Book reviews

If The Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A modern retelling of the classic and timeless fairytale, Cinderella, combined with the unexpected thrill of reality television–The Bachelor style. This is Julie Murphy’s If The Shoe Fits.

Fashion graduate with a fierce passion for shoes, Cindy Woods, is our modern Cinderella. Not your usual, boring, and typical heroine, Cindy is a plus-size beauty who is trying to come into terms with the grief accompanied by her father’s death. Before his passing, Cindy’s father married Erica–reality TV genius, producer of Before Midnight, a show where people hope to find their one, true love. Aside from Erica, Cindy gained her now sisters, Anna and Drew, when her father remarried. As well as the triplets–Gus, Mary, and Jack–born of a surrogate done after her father passed. Thankfully, this family is nothing like the original–evil, slave-driving, and repressive, but rather we find genuine care, support, and a bond like no other.

Struggling to ignite her creative spark brought by the sorrow of losing her parents, Cindy stumbles unto a rare but exciting opportunity. That is, to become part of the reality TV show, Before Midnight, which Cindy was immediately a fan of upon seeing it on TV when she was ten years old. Yep, the author does not give breathing space and introduces us to the plot’s core right off Chapter 1.

Well, her intentions for joining the show initially included getting herself out of the funk she’s been in, helping her stepmother with work, and not to mention the guaranteed exposure the show will provide her creations. But we soon learn that the show’s Mr. Bachelor and suitor is none other than Prince Charming himself, Henry Mackenzie. Not only had they met, conversed, and sat next to each other on the flight to LA from New York, but they connected, like puzzle pieces clicking into place. If that is not complicated enough for you, then just imagine the whole reality television shebang, and the twenty-four other women vying for Henry’s attention.

To be honest, I am not a big fan of the reality TV setting. I’m not at all into the wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve-and-put-it-on-display-for-the-whole-world-to-see (and judge, lol) experience. But reading about it was fun, to say the least. There’s a lot of different characters involved, adding layers to the story. If you ask me though what I liked most about this read, I only have one answer: Julie Murphy making Cindy a plus-size heroine. Let’s be real, we don’t see enough of these characters. There is simply not enough women of different shapes and sizes playing lead roles in best-selling novels. I mean, we cannot all be the fair, slender, submissive, and petite Cinderella. That story has long been overused. We need modern heroines based on the characteristics of real, modern, independent women.

I give this book 3 stars. Again I like it, but I’m not sold on the setting. Mr. Prince Charming, Henry, is attractive and enchanting–especially during the meet-cute scene, but having him charm twenty-four other women for the sake of ratings makes me nauseous, haha. I guess I like my man loyal and not at all confusing. Also, the ending is sweet and heartwarming albeit frustrating at first.

I’m really hoping we get to see more characters like Cindy in other novels.

  • Title: If The Shoe Fits
  • Author: Julie Murphy
  • Year published: 2021
  • Publisher: Hyperion Avenue
  • Total number of pages: 304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-368-05337-2

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