In Murphy’s breezy and fun rom-com, there’s enough of Cinderella in the story to be charming, yet overall it sparkles like an exciting new tale. One particularly refreshing update is that the stepfamily is caring and supportive, not evil. Cindy is immensely lovable, and readers will root for all her dreams to come true.
Murphy does a superb job of blending details from Disney’s classic version of Cinderella with a more modern, independent heroine. It’s no surprise that Cindy is a complex, winning character, as Murphy bestows her with much of the same blend of pluck and vulnerability that has made her previous protagonists so beloved. Disney princess fans will love picking up on the subtle ways that Murphy pays homage to the original while also changing things up.
Murphy has a talent for crafting characters, and it deserves applause; she makes the reader care about people from their very first description, and then somehow finds new depths to explore and probe throughout the book ... Murphy discusses what Cindy faces as a larger woman, both in her everyday life and on the show, with blunt and refreshing honesty. The book gets extra oomph from its exploration of Cindy’s grief over her late parents, and her solidifying self-identity. It’s hard not to cheer her on as she fights for herself, both in the dating competition and in her struggle to come to terms with her father’s death. Murphy’s warm and funny Cindy would make Cinderella proud.
Fans of 'The Bachelor' franchise, especially those who cast a more critical eye on the images and storylines crafted onscreen, will really enjoy this fairy-tale romantic comedy ... If the Shoe Fits is a confident, modern and magical romance that starts the Meant to Be series on the right foot.
[An] inventive Cinderella retelling ... Those in it purely for the love story may be frustrated by the distractions, but readers interested in a smart exploration of the intersection of romance and reality TV will be overjoyed.