An intensely romantic, modern recounting of the greatest love story ever told—narrated by the girl Romeo was supposed to love.
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 stand a chance.
Rose is devastated over losing Rob to Juliet. 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.
About the Author
Rebecca Serle is a full-time writer who loves shiny hair, coffee, yoga, and pretending to be British. She went to the University of Southern California, then got her MFA from the New School in New York City, where she lives. Rebecca is a Huffington Post contributor and founded Nurturing Narratives, a program centered around empowering children through story. Find out more at RebeccaSerle.com and follow her on Twitter at @RebeccaASerle.
Read an Excerpt
When You Were Mine
“This is so not how it was supposed to go.”
I crack one eye open and sneak the covers down over my head. Charlie is standing above my bed, arms crossed, a bag of Swedish Fish in one hand and a Starbucks cup in the other.
I blink and glance at the clock on my nightstand: 6:35.
“Jesus. It’s the middle of the night.”
Charlie lets out a dramatic sigh. “Please. I’m ten minutes early.”
I rub my eyes and sit up. It’s already light out, but that’s not too surprising, given that it’s August in Southern California. It’s also hot, and the tank top I slept in is drenched. I don’t understand why, after all these years, my parents still have not sprung for air-conditioning.
Charlie hands me the Starbucks cup, folding herself down next to me on the bed and stuffing another piece of candy into her mouth as she continues to lecture me. Charlie never drinks coffee—she thinks it stunts your growth—but she still picks me one up every morning. Grande vanilla latte. One sugar.
“Are you even listening?” she asks, irritated.
“Are you kidding me, Charlotte? I’m sleeping.”
“Not anymore,” Charlie says, pulling the covers off. “It’s the first day of school, and I’m not letting you drag me down with you. Time to rise and shine, Ms. Caplet.”
I scowl at her, and she smiles. Charlie’s beautiful. Not in the way any old blond girl is in high school, but actually spectacular-looking. She’s got strawberry-red, curly hair and bright green eyes and impossibly white, translucent skin. Sometimes she’s so stunning, it’s shocking even to me. And I’m her best friend.
We met on the playground in the first grade. John Sussmann had taken my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and tossed it into the sandbox. Charlie knocked him over, fished it out, and even ate half just to prove he hadn’t won. That’s real friendship, right there.
“So anyway, listen,” she says as I swing my legs over the side of the bed and head into the bathroom. “Ben and Olivia totally just got together. Ben told me.”
“About time.” I stick a toothbrush into my mouth and root around in the medicine cabinet for my deodorant. I can tell from Charlie’s impatient prattle that there’s no time to shower.
“This is, like, a big deal. He’s my brother.” Ben is Charlie’s twin, actually, but they’re nothing alike. He’s tall and blond and lanky and he likes English, a subject Charlie thinks is frivolous. She’s a history buff: “Why read about stuff that didn’t happen, when you can read about stuff that did? Real life is way more interesting, anyway.”
Olivia is our other best friend. She’s been with us since the eighth grade, when she transferred to San Bellaro.
“Look,” I say, spitting, “they’ve been flirting for decades. It was bound to happen.”
“But now she’s going to, like, what? Come over after school?”
“She already comes over after school.”
“I know why you’re so calm about this,” Charlie says.
“Because I am still unconscious?”
“No, because Rob got back last night and you’re going to see him today.” She pops another fish into her mouth, triumphant.
My stomach clenches and releases. It’s been doing that all week. The thought of seeing Rob is, well, making me ill.
It’s been eight weeks, which I guess is a long time, although I refuse to see it that way. In the general scheme of things, what’s two months? Like, a millisecond. Okay, so it’s the longest we’ve ever been apart and, yeah, I’ve missed him, but I’ve known Rob my whole life. It’s really not a big deal seeing him again. It’s been a busy summer, and it’s not like Robert Monteg is my boyfriend or anything. God, even his name flashing through my mind like that makes me nauseous. I don’t get it. It shouldn’t. We’re friends. He’s just the next-door neighbor.
“You guys are totally going to be the new senior couple,” Charlie says. “I decided.”
“Well, as long as you decided.” I tug on a blue skirt and slip a white tank top over my head. Charlie looks like she just came from the salon, and I permit myself one glance in the mirror. Just as I suspected, total bed-head.
Charlie tosses me a bra, and it hits me in the face. “Thanks.”
“Oh, come on,” she says. “It’s Rob. You guys finally kissed last year, and then he goes away to be a camp counselor the entire torturous summer and writes you all of these love letters saying how much he cares about you, and you think that now that he’s back, you guys aren’t going to get together? Please.”
Of course this is how Charlie sees it. The problem is, that isn’t exactly what happened. It’s not even close. Let me explain.
The “kiss” she’s talking about wasn’t really a kiss at all. And the fact that Rob and I went to junior prom together has absolutely no significance. We’re best friends, and neither of us had a date. Rob is handsome and smart, and I could easily list ten girls in our soon-to-be senior class who would have traded in their Gucci book bags to go to prom with Rob, but I think he’s scared of the female species. Well, actually, Charlie thinks that. It’s the only explanation, she says, for why he still doesn’t have a girlfriend. The only explanation besides the fact that he’s waiting for me (her words, not mine).
Anyway, we were on the dance floor and my hair got in my eyes, and Rob brushed it away and kissed my cheek. My hair is always getting in my eyes, and my father kisses my cheek, so I hardly think that counts as a make-out session. It just happened to be in public, to a slow song.
And those emails? Definitely not love notes. Example:
Thanks for your letter. I’m glad to know Charlie is as crazy as ever, and thanks for the gum. I’m chewing it now.
Camp is good but I miss home. Sometimes I think it was a stupid idea coming back here this summer, especially after the end of school and everything. It’s good, I guess. I’m back with Bunk 13. Remember when we were here together? It seems like so long ago. I guess it was. Anyway, I really miss you. I guess that’s what I meant when I said I missed home. It’s not the same without you here. Last night I went out to the docks, and I thought about that time we swam there after lights-out. Do you remember that? The water was freezing. It was that summer our parents had to send us more sweatshirts. Anyway, I’m thinking about you and hope you’re doing well.
Charlie combed through that email and constructed a new one, which basically read: I love you and I’m so sorry I went to camp and my heart is breaking being away from you and let’s spend eternity together when I get back. Heart, Rob.
It makes sense that she likes history, since she’s constantly rewriting it.
Her fantasy is nice and all—it’s just not accurate. It’s the kind of thinking that gets girls into trouble all the time. And it’s not just Charlie. For instance, last year when Olivia was dating Taylor Simsburg (and by “dating,” I mean they made out twice and once was sort of in public at winter formal), he told her she looked nice in yellow, and she made him a playlist called “Here Comes the Sun.” She also started carrying around sunflowers for no good reason.
It’s not that most girls are delusional, per se. It’s just that they have this subtle ability to warp actual circumstances into something different. And if there’s one thing I’m really against, it is turning a blind eye to reality. What’s the point? Things are the way they are, and the best thing for us to do is to just acknowledge that. No one ever died from having too much information. It’s the misunderstandings that are the problem. And until Rob says or tells me otherwise, I have no reason to think he wants anything more than my friendship.
Except for this one thing that happened the night before he left. I haven’t told Charlie or Olivia, because I’m not sure how I feel about it myself. But I keep going over it in my mind. I’ve been going over it for two months.
We were sitting on the floor in my bedroom watching an old DVD of Friends. This part isn’t particularly unusual. We do that all the time. Rob likes to escape the chaos of his house, where he has three little brothers. But there was something different about him that night. When Ross made a joke, Rob didn’t laugh, which was crazy, because Ross is his favorite character and Rob always laughs. He has this deep baritone laugh. It reminds me of Santa Claus.
We were watching the episode where Rachel moves out of the apartment she shares with Monica, and there’s this scene where Rachel tries to steal Monica’s candlesticks. Anyway, Rachel is grabbing them out of the box, and all of a sudden the television is on pause and Rob is staring at me in this really intense way he sometimes looks before a big basketball game.
“What’s up?” I asked. He didn’t answer. He just kept looking at me. He has these gigantic brown eyes that look like little teacups of hot chocolate. Not that that’s what I think about when I look at him. I don’t even like hot chocolate. I’m just trying to describe him accurately, here.
He didn’t say anything, he just sat there looking at me, and then he reached over and cupped my chin in his hand. He’d never done that to me before. No boy had ever done that to me before. And then, with my chin still in his hand, he said, “God, you’re beautiful.” Just like that. “God, you’re beautiful.” Which is crazy because (a) it’s not true. It’s not that I’m unattractive; it’s just that I don’t look particularly different than anybody else. I mean, I have brown eyes and brown hair and what Charlie calls a button nose, so if someone were describing me, you’d probably think you knew me and at the same time never be able to pick me out of a crowd. Except for the fact that I blush like crazy when I’m embarrassed—but that doesn’t exactly make me more desirable. So, (a) “beautiful” doesn’t really fit, and (b) it’s just so cheesy. So I laughed, because it was the only conceivable thing I could think to do, and then he dropped his hand and unpaused Friends, and when we said good night, he hugged me but not any differently than he usually does, and then the next morning he was gone. I’ve been turning that moment over in my mind ever since. For two months now.
“What time did he get in, anyway?” Charlie asks as we plod our way downstairs.
I want to say “Too late for me to see his light go on,” but I don’t. Charlie doesn’t know that sometimes I angle myself out my bedroom window just to see if Rob’s bedroom light is on. Our houses are separated by a barrier of trees, so you can’t see much, but his bedroom is directly diagonal to mine, and I can tell if he’s home because of the light. Most nights I wait for it to go on, to know he’s next door, right here. I think that’s one of the things I’ve missed most while he’s been gone. Seeing that light go on.
“I’m surprised he didn’t come over last night.” She wiggles her hips and laughs.
I shrug. “He just texted me.”
She spins on the stairs and grabs both my shoulders. “What exactly did he say?”
“I’m back,” Charlie repeats, looking thoughtful. Then she gets this snarky grin on her face. “I’m back, and ready for action.”
“Honestly,” I say, “it’s Rob. You’re making something out of nothing.”
“Maybe, maybe not.” She links her arm through mine as we step into the kitchen. “But you know I always like to err on the side of caution.”
“Drama,” I correct her. “You like to err on the side of drama.”
My mom and dad are in the kitchen dancing around with the orange juice, still in their bathrobes. She has it over her head, and he’s tickling her.
“Sorry, girls,” she says, her face flushed. “Didn’t see you there.” My dad just winks. Gross. Also, neither one of them is sorry. They do this sort of thing all the time. They are constantly making out in our living room and leaving each other love notes on the fridge—“Peas for my squeeze,” that kind of thing. I guess it should make me happy, the fact that my parents are in love and still into each other after twenty years, but it sort of creeps me out.
“They definitely still have sex,” Charlie says under her breath, like she’s settling a debate. Trust me, it’s not up for argument. Factual truth: They do.
I guess maybe it wouldn’t be such a big deal if I had, you know, done it myself. It’s not that I’m opposed to sex or anything. I mean, morally speaking. You want to know my problem, actually? It’s that I don’t feel particularly moral about the whole thing. It’s like this girl I used to know, Sarah, who never ate meat. Literally, in her entire life, she never had a hamburger. Her parents didn’t eat meat, and she was just raised that way. Anyway, one day her dad started eating it again, and all of a sudden it was in their house and on the table, and I remember her telling me how weird that seemed, how unnatural. Like all of a sudden she was supposed to just start eating meat and it was supposed to seem normal. She was a vegetarian, for crying out loud. It seems weird to just start. Like changing something fundamental about who you are.
It also might have something to do with the fact that I’ve never really gotten close. There was Jason Grove, who I dated last year. We made out a few times, mostly in the back of his dad’s Audi and in his basement. It was okay, I guess, but he couldn’t figure out how to unhook my bra, and after a few tries we sorta gave up.
Charlie thinks this is tragic. Olivia’s and my virginity are like an affront to her values, or something. Mind you, she’s done it with two people already. The first was Matt Lester, her boyfriend sophomore year. They did it after homecoming, and she said it was awful and they never did it again. Now there’s Jake, her on-again, off-again boyfriend—and, as Charlie says, “I’ve lost count.” Which I guess is what’s supposed to happen. It’s not like you keep counting the number of times you have sex. At a certain point it just becomes sex, I think.
“This year is definitely your year,” Charlie told me last week. “You are not losing your virginity in a dorm room. Not an option.”
“What are my prospects?”
“Just one,” Charlie said. “Rob. You two are totally meant to be.”
Meant to be. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never thought about that phrase in relation to Rob and me. It has occurred to me that something might happen between us. I haven’t admitted too much of this to Charlie, though, mostly because I recognize the real possibility that these thoughts about Rob could have more to do with all those television shows she makes me watch than my actual feelings. I mean, yeah, I care about him. He’s my best friend. Of course I love him. But do I want to kiss him? Do I want him to kiss me? And am I willing to risk our friendship on the off chance that a romance might really work out? Not to mention the fact that I don’t even know what he’s thinking. He probably regrets ever saying I was beautiful. He has probably already moved on. I mean, he’s been halfway across the country for the entire summer, and just because I haven’t managed to fall on anyone else’s lips in two months doesn’t mean he’s hauling around the same track record.
My mom pries my father off of her and sets the juice down. “You girls ready for your first day?”
“Definitely,” Charlie says, winking at me.
“Well, that’s good,” she says. She scoops some eggs onto a plate and hands it to my dad. “Rob back today?”
My mom would ask this. On top of everything else, my parents and his parents are also best friends. They’ve been neighbors for fifteen years. My parents moved to San Bellaro a few months before I was born. Rob’s family moved here two years later. My mom actually used to be a movie star in LA. Not huge or anything, but I think she might have been headed that way before she met my dad. He was a community organizer with big plans for becoming a senator and got invited to one of her movie premieres. It was a screening of The Last Stranger, probably the biggest part my mom ever had, and my dad always says that he fell in love with her instantly, just by seeing her on-screen. That she was his last stranger. Six months later they were married, and a year after that they had me. My father never became a senator (he teaches history at our local college), but his brother did. I think it’s still hard for my dad, the fact that his brother got to realize his dream when he didn’t. They haven’t spoken in years, and every time his name is in the paper, my dad takes the pages out to the recycling bin himself.
My mom is still looking at me, waiting for an answer about Rob, but I just shrug and stick a piece of toast into my mouth. Charlie immediately snatches it away.
“Bagel Wednesday,” she says, dropping it down on the counter like it’s radioactive. “Hello?”
My father smacks the back of his hand against his forehead dramatically, and my mother sighs.
“Well,” she says, “have a great day.”
“Oh, we will,” Charlie says, slinging my book bag over her shoulder. “Don’t wait up.” She blows my mom a kiss and marches me outside.
Charlie has an old Jeep Cherokee we call Big Red. It’s not as fancy as Olivia’s car, but it doesn’t matter. Charlie would look good on a tricycle. We climb inside, and the familiar smell of Charlie’s perfume hits me. A combination of lilacs and plumeria she mixed for herself at the Body Shop last year. Her car is always stuffed to the brim, like she could take off at any minute and move somewhere else. There is a gigantic canvas tote in the backseat monogrammed with her initials, CAK, that contains absolutely anything you would possibly ever need. We were once at Olivia’s beach house in Malibu, and I got a piece of corn stuck in between my teeth so hard that my gums started to bleed. Charlie marched me out to Big Red and performed minor dental surgery.
She starts the car and backs out of my driveway, applying lip gloss in the rearview at the same time. I risk a glance over to Rob’s house, but it’s hard to make out anything between the trees. Or see if there are any cars still parked in his driveway.
I pick up her iPod and put on Radiohead.
“Ew.” She gives me a disgruntled look and yanks the iPod out of my hand. She puts on Beyoncé and turns to me. “What is wrong with you this morning? It’s the first day of school. We need to be psyched up. Starting things on the right note is the only way to succeed.”
This is one of her theories. Charlie is full of theories. She has a theory about everything. For instance, she believes firmly that you can only change your hair once over the course of high school. Olivia chopped all hers off when she broke up with Taylor, and Charlie told her she had used up her reinvention. “I hope he was worth it,” I remember her saying.
“I’m psyched.” I force my face into a smile and slip the lip gloss out from under her fingers.
Charlie sighs and turns onto the highway. “Come on. I’m serious. You should be psyched. Me and Jake, you and Rob, Olivia and Ben.” She swallows after she says “Ben,” like she has a bad taste in her mouth. “We’re so ruling school this year.”
Another one of Charlie’s theories is that we live in a high school movie. Olivia seems to think this is true too. What I mean is that they can say things like “We’re so ruling school” and not feel the need to add sarcasm. I guess we are popular. Charlie is formidable, attractive in a way that makes her feared and loved. Olivia, on the other hand, is basically the high school dream girl. Big boobs, blond hair, cute nose, and sweet tempered. There is literally no guy in school who isn’t in love with her. Plus, her parents have more money than God. Her dad does something in the music industry. He’s a producer or a record label owner. I think maybe both. To be honest, sometimes I’m not sure how I ended up in this mix. I shouldn’t be popular. Conventional wisdom is completely stacked against me.
Which is why being friends with Rob has always felt so good. He’s popular, sure—he’s probably the most popular guy in our class—but he’s also just Rob. I don’t have to pretend around him or think about what I’m going to say next. Not that I do with Charlie or Olivia, but sometimes it feels like we’re all—all three of us—in some kind of play. Like we need to get our lines right. Like the whole performance is depending on it.
“Want to hear about Len Stephens?” Charlie asks. “He’s already being kicked out of school.”
Len Stephens is this guy in our class we don’t hang out with. Charlie calls him “toxic,” but most people just call him an ass. He’s sarcastic, and his hair is too long and messy, like he cuts it himself or something.
“School hasn’t even started.”
“Apparently he pulled senior prank early.”
“What did he do?”
“Reorganized the online system so that it deleted every student transcript.”
“Swear.” Charlie puts her hand over her heart like she’s pledging allegiance.
“How is that even possible?”
Charlie shrugs. “He hacked into the school’s computer system.”
The only thing I really know about Len is that he used to take piano lessons before me from this German woman named Famke. I think I stopped in the sixth grade or something, and I guess he probably did too. That was around the time most people got serious with sports or dance and dropped other hobbies. I thought he was pretty good, but then again I used to think tube tops were cute, so what did I know?
“Whatever,” Charlie says, moving on. “Let’s talk about Jake.”
“So you guys are back together?” I look out the window at the passing trees. It’s not that I don’t care about Charlie’s love life. I do, of course. It’s just that no one moment in time is very indicative of their overall relationship. If she’s with Jake today, it doesn’t mean she will be tomorrow. Or even by the time we get to school, for that matter. They have this very strange relationship. Charlie likes to act like it’s all heartbreaking and disturbed. Like they can’t be together even though they really want to. Honestly, I don’t see the obstacles. Unless the fact that he wears baseball caps a lot and calls everyone “dude” is an obstacle. Which, maybe, it is. They broke up because he called her “bro” at prom last year, and then they didn’t speak for a week. They’ve been casual all summer, but an official reunion doesn’t surprise me. Mostly I think they hit so many speed bumps because Charlie likes injecting drama. And what is more dramatic, really, than heartbreak?
“Totally,” she says. “He came over last night and said he wanted this year to be different.” Jake has said he wants things to be different about forty-two times in the last year and a half, so I take this with a grain of salt.
“I’m serious, Rose. I think it’s going to work out this time.” I glance over at her, and her face looks set, determined. Celebratory, even. Which, if you know Charlie, makes a lot of sense. Deciding to do something and doing it are basically the same thing in her world.
“That’s great,” I chirp. “Super.” I try to sound excited, but Charlie sees right through it.
“How am I supposed to work with you this year if you’re going to be all mopey and dreary-eyed?” She passes me her makeup bag and flips down my visor mirror. “Apply, please. I need you looking your absolute best when we step into that auditorium.”
Reading Group Guide
Discussion Questions for When You Were Mine By Rebecca Serle 1. Consider Olivia’s question: “If you could know your entire life now . . . would you?” How would each character answer this question? Would his or her response change from the beginning to the end of the book? How would you decide? Would your answer have been different in your past? 2. In the beginning of the book, Rosaline struggles to make things different with Rob, and the result is awkward. What exactly is the problem? Is Rosaline trying to escape fate? Was it not meant to be or are they not trying hard enough? 3. In the culmination of the novel we witness a variety of perspectives on the debate between chance versus fate as a handful of characters, including Olivia, Rosaline, and Rosaline’s mother, offer their opinions. How would you describe each character’s judgment on the idea of fate? Do you believe the author sides with one character’s opinion more than another? If so, which character and why? 4. Physical locations play a significant role in the story. For example, Rosaline and Rob live next door to each other; the girls use Malibu as an escape; and the cliffs become a site of friendship, romance, and tragedy. In what ways do physical settings influence the plot of the novel? How do the physical locations of scenes affect the themes of the novel, including those of chance, free will, and fate? What are the ways in which the sites drive the book’s action? 5. Consider Rosaline’s comment: “It’s definitely true. One moment can change everything.” Can you pinpoint a single moment in the book that influences the outcome of the plot? Throughout the book, do you find that Rosaline’s observation holds true? In your own life experience, do you believe that a single moment can “change everything”? 6. Do you feel sympathy for Juliet? If so, when and why? If not, how come? 7. Reflect on what Olivia tells Rosaline: “So you share a last name? Big deal! Your family are the people who know you, the people who are there for you. Rose, we’re your family. Not Juliet.” Do you agree? How might this be true and how might it be complicated? 8. The parents of Rosaline, Rob, and Juliet are intertwined in dramatic ways. Think about your own family and friends. Do familial relationships excuse certain types of behavior toward each other? What are the differences between friends and family? 9. The author frequently blurs the line between plans and fate. What are the differences between the two? Are there any events in the novel that seem determined by both? 10. Len confesses to having waited a long time for Rosaline, while Ben and Olivia’s relationship began only after Olivia’s relationship with the Belgian. How does time and timing play a role in the story and in the characters’ lives? How does time impact love and romance? 11. Many of the characters in the book seem focused on the future, yet the past also plays a significant role in each of their lives. For example, Charlie’s mother died when she was young, and Rosaline remembers taking piano lessons from the same teacher as Len. In what ways does the past shape the present for the characters in the book? 12. Memories are often described in the book. What are some of the characters’ memories portrayed in the book? What role do these memories play in the story? How have your own memories influenced your present-day choices? 13. The book features characters that both change overtime and act unpredictably. Are there instances where the way a character acts contradicts who we believe that character to truly be on the inside? Did this change your judgment about a specific character? How and why did it or didn’t it shift? 14. Consider Len’s statement: “That’s the thing about getting older. You realize your differences can be good things. Not just bad ones.” When is being different an asset for the characters in the book? Have there been times in your life where being different has helped you? 15. The author presents many situations that seem destined to happen, such as Rosaline attending Stanford and, of course, being together with Rob. Beyond these two examples only, which outcomes can the characters control and which do external forces determine? Are there any instances in the book where it’s unclear? What are examples from your life where the two possibilities have become intertwined? This guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have to say a HUGE HUGE THANK YOU to Around The World ARC Tours for allowing me to be a part of this tour. When I first heard about it in the summer I was intrigued because I love the story of Romeo and Juliet. I did a paper on them in English class and I wanted to see what kind of spin Rebecca would put on this story. All I have to say is Rebecca totally ROCKED IT! This book is EPIC! Rose has loved Rob all her life and then some. She knows they were meant to be together. So when Rob starts to show signs of romance Rose is ecstatic! She knows that this year is going to be the year of her and Rob together as boyfriend and girlfriend. She has waited so long for Rob to notice her as more than just a friend she is having second thoughts about them having a relationship because she does not want to ruin their friendship. The only thing is Rose really wants Rob and she is willing to ride the waves to be with him. Then disaster strikes by the name of Juliet. She is Rose's cousin and she will stop at nothing to take everything away from Rose even Rob. So when Rob goes from being hot towards Rose to cold in thirty seconds Rose realizes that she has lost Rob. She is hurt and angry and devastated by what happens between them. They go from being together everyday to not speaking to one another. Rose is heart broken but she has her best friends to lean on and even someone she never knew could be so supportive. So when tragedy strikes and someone close to Rose dies she is left to pick up the pieces and learn to live again. What is a girl to do when her heart is broken and the one person that can heal it no longer can? What happens when someone else is there to love you, do you let them in or do you deny them? What is Rose to do? Will she ever heal from this tragedy? This is a MUST READ! Lord the pages just kept turning and before I knew it I was done. I cried and I laughed and I screamed at the book but hey what can I say I LOVED LOVED IT!
What a fantastic book! WHEN YOU WERE MINE was incredibly fun to read, while simultaneously being absolutely moving and heartbreaking. I fell in love with Rose's story. She's a character ladies of all ages will identify with - either because you once went through something similar or you see her story in who you are now. Despite the heartbreak that Rose goes through, there are also wonderful moments of levity and sheer hilarity in the book. Also, the book is in the end hopeful and inspiring. You'll adore Rose, but you'll also really feel for the characters in her world: Charlie and Olivia, her nutty best friends; Len, the boy she should be with; Rob, the guy she thinks she should be with; and even the dreaded cousin, Juliet. This is a book that both teens and adults will love - Serle's writing is that good and universally appealing. Curl up with this book on a beach or in front of a fire and you'll be pleased. Happy reading!
I know there are lots of review out there of this book but this is my own version. Well reading this book was an extraordinary experience I am glad I got this book for review. I have so much feelings about this book as I was reading this book some new feelings were created. I loved how Rebecca wrote the story of Romeo & Juliet in a new perspective or way which made me cry of happiness, sadness, and just be captivated by it. Let me start by saying that this book is my number 1 book in the whole world of all the books I have read. Not that I have read so much books in my whole life because I just started being totally obsess with YA books. But this book is amazing I loved most of the characters starting with Charlie, Olivia, Len, and the main character which is Rosaline or better called Rosie. There were so many events in this book that I can't really talk about because I don't want any spoilers I want you guys to check the book out because it was a new experience and terrifying, sad/happy book which made me cry smile all the way through the end. Rob was my favorite character at the beginning of the book but at the middle of the book something (event) happened that made me change every feeling I had about Rob turn into hate or may I better say dislike because I don't hate anyone. Juliet was Rose cousin and at first I was like okay I new girl was just introduced alright but after I kept reading my feeling for her turn into dislike for every trouble she caused. Even though this two characters pissed me off I still loved the book and I believe is because of all the tension happening in the book and the dislike is what made this book and extraordinary experience which I absolutely adored. When Len was introduced I was like his probably ugly, rebel, and not sweet but as I kept reading my feelings for him changed and he became one of my favorite characters. Charlie and Olivia are Rose best friend and were always there for her throughout the book which made them also my favorite characters. Of course Rose was also my favorite character because she was the main character as I kept reading I felt like I was feeling the same pain she was feeling. But enough of so much talk about this book all I have to say is that this book is truly amazing I am not saying you would like because everyone has a different taste but in my opinion this book would be a number 1 book everyone should think about reading this year. If your looking for a book to read I would recommend reading When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle and then tell me what you thought of it and comment and tell me what you think. I would give this book a rating of infinity/5 by infinity I mean the largest number in the world which does not exist so this book is over the top.
This book deserves five stars! I liked this book better than the original Romeo and Juliet story by Shakespeare. This was intoxicating and fresh! Ms. Serle will make a great addition to the YA field. If I had to pick a favorite character, it would definitely be Len. I liked him since the beginning. He was different, and sweet, in his own way. Charlie would be my second favorite character. I loved her wittiness! When You Were Mine basically just throws you into the plot. There are lots of flashbacks sprinkled all throughout the book. The flashbacks usually involve Rosaline and Rob when they were children. I wish I could have seen more Len and Rose. They were so cute together! The only complaint I have about this book was the feud between Juliet's and Rose's family. I wanted it to be a complicated feud, and when I found out the reason that began the fight, I was disappointed. But, besides that, this book was a quick, tragic and cute read. The depressing parts in the book were not executed to a point where it made you want to cry.
Shakespeare might not have gotten it right, but Rebecca Serle sure did! Rosaline starts out much as the reader may expect, hopelessly in love with her long-time friend Rob. Rob doesn't really see her as a love interest at first, but that begins to change in the first portion of the novel. Rosaline runs out of luck, however, when her former best friend, Juliet, comes back to town. Juliet seemingly ensnares Rob in a few short days and Rosaline is left in the cold. Will the story run a different course this time? Rosaline's character was really true to the story. She was exactly as I might have pictured the Rosaline from Shakespeare. Her character was dynamic, changing throughout the story; in the beginning, she didn't seem as in control of her life and decisions, but in the end she matured. Luckily, the author provides a love interest for this tale instead of merely relying on Rob to do double-duty. The love interest makes up for the "ugh" factor or Rob and Juliet. Rob's character reminded me so much of Romeo that I started thinking of him as Romeo in the book. Juliet was a tad on the whiny side, but from Rosaline's perspective, she fit right in. Overall, this book is a great read. If a reader is looking for a twist on Romeo and Juliet that doesn't have the "eh" ending...not quite, at least, then this is the book to pick up. This book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.
Retellings for me are a hit or miss, and this was a hit. I enjoyed the plot and the twist of seeing everything from a new view. Rosie had a voice and story that helped me to feel for her and care about what she's going through. Her relationship with Rob is so new and tender and I just wanted to root for them even though I knew what was coming. They made a cute couple, and seemed to be really into each other. It was hard for me when Juliet came onto the scene. There was so much talk about 'the fight' between their family but when the details were revealed it felt like it was barely touched on and even though we see the devastation, we don't really get to feel it because its so brief. Juliet also isn't very nice. I could forgive going after Rob at first because Rosie never really clarified and it seemed like love at first glimpse from Rob and we never really get to hear why he was so attracted. I guess that it is supposed to be assumed and established because of the real play, but it was hard for me to buy. And regardless of first impressions and the fight between the families it seems that Juliet wouldn't violate the woman code and go after another's man once she figured it out. That said, I really enjoyed the build up and mystery of Len. I think it was one of my favorite aspects. Charlie also raised this story up! She was funny and a great best friend. As for the ending, I was really wondering how and if she was going to pull it off, but I think it was as well done.
Hmmm. I think I wanted this to be so much better than it was. My fault. The highest expectations often lead to the biggest disappointments. It wasn't that I thought it would be some moving, life-altering, legendary piece of literature. I just wanted a great love story. This is how it's billed on Goodreads: 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. Is it too much to ask then that this reworking offer me something intensely romantic? I just didn't feel it. I'm sorry. Rose & Rob's love wasn't sweeping and epic. It was two childhood best friends deciding to give the whole, let's-see-if-we-should-be-more-than-friends thing a go. Then the instant another pretty girl walked into his line of sight, he forgot all about Rose. Huh? If they were so meant to be together, IMO, Juliet wouldn't have been able to tear them apart merely by existing. Seriously, Juliet had Rob hooked and tore him away from Rose a mere two days after her introduction. They had spoken maybe twice before then. It wasn't a terrible book though, so I won't take my disappointment out on it. I liked the growth of Rosaline's character, how she came into her own towards the end and started to see that there would be a life after Rob. I also really enjoyed her budding relationship with Len, though why he liked her in the first place, I'll never know. She was awful to him. In the end, When You Were Mine is just a good book that failed to live up to my expectations. Doesn't mean you won't love it, so give it a go. If you do choose to read it, or have already read it, I'd love to hear what you think.
I've always been a huge fan of Shakespeare ever since taking honors Shakespeare in high school, so as soon as I heard this was loosely based on Romeo and Juliet I knew I needed to read it. I'm so happy I had the oppurtunity to read and review this book, because it was phenomenal. I absolutely loved it and ended up reading this in pretty much one sitting, because I simply needed to know what was going to happen (although you kinda knew where the story was going to lead).Although you could guess which way the story was going to end, it still ended up being a shock to my system and brought tears to my eyes. I felt so horrible for Rosealine and felt her pain. I wanted to punch Rob simply because of his stupidity for leaving Rose for Juliet. I felt like Juliet was so coniving in this story, and the fact that Rob couldn't see right through that fustrated me to no end. I wanted to love Rob because he seemed like a good guy that got blindsided by a "bad" girl, but I had a love/hate relationship with him; I hated that I wanted to love him. Rebecca Serle hit the nail on the head with this Romeo and Juliet re-telling. I adored this book from start to finish. Although it could have felt extrememly predictable because of the fact that its a re-telling it didn't to me at all, and still left me guessing a bit which was the story was going to go, which is a sign of a great re-telling in my opinion. This so far for me has been my favorite contemporary i've read so far this year! If you haven't picked this one up yet, and you're a fan of YA contemporarys or Shakespeare re-tellings don't pass this one up!
When You Were Mine was phenomenal!! I couldn't put it down. It was a great read and even better if you have read Romeo and Juliet. Even if you haven't, it's still a great read!!
Best book ever!
booksbysteph says "Take It or Leave It" "What if the greatest love story ever told was the wrong one?" People remember Romeo and Juliet as a love story and forget it is actually a tragedy. "[T]here was someone before Juliet ever came into the picture. Someone who Romeo loved very much. Her name was Rosaline." In this modern-day adaptation, Rosaline and her Romeo, Rob, have been best friends since practically birth. Things started to get serious the night before Rob left for the summer to be a camp counselor. On the first day of senior year, Rob finally asks Rose out on a proper date. Though worried how it would affect their friendship, being together just seemed right. Rose's cousin, Juliet, moves back to town. It has been ten years since Rose and Rob have spoken to Juliet. But now Juliet has her eyes set on Rob. Rob easily falls for Juliet and Rose is devastated. But Rose began to notice everyone around her whispering. Some people are holding on to secrets that will change lives...forever. I GIVE THIS BOOK: 3 Stars Take it or leave it. It is up to you to decide if you want to read this modern-day adaptation of Romeo and Juliet from Rosaline's point-of-view. Modern-day Romeo and Juliet from the point-of-view of the jilted ex? A good idea in theory. It really took a lot of strength to push trough this book. Juliet does not even appear until a third of the way into it. The beginning reads like a high school girl. Yes, Rose is a high school girl. But the non-stop fast talking in her mind was really annoying. Everything has a story behind it or references something that ends up irrelevant to the story. While the story is about the forgotten character of Rosaline, needed information about Rob and Juliet lacked. I understand the heartbreak that Rose felt, but she never let on how much she knew about why Rob so easily turned from her. How can you mourn lovers when you do not know why they loved each other? (And that is not a spoiler - the entire world knows Romeo and Juliet die.) Until next time, live life one page at a time!
This book is so amazing!! It is romantic and dramatic. There are so many twists and turns to this book I couldn't put it down i just had to see what happened next. When You Were Mine made me feel so many different things, I cried I laughed I gasped and I smiled. I recommend this book to any teenage girl that likes or even doesn't like reading. I loved it!!!
It was cute. Not great but not bad.
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication Date: May 1, 2012 Rating: 5 stars Source: Won a giveaway Summary (from Goodreads): 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… What I Liked: Oh, contemporary novels, whe have you done to me?! This book was one of the last books I read in 2012, and I absolutely LOVED it! I have to say, while I expected some things in this book to happen, with Rob and Juliet, I did not expect others (like, the end? I did not expect it to go that far - but I loved it). The plot is so engrossing! I feel like I do not describe many contemporary novels as engrossing, but this one was! I read it between two days, within hours. It's one that is quick to read, but also very dense. It's not a light read all the time. Okay, next, the characters. I really like Rosaline. I truly saw character development in her throughout the story, and it was nice, smooth character development (smooth meaning there were many events that tested Rosaline's character, but she handled those situations better each time, learning from her mistakes). Rob is too perfect - so I was not on board with him from the start. I kind of liked Juliet, despite her standoffish attitude. Len, Olivia, and Charlie are all wonderful supporting characters. If there are any more books that deal with this story, then I definitely want to see more of Len. Overall, this book is terrific - a real winner in the contemporary world. And guess what? No love triangle!!! Well. Kind of no triangle. It's the kind of triangle that I can tolerate. Girl like boy #1, and boy #2 likes girl. In the end, everyone is kind of squared away, though girl still harbors feelings for boy #1. and I like that about this book - the feelings don't just disappear. Rosaline still cares for Rob as a friend and more, even though he's not hers. But things definitely end well in my opinion. And hey. When You Were Mine was one of my favorite contemporary novels of 2012! What I Did Not Like: I really, really wanted more from Len (like, more interactions). Otherwise, I have no complaints :) Would I Recommend It: YES!!! Contemporary lover? GO GET IT NOW!!! Rating: 5 stars. SQUEE! I loved this book! Like, lots!
It was an okay book
A new interpretation of one of the most read tragedies in the world? Yes, please! Romeo & Juliet was one of my favourite reads in high school and is one of my favourite classics in general. The two doomed lovers dying a tragic death. It was always a story I found myself fascinated by. So you can probably imagine how excited I was to read WHEN YOU WERE MINE. WHEN YOU WERE MINE is an amazing read, a fabulous YA contemporary romance with just the right amount of tragedy, drama and love. Some of you might say that a story like Romeo & Juliet can’t be copied so easily or that another retake only promises to be tiresome. Whereas the story follows the main events of the classic Romeo & Juliet, in the end it is only roughly based on it. This time it’s Rosaline’s story to be told. Rosaline is the girl no one has really thought about much, until now. Rebecca Serle chose the famous tale of the two Italian cult star-crossed lovers and transformed the story to California with a pretty impressive storyline in mind. I loved to find out what of the original story she decided to keep and in how far she adjusted single details, added characters or wrote riveting new dialogues. The book is divided into acts and scenes just like the original play and based on various tendencies and main events of Romeo and Juliet. The names of the WHEN YOU WERE MINE characters are very similar to the original names like Rosaline Caplet, Rob Montag, Juliet Caplet. That similarity bothered me a bit in the beginning, because just from the sound of their names, I imagined the characters to be copied, too (they are really not!). In the end I appreciated even that tiny detail, the names, that led to an excellent new telling about that ancient love story. Or better, the story of the girl who got hurt in the process and forgotten over the years. Without telling too much about the story, I can tell you that much about WHEN YOU WERE MINE. The focus doesn’t solely lie on one love story. There’s more to that book than Rob loving Juliet or Rosaline’s feelings for Rob. It needs some time to discover in which direction the story is headed and that was what made WHEN YOU WERE MINE such a spectacularly enjoyable read. A major plus is that WHEN YOU WERE MINE is not all about love, but friendship, too. You can imagine Rosaline must go trough many hardships and it’s an invaluable gift to have friends by your side. I’m sure you’ll love her best friend Charlie just as much as I did and highly appreciate the thread of their friendship’s story. Rebecca Serle wrote her book with the knowledge that her readers’ would be expecting a certain outcome or start into it with predefined pictures of the characters Juliet, Rob and Rosaline. Of course Juliet would be the innocently cute girl who captured Rob’s heart, Rob her knight in shining armour and Rosaline the jealous ex not worthy of an own story. Now Rebecca managed to shape the characters in a completely new and exciting way and I admit that Shakespeare couldn’t have done a better job. I was infuriated with the irrational, immature and mindless behaviour of some characters, moved by the emotional conflicts other characters had to go through and simply enraptured by the true major love story that hasn’t been told all that time. THE VERDICT WHEN YOU WERE MINE- The profound and adorable Romeo & Juliet retelling I didn’t know I had always been waiting for to find, devour, and love. Rebecca Serle makes YA and Shakespeare readers’ dreams come true. YA contemporary readers, there’s no way around Rebecca Serle’s debut WHEN YOU WERE MINE. This Romeo and Juliet retelling is inspired by Shakespeare’s story, yet bears ever new surprises and turns the story way round. Rosaline’s been the star all along!
When you were mine is a great book that everyonr should read. It is a modern day romeo and juliet.It will suprise you at the end though.
New twist on romeo and Juliet. It's a sad book but leaves you feeling good.
Contemporary fiction usually isn't my thing. I am more of a paranormal reader, or at least I thought I was. But for some reason, I thought I needed a change in genre. Well, When You Were Mine was exactly the change I needed! I absolutely loved this book, and everything about it: the characters, the storyline, the new perspective on an age old classc. This is the second 'retelling' I have read, and I have got to say, I am definately enjoying this trend. I fell in love with the main character: Rosaline. Everything about her was relatable and down to earth. I liked how I could see myself in her shoes from the very beginning of the book. Never while reading this book did I feel like she was an unrealistic character. Her emotions were real, and she handled the tough situations she was put in great. Her emotions and reactions throughtout the book were never rushed or forced. They were just what I would expect to feel if it were me in the same situation. That right there was one of the reasons I enjoyed the book so much. Another great plus for this book was the friendships. Rosaline's group of friends were close, and that was good to see. I like it when the friends of the story are close and an acutal support system for the main character. The plot flowed very smoothly. Even though it is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, and everybody knows what is going to happen, I was still very pleasntly surprised by all the twists and turns the story took. I never found myself bored. I have to say that this was a very great read! Rebecca Serle is a very talented writer. One able to make an old classic play feel fresh and new. I loved her imagination in this book and her take on how Rosie felt and acted in Romeo and Juliet. It was nice. I would highly recommend this book! I hope Rebecca writes another retelling. I would love to see her take on other classics! As a side note, I really liked a quote in the book. "Sometimes...the hardest part about letting someone go is realizing that you were never meant to have them."
This book is my favorite
What a fantastic book! It is at times heartbreaking, yet overall, incredibly heartwarming. I devoured this book in a matter of hours and eagerly await the next book from this author. She is now on my automatic must read list.