Monday 8 April 2013

My review of When You Were Mine

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
Release Date: April 26, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

When You Were MineIn 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....

When You Were Mine is an irresistible and tender novel, retelling the greatest love tragedy Romeo and Juliet in a modern and heart-breaking way. Get ready to read from the point of view of Rosaline, the girl Romeo loved before he met Juliet.

When you hear "Romeo and Juliet" you are probably reminded of a perfect romance that could have lasted forever if not cut short by a devastating incident. But does anyone really know what happened before Romeo met Juliet? Does anyone really know what happened to the girl he left behind? 
In this modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, we meet Rosaline. She's in love with her best friend Rob, and when they finally break the line of friendship, Rosaline is hooked. But then her cousin Juliet moves back into town and stirs everything up. Rosaline and Juliet were once best friends until a family argument separated them. Juliet is beautiful and intriguing, and Rob can't stay away. Rosaline is left hurt and betrayed, but she slowly comes to realise that being alone isn't the worst fate in fate in the world.

I am in love with Romeo and Juliet. I've read the play, I've watched the old movie, I've watched the newer movie (with Leonardo DiCaprio, yum), annnnd I also know that there is a new film adaptation coming out later this year with Douglas Booth starring as Romeo. Oh my goshhh. My excitement levels are all over the place. Douglas is a great choice and I cannot wait to see him on the big screen as Romeo.
When I watched the films and read the play I never thought much of Rosaline, she was simply a background character who never appeared, but was brought up in many discussions. This book has opened my mind to her side of the story; how she must have felt, what it must have been like for her, etc. Can you imagine the boy you loved moving on to your own cousin? It's heat-breaking. And that's exactly how Rebecca Serle tells the story. Keeping Shakespeare's devastating plot line, but creating a whole new story for a girl who was never given an ending.

When You Were Mine has a bunch of crazy and lovable characters, well, a few anyway. Rob, aka Romeo, is portrayed as a sweet and lovable boy at the beginning of the book. He is Rosaline's best friend, and when they finally decide to go on a date everything seems perfect. I wanted with all my heart for them to end up together even though I knew that he would move on to Juliet. Everything was fine until she shows up. Juliet, in this novel, is evil. Yes, she is portrayed as the bitchest girl you'll ever meet. I think she even rivals Regina George (from Mean Girls). But Rob sees something in her, and in the books this is never specified or explained, which is slightly frustrating because I WANT to know why he left Rosaline hanging!

Nevertheless, Rosaline does manage to cope with the help from her best friends Olivia and Charlie, who are two absolutely crazy girls with bubbly and quirky personalities. There is also Len. A boy that Rosaline sits next to in bio, who she's never really noticed until now. Len is funny, sarcastic and a completely unique character. I immediately warmed to him and thought: Eh, who cares about Rob when Rosaline can have this guy?

As for the plot, it follows in Shakespeare's footsteps, but with modern twists. Of course this makes the novel more intriguing. Rebecca Serle keeps you guessing, swooning, smiling, and even crying at some points, as the novel progresses. 

Overall, I think that When You Were Mine is a brilliant novel that has given the play Romeo and Juliet a whole new perspective. It's just as heart-breaking, just as beautiful, and just as romantic, Rebecca Serle has done a wonderful job at telling Rosaline's side of the story in a modern day tale. Romeo and Juliet fans must read this!


  1. I've been hesitant about picking this book up because I didn't know what to expect from it. I'm really glad that you enjoyed it, though. Great review!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

  2. I LOVED this book!! I loved the different twist, the characters especially Rosaline and I loved the romance and the hope at the end.

    Lovely review:)

  3. This sounds like a good one. Rosaline is a character that I will admit to never thinking about. I mean, when you think of Romeo and Juliet, those are the two that you remember. But a brokenhearted, crapped on girl should be remembered and sympathized with, and her story told. I think that I will have to check this one out! And I love the UK cover so much better than the US.