If the Shoe Fits (Meant to Be, #1) by. Julie Murphy | ARC Review

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Title: If the Shoe Fits (Meant to Be, #1)

Author: Julie Murphy

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 304

Publication Date: 8/3/21

Publisher: Hyperion Avenue

Categories: Romance, Contemporary, Modern Cinderella Twist, Fashion, Reality TV

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

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. 

  • I love this modern twist on the Cinderella story. Instead of a girl who cleans and slaves away for her stepfamily, we have a curvy girl who is trying to jumpstart her fashion career – her particular love being…shoes. Instead of an evil stepmother and stepsisters, we get a supportive family, which was actually really refreshing.
  • The reality show/Bachelor inspired storyline mixed with the fashion industry worked for me and I have never watched The Bachelor! It even had a tiny of Project Runway moment which was fun. Having Cindy and Henry build a relationship on the reality show brought in suspicion, hope, and so much insecurities for Cindy.
  • Cindy is a great character – being plus size doesn’t stop her from living her life, looking good in the clothes and shoes she wears. She’s confident even when she doesn’t feel it and even when she feels insecure, she doesn’t let it hinder her from her goals. I love that she became an inspiration to people in the public through her appearance on the show, even if it was all rigged.
  • Henry and Cindy are a great match. I love how they meet but wow, I’d never be able to like someone and watch them kiss all these other women for a show! So I’m actually glad at Cindy’s decision in the end, I thought it was awesome how she put herself first since there was no guarantees on how’d everything work out after the show. It does work out in the end though.
  • I enjoyed the side characters like Sarah Claire and Stacy, would love books about them too! I loved her stepsisters and the triplets. Even the crew was crazy yet fun like Beck and Irina.
  • Because Henry and Cindy are on this reality show, they don’t get a lot of time together until their one date and I guess I was hoping he’d pick her for more private dates but as we find out, everything is set and rigged for tv ratings.
  • It does feel more like a young adult book than New Adult or Adult.
  • This would make a cute rom-com movie.

I found If the Shoe Fits a fun, quick read. I wasn’t expecting to finish it in one night but it was fast-paced with The Bachelor inspired storyline which meant something was always happening to Cindy or the other girls going after Henry. I loved that it features Cindy, a plus size girl and a Cinderella retelling where her family isn’t vicious but supportive. I found Henry and Cindy’s building romance to be sweet and yet as realistic as it can be in a reality tv setting. I loved them more when there were no cameras around. I think many romance lovers will find this one an enjoyable read.

πŸ‘  ~ Yolanda

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