When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

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, personally, have never read any modern adaptation of any sort of Shakespeare's plays.  I've read The Juliet Spell, which is a pretty interesting story, but it isn't an "adaption". I've only read some of the originals: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and of course, Romeo and Juliet. When I first read Romeo and Juliet, I was like, ? What does all this even MEAN? Thank god, I read it for English class, because then I gradually understood what was going on (okay, I had a little help from watching the movie) and I came to love this tragedy of fate and timing.
Rebecca Serle has written a modern re-imagining of the story, and it focuses on someone in the play who doesn't seem too significant, but then again, first impressions are somewhat deceiving. 

Rosaline. Who was there before Juliet? Her cousin, ROSALINE. True, Romeo's love for her wasn't returned in the play, but even though she makes no appearance whatsoever and only is talked about in one or two discussions, she's the one which sets the story in place. If Romeo had not been looking for Rosaline, would he have ever seen Juliet?
I loved how Serle really looked deep into this character's perspective: really shine a new outlook onto the play. The references, the characters, and of course, the timing and all– fabulously well done for this interesting concept.

Rosaline is our title character. LOVE HER! She's the perfect character: flawed, but not to the point where it bugs someone; has special talents, but doesn't outshine anyone– everything was so well done. By the time this novel finished, I was totally ready to look at old William's work again and root for Rosaline. And like the original, Rose's timing has some effect on other characters in other aspects...you will just have to read it to know what it is.
And of course, with every heroine comes a hero. Well, err...sort of. Of course, Rob is Romeo in this novel, and even though I loved him at first, his trust?? POOFF! Gone when Juliet arrives. I don't know how much a girl can change a guy, but wow. He totally has a double personality on this one folks.
Charlie and Olive! Two besties which I wish I could have. Charlie: the headstrong, tough one with a soft inside, and Olive: the totally nice-to-everyone airhead. I don't know where they fit with the original, but I love them all the same. Romeo's friend Ben (Benvolio!) is really great too, I wish I'd just seen more of him though...he was just there for little glimpses along the way. And Len...I'm not gonna tell you all how he fits in, but I'm loving it :)
At last, we come to the "antagonist" of this story: Juliet. Funny how characters are seen from different perspectives, huh? This Juliet is nothing like the sweetly described one. I'd be scared to meet this one in fact. *shudders*

I like how the book is split into Acts and Scenes, so it's kind of like Shakespeare's work itself. Love the main quote by the way: What's in a name Shakespeare? I'll tell you: Everything. Really spine-chilling and if you get the reference, even better!
I heard that When You Were Mine has been optioned into a movie! I totally can't WAIT to this one move to the big screen. I've heard rumors of Kiera Knightly or (more recently) Lily Collins to play the leading lady. Either way, both actresses are fabulous, and both would do an AMAZING job of portraying them both.

Overall, When You Were Mine is a heart-pounding, mouth-gaping heck of a read which just kept me wanting to read on and on and on....and on. I couldn't put this one away! Sweet, deliciously and romantically dark, twisted and mind-blowing, this one will have you in a state of shock (from awesomeness among other things) for a while. Trust me, and do NOT skip over this one– you'll end up regretting it, wondering why the hell you didn't listen to me.

❝ Sometimes...the hardest part about letting someone go is realizing that you were never meant to have them. 

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  1. I have NEVER been a fan of Romeo and Juliette so I see a retelling and I run the other way but you've convinced me! I'm going to give this one a shot!

  2. Great review! I can't wait to dig in to my review copy of When You Were Mine. It seems fantastic! I would love it if you could check out My Latest Review?



  3. I read a modern retelling of Hamlet last year, and I loved it! It was so interesting. This book sounds greats. Awesome review :D

  4. Nice review! I've only read one Shakespeare play (A Midsummer Nights Dream) and watched a play on it and I thought it was really good so this retelling sounds awesome!

  5. I have never read a retelling of any of Shakespeare's plays though I've read stories that focus on the Romeo and Juliet theme. This story sounds great and I enjoyed your insightful review. Thanks!


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