The Secret Lives of Dresses by Erin McKean was one of the cutest books I read in 2012.
Dora is a university student getting ready to graduate and enter graduate school. She works at a coffee shop on campus where she is the right-hand-lady to the manager. The place just wouldn't run the same without her. Unfortunately, as much as Gary appreciates her help around the shop, he doesn't give her the time of day beyond that. Dora is stewing in her secret crush on him.
While helping out at the coffee shop during break, Dora receives a call from home, letting her know that her grandmother, Mimi is in a coma after suffering a stroke.
Dora rushes home to see Mimi. She takes over Mimi's vintage clothing shop in town in order to keep things up and running while Mimi is ill. While selling a dress to a customer, she is introduced to the pile of their "secret lives". Many of the dresses are sold with a romantic or heartbreaking story detailing the life of the dress before it arrived at Mimi's shop.
Dora starts finding herself falling in love with the store, with the clothes, and most of all with the stories. She feels more comfortable and at home than she ever did at school. When her high maintenance aunt and cousin come into town with the idea of taking the shop over for themselves, Dora suddenly finds a purpose in life. She knows that she needs to do something to keep the dresses, and their stories, safe.
The Secret Lives of Dresses was really cute. It was a simple, smooth-flowing read and I really enjoyed it. I loved Dora. I thought she was a very lovable character, even though I really wasn't a fan of her name. The whole thing is very chick lit and can get a little whiny now and then, perhaps even a little overly dramatic, but overall it's just fun. I thought it was a very good book and an endearing story. I would absolutely read this book again.
The drama knocked it down a touch. It got a little teenage drama here and there, a little below Dora's level to my thinking, and so I rated The Secret Lives of Dresses by Erin McKean 4 out of 5 stars.