it truly is. Guilty of having guilty pleasures!). THIS was not a good retelling though *shrug* Be prepared for a few light spoilers concerning the growth (or lack thereof) of the story. It all started beautifully. Of course, with a setting like "The Bachelor", I did not expect a lot of quality development, but it shined when it came to Cindy's home life. She had a very Who doesn't love a good retelling? I certainly do, especially Cinderella based as it is my favorite fairytale (despite how bad it truly is. Guilty of having guilty pleasures!). THIS was not a good retelling though *shrug* Be prepared for a few light spoilers concerning the growth (or lack thereof) of the story. It all started beautifully. Of course, with a setting like "The Bachelor", I did not expect a lot of quality development, but it shined when it came to Cindy's home life. She had a very interesting stepmother who was actually a NICE person who cared about her and did not limit her in her options, but was there to support it. Same with her stepsisters. They were supporting her in e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g and it was wonderful. There were some scenes in the past where the sisters weren't too nice in high school, but it really showed how close they are now and despite Cindy's awkwardness sometimes, that she truly loved them. It was a heavenly change to the very beaten stereotype of evil step family. But that's where all the good things end. It is with my biggest disappointment to say that Cindy's main (and arguably only) trait was that she was plus size. Where is the self growth? Nowhere it seems. At first I was intrigued, but it showed me some point of views I had never really considered too much (such as backhanded compliments/insults just for existing) and I appreciated that, but soon it just devolved to Cindy always getting into situations that had to do with her size. Production failing MULTIPLE times to have prepared any kind of clothes for her, leaving it to Cindy to educate AND convince industry people in less than 10 seconds why inclusivity is the best business plan (which it is, don't get me wrong, it was just the way that ONLY Cindy knows and everyone else is a brainless stick of wood). The only pat on the back I'll give her is that she never truly compared herself to her skinnier rivals and thought lowly of herself. Then of course comes the meaning to her existence in this book which is Henry, our universally agreed ot guy. Talk about a most underdeveloped romance to the point of making Cindy simply an imbecile. There is immediate attraction between them despite not really knowing each other. And that's ok. Chemistry is a thing. What is not ok is Cindy for the entirety of the book going back and forth between her feelings towards him, basically making out whenever she can with him and then thinking that she just MIGHT like him, that he does not like her and he has never said anything, DESPITE being the only "couple" that kept stealing time together, sharing items that were forbidden and generally breaking rules in secret. But no, Cindy is not sure about liking him. Which brings us to the big finale. Cindy throughout the book is equating her love with Henry to the prize itself. If he does not pick her, then OBVIOUSLY he is rejecting her in every form and does not love her and then she will have to live a few years avoiding news about his happy marriage with one of the other contestants. Because OBVIOUSLY, if Henry proposed to another girl instead of her (since we know all reality tv decisions are made exclusively by the players and never the ratings/ production), he would HAVE to marry her and live the happily ever after ending without Cindy. I kept waiting for some rational thinking coming back to her head, but she keeps saying it ALL. THE. TIME. Not like she thinks reality tv is real, but somehow this made sense in her head. I will not spoil what her actions were towards the finaly, but suffice to say that my opinion of her being a moron never changed. Somehow the author tried to give legit reasons towards the very end, but you can't just delete everything I read for paaaages and paaaaages, Julie! Now, after Cindy, the 2nd prize of stupidity takes the whole production team. I have never been part of a reality tv show and I will not pretend to know exactly how they work, but more or less, we all related to the book's logic that ratings above everything, right? Yes, because we all realise that this is a financial decision for them, nothing to do with love. So this means they try to make it work as much as possible, right? Well... no. They keep being unprepared for basic things and have no backups for absolutely anything. The point is for them to get all the tears and drama they want, but not with the production being in front of the camera. WELL... They are THAT good, let's say. In general, the entire show was not really depicted well. It seemed like the whole show lasted what, 5/6 episodes? I never really watched "The Batchelor", but with my experience of general reality tv, I know there is more complexity and duration from what the author portrayed. The other characters? If Cindy and Henry are that underdeveloped, you can guess for the rest (step family excluded). I think maybe only Stacy had a real enough character, probably because she was a bystander with barely any lines that was actually very likable. There's a mean girl who is even recognised by the characters as the token mean girl, but she is also treated like that in the book too. She's a prop to the author as well, she is forgotten. Maybe Beck was decent as well I suppose, she probably had the most stress out of everyone and yet, she still tried to be as human as possible and made it work. Ah, there is also the token best friend, who has 0 opinion of her own and only exists to cheer for Cindy. Such great friendship <3 That is all I can say. Mishandled premise, not only boring main characters but very badly written characters, a reality tv show that made little sense as to how it promotes itself. For me, they even butchered a part of the body positivity message. I can't find a reason to give this anything more than 1 star.

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