ARC Review: If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy


Rating: ☆☆☆
Title: If the Shoe Fits
Author: Julie Murphy
Series: Meant to Be #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Audience: Adult
Format: eARC
Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Avenue
Release Date: August 3, 2021
Source: Netgalley
Recommended for fans of: Disney princesses
Content Warnings: death of parents


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.


If the Shoe Fits reimagines Cinderella as a contemporary romcom about Cindy, a plus-size shoe designer fresh out of design school competing reality dating show called Before Midnight. It is such a sweet story!

This is a very quick read that I finished in half a day. The sincere characters, vibrant descriptions of fashion, and easy-to-read writing kept me turning pages, and I applaud the representation for plus-size and queer characters.

One of my favorite twists on the original fairy tale in this retelling is that Cindy has a positive relationship with her step-family. It’s not all sunshines and rainbows, but they support each other and share the grief of losing Cindy’s father. Also, the fact that the talking mice from the film appear as Cindy’s triplet half-siblings!

I do wish there were more depth to the conflict and romance. It’s hard to avoid superficiality with a Bachelor-inspired story, and some of the plot lines were a bit simplistic.

I haven’t actually read any of Julie Murphy’s young adult novels yet, but I enjoyed her adult debut with this clean, Disney romance.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC.

Author: Caroline | Carolibrary

Hello! I’m Caroline! I am a teacher, a book lover, and a nerd. My passions include reading, writing, bookstagram, barre & yoga, baking, binging TV shows, and Star Wars. I love stories in all formats because they can transport you to a different world while helping you understand the world around you. I have always found books to be a particularly magical source of imagination.

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