Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Thoughts: When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

Published: May 1, 2012
Simon Pulse
334 pages, hardcover
Source: eARC from publisher
GoodReads Summary: 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…
My only exposure to Romeo and Juliet is the Baz Luhrmann film with Leonardo & Claire. Rosaline, you say? Who was Rosaline? Was she in the movie? Sorry, I must've been too enraptured by this.

Anyway, I went into this with little to absolutely no knowledge about this Rosaline character. But after the fact? Juliet. YOU WENCH. Rosaline is obviously the clear choice for Romeo. She's the one that's been there the whole time. THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE TOGETHER. Juliet came out of left field with flowing hair and pretty words and promises.

Rosie was a far more patient character than I would've been. The book was a little slow in the beginning, if only because of the fact that all of Rosie's internal monologue was fixated on her Romeo, Rob. Look, they've been friends forever. The whole entire world school expects them to be together forever and have lots of babies. You could feel her anticipation and anxiety and excitement over it. Imagine it: the boy you've been in love with forever FINALLY asks you out and all the planets are about to align for one night while you share a kiss that could make the Pope weep. And Rob was SWOONY, you guys. I thought he was so sweet and careful and even a little endearingly awkward.

Guys, I didn't think I was going to enjoy this book very much. The beginning was slow-going but once Juliet came around, my pitchfork hand was getting a little stabby. Rebecca Serle ignited a fire in my heart. She made me want to cry a little and sing angry Adele songs to this book at 3:00am. I felt so bad for Rose, but she handled it like a lady. I know this is Shakespeare and it already has its ending, but I wish Rosie got a chance to get a couple sucker punches in, at least.

The good part? We get TWO love stories packed into one little book. And I'm quite partial to the latter of the two. Very sweet, though I wish the term "greasy hair" wouldn't have been thrown around to describe him. Unless he's pulling a Danny Zuko or Ross Gellar, greasy-looking hair? Not hot.

Ultimately, the moral of the story is: don't fall in love with beautiful people OR your cousin's boyfriend, because you will die.


  1. I didn't think I was going to like it as well. It was slow and I didn't particularly care for Rosie, and especially Charlie. But when Juliet showed up things got interesting. I ended up really liking it! I loved Len!

  2. I've heard this book is heartbreaking. I just cannot wait to read it!

    "...once Juliet came around, my pitchfork hand was getting a little stabby. Rebecca Serle ignited a fire in my heart. She made me want to cry a little and sing angry Adele songs to this book at 3:00am." This. Should. Be. Blurbed. :P

  3. YAY! So glad you enjoyed this! COULD NOT agree more with you about the "greasy hair" phrase. Made me cringe a little. He definitely had his charms despite the hair. :)


    I want to read this, please.

  5. This book totally surprised me, too. I ended up reading it straight through. Glad you liked it too!

    Also, that moral should be in more books. It's not preached often enough.

  6. YES YES YES You felt EXACTLY LIKE I DID. Also, the greasy hair = no bueno, totally agree. But the rest of it, YES YES. Also, EFF JULIET. I've never hated a character more. And Rob. ROB. HE WAS SO SWOONY. I WAS A ROB FANGIRL. And then he was a douche.

  7. Hahah omg that parting line was truly fantastic. I need to get around to this one... I don't know how my reading schedule got so packed, but now I want to throw it by the wayside to pick this one up!

    But greasy hair? Ew... what is he, Severus Snape? Unless her second love interest is played by a young and snarky Alan Rickman, I just don't think I can get on board with that.

  8. I like books told from Rosaline's Side.. you may like, Romeo's Ex by Lisa Feilder

  9. Romeo and Juliet first came to me in the form of yes, the gorgeous Leo. Then, in freshman year, we watched the 1960s version and read the play. I can't remember a darn lick of it to this day.

    I was SEETHING once Juliet showed up in the picture frame. I was literally choking on a ball of anger and was seriously worried that I was going to hurl the book (but my book lovers soul would wither and die). This book was the BESTEST and I'm soooooo happy that you appreciated this one too. Right on, Serle!

  10. I seriously, really, truly loved this book. I am a total R&J fan (I liked the play, the 1960's movie, the Leo one, of course, hello hotness) and I was totally swept into Serle's writing and into complete and utter hatred for Juliet. That was what really stunned me, that this story could make me turn on a character I normally adore. I'm so glad you liked it!

  11. I love a good R&J remake and aside from West Side Story, the 1990's MTV movie is one of my favorites.

  12. Basically Serle made her debut novel a must read and not just for Shakespeare fans. It’s a must read for the underdog, the girl stuck in the middle, the girl that is left to pick up the pieces of something she never wanted any part of. It’s a book for the fan of the girl that is left behind and must make a choice for herself and stop living in someone else’s shadow.

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