When You Were Mine

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When You Were Mine
Author(s)
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Genre(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
May 01, 2012
ISBN
978-1442433137
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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….

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3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.8
Plot 
 
4.7  (3)
Characters 
 
4.7  (3)
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (3)
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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

A Book that will have you doubting the original.

When You Were Mine is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet in the modern times, but with a twist. Rosaline (Rose) is living a great life at her High school with her wonderful boyfriend, Rob, until her ex-best friend Juliet arrives. Immediately Juliet and Rob start hanging out and Juliet once again gets everything she wants.

When You Were Mine was as expected, really good. In fact, it was great. Even though I knew how most of the story would play out (Rob would fall in love with Juliet, and then they would both die) I was still surprised when and where and how all of it happened. The book really took you into the world of the "lovers.'"

The book was so good, that in fact, in the end, I had this moment where I thought that Romeo and Juliet was nonfiction, and that Shakespeare really did get the story wrong. And I kept thinking to myself "What if he was wrong? What if he was completely wrong, and this was how the story was supposed to be?" Which is CRAZY. And I FELT a little crazy for a moment. But, I got so into the book, that I almost wanted that to be how the story went. And I WANTED Juliet to be the bad guy.

All I have to say is thank God I Romeo and Juliet was never my favorite. But, before you go and judge me, I DO like Shakespeare.

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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Smart, funny, real.

REALLY? AGAIN… OR MAYBE NOT.

How many times have we heard this oh-so-tragic tale of starcrossed lovers? Not just in Shakespeare but in EVERYTHING. But, okay, especially Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet never struck as me as romantic, but certainly tragic. And everytime this story gets retold, I’m quick to look for all the spins and twists to make it COOLER THAN SHAKESPEARE’S while still having those delicious nods to the original. NOT THE CASE in When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle. There aren’t really any twists. There aren’t very many surprises; we know darn well what’s going to happen. Despite having that knowledge, however, we can’t stop ourselves from falling in love with the guy who will break her heart and we can’t help but love the girl who falls for the idea of a perfect love story with the best friend she’s known next to always.

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle is such a wrenching, emotional rendition of the classic story we are all bound to know. Our feelings for this story, this girl stutter in their untouchable place, rendering us helpless because we are undoubtedly consumed by intense heartbreak for the love that never made it and the loss of friends, family as a result, the hurtful complications because the past is never easy to tame, to forgive, the stunning confusion and longing, and the painful spring of hope welling for a love that has yet a chance to grow and weld the two. When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle conducts a genuine portrayal of life and all its intricacies, its lessons – both harsh and tentative, and defines the truth of destiny.

WHO ARE ALL THE PEOPLE? WHY DO THEY MATTER?

So, what’s the biggie about Rosaline? She is the perfect girl next door. The girl with the laidback niceness, the innate goodness, that’s often underappreciated and overlooked, who involuntarily fantasizes about the boy next door—the one she’s known forever, NATURALLY—but never dreams that he could feel the same. She keeps her head down, never bracing for the blow but allowing it to land. She’s shy and sweet, in an interesting sort of way that makes it difficult to overlook anything subtle about her. When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle is about Rosaline asking questions about what doesn’t make sense and finally making sense of the unknown for herself, with the help of her trusty friends, family, and not to mention the supersuddenlyhot guy she’s been peeking at from the corner of her eyes.

Olivia and Charlie. Seriously the two best friends a girl could have. They bring you coffee in the morning, give you a lift to school, help you match your outfits, slander the name of whoever makes you miserable, and brings you joy with all your shared inside jokes, laughs, shenanigans. These two tolerate Rosaline’s BS, any moping or lingering sadness… to a point. They let her grieve, they push, they defend. They’re not perfect and they don’t ask nor demand Rosaline to be. They put up with whatever the others in the triangular friendship dish out, and support each other when choices go awry.

Len, however, is the sarcastic, witty loner who gets a kick out of charging her up, picking at the things she says. But he’s never a butthole, he never really brings her down. Instead, he’ll swap his good science grade for her crappy one, he’ll tell her straight-up that her best friend is being the biggest piece of shizz on the freaking planet. He’s honest, sharp, patient, though never a doormat. He’s smart and wise and observant, and he makes us forget all about our alliance with Rob, that hope for things between Rob and Rosaline to work out romantically fading into the wind.

Each character is precise, complex, and fun. They make a statement in everything they do, wear, speak. They grow to be a part of us, even the ones we learn to love hating. And the romance brings on EVEN MORE depth.

YOU BELONGED WITH MEEEE, BUT I CHANGED MY MIND.

This aspect of the story reminds me a little of The Selection by Kiera Cass. Rosaline has these soft, private dreams about a destiny meant for her and Rob, and those are coaxed out of her by her loving bffs, who heat up more crystal and make everything between her and Rob sound sparkly, romantic, and, yes, fated, ‘meant to be.’ So when those dreams are brutally, inconsiderately crushed by someone she hoped to reach out to and inadvertently by the boy she’s loved all her life, we are left as gaping inside as she, torn of dreams and hope, hating the one who becomes the thief.

Len is the better choice, though the more confusing one. Because, suddenly, Len is scarily attractive and more dead-on accurate about what’s going on inside her than Rosaline is willing to admit. He sees her, sees the girl beyond JUST the girl next door, the one everyone thinks they know. He knows who she is, what she wants, likes, and if he doesn’t know, he finds out and gives her all and more. He stubbornly calls her Rosaline because that’s who she really is as opposed to the cute alternatives and he refuses to hear of anyone else. He’s thoughtful, sexy, and mysterious with the added bonus of sarcasm.

THAT DAMN FINAL CHAPTER.

Smart, funny, real. When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle is told with simple writing that packs so much punch—Serle is the painter who does extraordinary things with the smallest, thinnest brush. Her novel isn’t just about the obvious, it’s about the little things too. About choices, the right ones, the wrongs, and where they lead you. As Serle brilliantly writes,

"…fate and destiny can only get you so far. Because they decide beginnings, not endings."

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle tells of the perfect blend between fate and self, and shows us a tender series of steps toward finding and making true love an actuality.

5/3/12

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Nice retelling

Retellings for me are a hit or miss, and this was a hit. I enjoyed the plot and the twist of seeing everything from a new view. Rosie had a voice and story that helped me to feel for her and care about what she's going through.
Her relationship with Rob is so new and tender and I just wanted to root for them even though I knew what was coming. They made a cute couple, and seemed to be really into each other.
It was hard for me when Juliet came onto the scene. There was so much talk about 'the fight' between their family but when the details were revealed it felt like it was barely touched on and even though we see the devastation, we don't really get to feel it because its so brief. Juliet also isn't very nice. I could forgive going after Rob at first because Rosie never really clarified and it seemed like love at first glimpse from Rob and we never really get to hear why he was so attracted. I guess that it is supposed to be assumed and established because of the real play, but it was hard for me to buy. And regardless of first impressions and the fight between the families it seems that Juliet wouldn't violate the woman code and go after another's man once she figured it out.
That said, I really enjoyed the build up and mystery of Len. I think it was one of my favorite aspects.
Charlie also raised this story up! She was funny and a great best friend.
As for the ending, I was really wondering how and if she was going to pull it off, but I think it was as well done.

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Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Enjoyable, but....

Guys, let's have a little chat.



William Shakespeare is a fantastic writer, honestly. He's created a lot of words we use today, his writing is really beautiful and descriptive and there's a reason we quote him so much. However, I hate Romeo and Juliet. I hate most of the plays I've read, really, but especially Romeo and Juliet. I always thought it was stupid that Romeo would be so in love with Rosaline and then within minutes it's all about Juliet. I couldn't stand how whiny they were without each other because you're like 14 and there should be more to life than each other, no matter what time period it is. Like, don't you have something you like to do besides that? Anybody you remotely like? And you've known each other for three days, decide to run away together, then kill yourselves because of stupid misunderstandings? Just...no. I could not stand these characters. However, I usually do pretty well with Shakespeare related YA, so I decided to give this a chance. Maybe Romeo and Juliet will redeem themselves! Maybe something will be different!

I really liked Rosaline. I wasn't crazy about her friends (well meaning, fairly typical teenagers, a bit too shallow for my taste), but Rose had a bit more to her and she was nice. She was a genuinely good person and I hated seeing how upset she got about all this and how much it hurt her. She didn't deserve that, but you know, that's how the story goes.

I wanted to hate Rob from the beginning, I really did. But Rose really loved him and he seemed like this great guy, so when he went to Juliet it, it was pretty devastating to read. He was so sweet and so unsure but he wanted their relationship to work and then, again, in minutes he's in love with Juliet. I hated it in the original play and I hated it here.

The story itself was really well done. We actually understand why the families hate each other (was there a reason given? I don't think there was...) and it made some sense. Juliet is not the perfect, innocent little flower Shakespeare made her seem like, but she's also not the devil we originally believe. There were just a few little twists to make it fit with the new setting. There were also a couple twists at the end that I have mixed feelings on, but I can't really explain without spoiling things. Rebecca Serle knows how to write and I'll be happy to check out her other books in the future.

Overall...I really enjoyed most of this book. Then one little twist happened and I got upset but figured it'd work out, but it started going downhill. By the end, I do think it redeemed itself pretty well, but I can't love this book because of the little twist that I can't discuss. I was hoping for something different out of the ending and I didn't get that.

So, make of that what you will. I genuinely enjoyed the story, I was emotionally involved (maybe TOO involved) and it was well written. Just a couple factors towards the end kept me from really, really enjoying this book, but that's a personal preference. You might feel differently.

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