Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

Title: When You Were Mine
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publisher: SimonPulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Retelling/ Contemporary Romance
Release date: May 1st, 2012
Pages: 334 (Hardcover)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Publisher

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….

Though many of us have been required to read Romeo and Juliet at least once throughout our lifetimes, most seem to forget about Rosaline, Romeo's first love.
When You Were Mine tells the story of Romeo and Juliet from Rosaline's point of view, reminding us that the story has always been more about heartbreak than love.

For the most part, the story was enjoyable.  The reader is given modern characters and situations, which many can probably relate to.  Rosaline Caplet is just another teenage girl with high hopes of being able to have a relationship with her best friend, Rob Montag.  He's always been there, knows everything about her, and their families have been best friends for as long as they can remember.  A romantic relationship between them only seems inevitable.  When things are finally beginning to go somewhere with him, Rose's cousin, Juliet, comes back to town after 10 years.  Whatever Juliet wants, Juliet gets...and Rob is no exception.

To put it nicely, I didn't care for all.  Her arrival was upsetting, but even more so, her heartless plan to ruin her own cousin's happiness set me over the edge.  That being said, this story is more about betrayal than anything.  Rose not only loses hope and a part of her family, but she also loses her best friend.  Now, this wasn't all Juliet's fault.  Rob seemed to have been blinded by everything and he got on my nerves just as much as Juliet did.  Some of the things he said to Rose when he finally confronted her about his new relationship made me roll my eyes, but that's exactly the way the original Romeo and Juliet were--blinded by infatuation.

Rebecca Serle did a great job with this retelling, showing another side of the story, and touching on topics that everyone who's had their heart broken can relate to.  Overall, the story was a wonderfully written roller coaster of emotions.  Sure, everyone knows how the play ends, but this story also deals with how to get over love and loss with an ending that will make your heart swell with more joy than imagined.


  1. Thank you for the review. This has been on my tbr for a while. I hope I like it.

  2. Great review! I didn't mind this book. I agree with you . . . I hated Juliet. But I actually hated Rob more than anything else but he's the Romeo . . . he'll be always blinded by anything and everything. :)

  3. Thank you very much for the review! I have read Romeo & Juliet and I love Shakespeare, but I don't think this is his best play.

    Still want to read it.