Title: If the Shoe Fits (Meant to Be #1)
Author: Julie Murphy
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: August 3, 2021
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.
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.
What to read next:
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Have you read If the Shoe Fits? What did you think of it?