If the Shoe Fits is the first book in Disney’s new Meant to Be series. Advertised as Disney’s first foray into contemporary romance, this book is a Cinderella retelling set during a dating show. It felt more like New Adult Chick-Lit to me than your typical adult romance, but I actually adored it for that.
Cindy has just come home from a difficult final year at college. She’s in a creative rut, and she doesn’t know what to do. Her step-mother is the creator of the popular reality show Before Midnight, a show similar to The Bachelor featuring plenty of balls. Cindy goes on the show as an opportunity to show off her shoes and what she can do. But what if she meets Prince Charming whilst she’s there?
We all know and the story of Cinderella. We may not all love it. But we definitely know it. This story isn’t just a Cinderella retelling, but it’s specifically a retelling of the Disney film. And that added to some fun. I might not have noticed most of the names until I finished the book. Mostly, as I devoured it late at night when I was supposed to be sleeping as I couldn’t stop. But once I recognised them, I was thrilled.
Some of those names for characters are obvious. We have our Cindy and our Henry. Henry is the canonical name of this Prince Charming if you didn’t know. We also have the Tremaine family and her step-sisters Anna and Drew. But Henry’s mum is called Lucy and her Cindy’s triplet half-siblings? Gus, Jack and Mary. It only hit me when she referred to Gus as Gus-Gus, and suddenly I was having flashbacks to the mice in the Disney film.
I’ll be honest. I’m not actually a fan of the Disney film. Even the music and the live-action remake more recently are kind of meh to me. But I loved this retelling so much. I loved that Cindy was actually close to her family. I love that she made other friends and that she was plus-size. I love that Cindy was smart and determined and that she made the right decision for her life.
This book did feel very chick-lit like to me. Though the romance was obviously there as the main plot point. You also got to see Cindy grow herself and see her friends and family grow too. There was no smut, and it was a very light and funny read. Cindy puts her career first at one point, and it’s the right decision. But it’s not exactly the romantic option. I was still cheering her on.
Some people might make comparisons between this book and One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London. Though I loved that book too last year, the two stories felt so different. And a lot of that will do with the fact that in this novel? Cindy is just one of many women after one guy. Most of Cindy and Henry’s romance doesn’t happen on-screen. They sneak around a lot, and it wouldn’t have seemed obvious that they were going to get together as a viewer. Even though he was on the show, Henry doesn’t really show any romantic interest in the other girls. So though it was a competition, it didn’t really feel like one. Though I still wanted to slap Addison.
I adored this book so much. And I will definitely be getting a copy as soon as I possibly can. This book was wonderful, and I’m so excited to see how the rest of the retellings turn out.
Title: If The Shoe Fits
Author: Julie Murphy
Age Range: Adult
Publisher: Hyperion Avenue
Release Date: 03/08/21