Title: Meant to be: If the Shoe Fits
Author: Julie Murphy
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Avenue
Published: August 3, 2021
Format: e-ARC through Netgalley- Thank you, Disney-Hyperion Avenue!
Blurb from Goodreads:
“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.”
This is my first by Julie Murphy but it will not be the last! I really enjoyed this Cinderella retelling. I’m a big fan of retellings but I always go in leary. I’m so glad that I requested this on a whim because it was such a fun time. I would argue that it’s a loose retelling. There are many elements there but a lot of the major things are different.
One of the things I loved about this retelling was the family dynamic. In the classic the stepmother and sisters are awful and treat her terribly. In this retelling that is not the case. I loved the relationship that Cindy has with her sisters. I was pleasantly surprised by the relationship and relieved. I don’t know that I would have been in the mood for a tale about evil sisters. Cindy’s story is tragic and she’s slowly realizing she’s not alone.
Another aspect that I loved was a plus-size main character! Cindy was a delight and she was very funny. I loved her from the minute I met her. Her relationship with Henry was sweet and I loved their back and forth jokes. I do wish that we would have gotten more time with them for their love to take off. It felt a bit insta-love to me but that’s all Disney princesses, right?!
I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel about the dating(bachelor) type show but it was done well. There were some corny and funny aspects, like the scrolls. “Do you accept this scroll?” I was laughing at that one. Overall, I didn’t mind it. I do watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette so it was fun to read about it in a story.
I wished that Cindy would have delved into her emotions and feelings about her parents. It was a huge presence in her life but she didn’t really deal with it. I do not believe for a second that opening a box with mementos would help her face it all. She was running from it and it would have been awesome to see her work on it.
I read this book rather quickly. I just couldn’t put it down and I had to know what was happening next! I think my experience with the Bachelor/Bachelorette made it all very predictable but I did enjoy it. It was a fun time and I will be picking up more from this author!
Thank you so much (Netgally & Disney Hyperion Avenue) for an e-ARC of this!!