Do you love a good reinvented fairytale? Do you love reading about unabashedly proud plus-sized girls falling in love with their very own Prince Charmings? If you’re searching for a new feel-good warm-and-gooey YA romance, then If the Shoe Fits is the book for you.
If the Shoe Fits is a Feel-Good Plus-Sized Romance
If the Shoe Fits is about Cindy (get it, like Cinderella) a New York fashion school graduate who has to move back home to LA when her post-graduation options look bleak. On her flight back, in a clandestine meeting, she meets her very own Prince Charming — but she doesn’t get his number.
Fortunately for Cindy, her step-mother is the showrunner for America’s favorite Bachelor-style reality show Before Midnight and she convinces Cindy to sign-up as a contestant on the upcoming season. Where’s the fortunate in that? Well, not only does it give Cindy a national platform to hopefully launch a design career with, that handsome Prince Charming she met at the airport is the suitor!
If you love ooey-gooey Hallmark movies and rom-coms where everything is just a little too good to be true, then you’ll swoon at If the Shoe Fits. As soon as I realized it was Bacherlor-ish, I was instantly nervous about how I’d feel about the book, but… it works so well. I finished it in one sitting in a couple of hours because I just couldn’t put it down.
There is just so much to love about what Julie Murphy has done with this novel. From Cindy’s supportive step-family that subverts all of my Cinderella expectations to the endearing “Prince Charming” who has to hide who he really is more than Cindy has to. To the little subtle clues that this is a Cinderella story (Cindy’s shoe obsession, the reality show title, and so on).
Murphy did exceptionally well at creating a likable cast of characters around Cindy, even when a few of Cindy’s fellow contestants are not so nice about her size. I loved that she paid careful attention to creating diverse characters.
If the Shoe Fits made this Kate Spade-loving, plump girl, extremely happy. So often stories with plus-sized characters spend a lot of time talking down about skinny women or bemoaning their own sizes, but Cindy never does. Cindy is realistic about the fashion industry, about her own body, and she never shames or feels shame for it. Even when other contestants are brats to her. Cindy is her own person and she knows exactly who she is.
My only qualm was the little dig at craft services. I find it hard to believe that craft services wouldn’t remember a producer’s allergies! #JusticeforBeforeMidnightCrafty
If I could wish upon a star, I’d wish for If the Shoe Fits to be an adult book and not a Young Adult book. I really loved the chemistry between Cindy and Henry and I wouldn’t have minded more than just a chaste sleepover if you get what I’m saying. This novel feels like a warm hug. It feels like something I’m hoping will be adapted for the screen like Murphy’s Dumplin’. It’s a feel-good read that, at no point, stresses you out too much. Even the “heartache” portion of Cindy and Henry’s romance makes a point of still being good for both of them.
If all of this sounds like the right fit for you, pre-order If the Shoe Fits ahead of its August release.
Maggie Lovitt is a writer at Wealth of Geeks where she covers her favorite topics: Star Wars and pop culture nerdery.
In her free time, she is also a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and member of the Screen Actors Guild.