Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Review: When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

When You Were Mine
By Rebecca Serle 
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Summary: In this intensely romantic, modern recounting of the greatest love story ever told, Romeo’s original intended—Juliet’s cousin Rosaline—tells her side of the tale. What’s in a name, Shakespeare? I’ll tell you: Everything.     Rosaline knows that she and Rob are destined to be together. Rose has been waiting for years for Rob to kiss her—and when he finally does, it’s perfect. But then Juliet moves back to town. Juliet, who used to be Rose’s best friend. Juliet, who now inexplicably hates her. Juliet, who is gorgeous, vindictive, and a little bit crazy...and who has set her sights on Rob. He doesn’t even stand a chance.     

Rose is devastated over losing Rob to Juliet. This is not how the story was supposed to go. And when rumors start swirling about Juliet’s instability, her neediness, and her threats of suicide, Rose starts to fear not only for Rob’s heart, but also for his life. Because Shakespeare may have gotten the story wrong, but we all still know how it ends….

Review: Retellings are my favorite kind of books to read, so when I had the opportunity to read this one, I was crazy excited. Romeo and Juliet is probably the most well-known classic there is, so I was really curious to see how this one was going to turn out. And you know what? It was pretty awesome. 

The prologue starts off with Rose explaining that Shakespeare had it wrong. Romeo was actually taken before Juliet came in and swooped him off his feet. And this was her story. Then, the reader is taken into a modern day teenage story where Rose is falling for her best friend Rob.

I liked Rose from the start and how unsure and vulnerable she was around Rob. They are so cute together in the beginning and she is so relatable to teenage girls. Her best friends are awesome too. Charlie is the typical "leader" of the group, but she's a really good friend and cares for Rose and Olivia. Olivia is the quirky girl and her relationship with Charlie's brother is really cute too. Everything is going fine and dandy; Rose is on her way to being accepted early to Stanford and her relationship with Rob is progressing out of the friend zone. Until Juliet comes back into town.

From Rose's memory, Juliet and her used to be best friends (they're cousins) until something happened with their parents and Juliet became super mean. Juliet's family moved away and now, ten years later, they're back. Rose never learned what happened between their families, but Juliet only wants one thing: revenge. And that revenge just so happens to be stealing Rob.

Every way Juliet is characterized I have to hate her, but I wish we could have seen Juliet through Rob's eyes at some point and understand why the day after he was so enamored with Rose he falls head over heals in love with Juliet. Yeah, I know it's "love at first sight" but that wasn't really explained in this book. That, however, was the only flaw I found in the story.

Rose completely falls apart and has to pick herself back up, but having to deal with being the only one single among her friends ins't helping. Until Len comes in, that is. Len is such a mysterious character until Rose actually spends time with him and both Rose and the reader are surprised by how much they like him. He's funny, cute, and actually has substance to him. I don't want to give away anything else, but I really enjoyed hearing Rose's side and view on the story. Juliet and Rob seem crazy and how everyone else see's their relationship is finally shown. The transformation from Romeo and Juliet into a young adult, high school romance was done really well and it was so much fun reading! Even if you're not a Shakespeare fan, any young adult fan should check this book out! 


  1. Sounds like a cute one. Thanks for a great review!

  2. I can't WAIT to read this one! It seems great! Thanks for the review. :)

  3. i loved it /tnx 4 the review

  4. i love romeo and juliet, so i think i would like this one too.

  5. I have to agree on the why did Rob discard Rose so fast part? Left me wondering. A good book overall. Nice review!

  6. I love retellings too! They are one of my favorite things to read!

    Chelsey@Charming Chelsey's

  7. I'm reading this RIGHT NOW, and it's absolutely breaking my heart. So... just... oh, my heart, ti cracks. It's so well done... GREAT review :)

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