Monday, June 25, 2012

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

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… (from GoodReads)

I was debating whether or not to read When You Were Mine because there were some bad reviews on GoodReads. But since it was a 2012 debut and a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, I thought I'd give it a chance. While nowhere near as good as the original, it was still an enjoyable read.

Sometimes a reader just needs something light, easy reading and contemporary, which is why I had fun reading When You Were Mine. I had problems with some aspects (how Rosaline put all the blame on Juliet, when Rob/Romeo was responsible for leaving her in the dust, how some plot points in the play were disregarded, a lot of stream of consciousness narration) but as a whole I liked the novel. It was nowhere near perfect, but it was fun. Even though she can babble on, Rosaline does have a great voice. Her thoughts were similar to mine and she sounded like a real teenager.

I was sad that Rosaline was left by Rob, because they seemed to have a great relationship. They were best friends but are becoming something more just as Juliet arrives. I do maintain that it was unfair of her to only blame Juliet. Rob could make his own decisions, which he did. Some of the time I wish we could get a Juliet or Rob point-of-view, because I was starting to become interested in their storyline (Rosaline's does become a little boring).

Now we all know how Romeo and Juliet ends so I was curious to see what the author decided to do with that. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

When You Were Mine had flaws but if you take it for what it is - light reading, contemporary, fun - you'll definitely enjoy it.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: read online at Pulse It

2012/Simon Pulse/334 pages.

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