Author: Rebecca Serle
Release date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
How I got it: For review from 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…I had no idea what to expect when I cracked When You Were Mine open, but I ended up being shocked in the best kind of way! Between its fresh yet elegant prose and addicting new take on Romeo and Juliet, this book managed to grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. I started this book at 3 in the afternoon and stayed up until 1:30 AM to finish it the same day. Yep, it was that addicting.
Rosaline is a character you will identify with immediately, and her friends Charlie and Olivia are also wonderfully bold and fun characters. It was also easy to hate Rob and Juliet but also easy to sometimes like them, especially when Rosaline told an especially sweet story of her and Rob's past friendship. The fact that no one was necessarily the "bad guy" made the novel that much more enjoyable. Also, YAY LEN.
I haven't read the original Romeo and Juliet but I mean, come on, we all know the story. That being said, I though Searles did a good job staying true to the original while also modernizing the classic tale. When You Were Mine proved to be funny, sad, sweet, and full of surprisingly raw emotion at times. Fans of contemporary can't afford to miss Serle's great debut.
Plot: The classic contemporary story-line with a cool twist.
Characters: I liked each of them in their own way.
Writing: Very good. I'll be looking for Serle's next novel.
Ending: Somehow I didn't see it coming (though I really should have) but I think it fit very well, though it did feel a little rushed.
Kid friendly? There was under-age drinking and swearing.
You can pry this book from my cold, dead hands.
Dude, there was no way I was putting this book down. When You Were Mine initially hooked me with Rosaline's voice, and then I stayed for...well, everything else. One of my favorite reads of 2012 so far!