Review: ‘When You Were Mine’ by Rebecca Serle

I received this book for free from publisher unsolicited in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘When You Were Mine’ by Rebecca SerleWhen You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
Published by Simon Pulse on May 1st, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Retelling, Young Adult
Pages: 334
Format: Hardcover
Source: publisher unsolicited
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.

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Reading the description off the back of this book made me think it was about Romeo and Juliet, but it wasn’t. It was better. The story follows Rosaline, Rob’s best friend and next-door neighbour. Following a long summer without Rob, Rosaline develops real feelings for Rob, and without any explanation, Rob finally makes a move, and the two start dating. Their senior year of high school start and with that comes the privilege of hanging out in the lounge where it’s exclusive to seniors only.

Now I have no idea if I was blind and ignorant in high school, but why in the world are popular people considered to be rulers of the school? Take the character of Rosaline’s best friend Charlie. Beautiful, and absolutely annoying. She’s also quite mean! I wished Rosie had the backbone and the strength to stand up for herself. Why compare yourself to your best friends? What does it do to you? It makes you feel inferior and I felt Rosaline felt inferior to Charlie and Olivia. Her whining about how beautiful and smart her best friends were annoyed me to no end. Can I just give Rosaline proof that she is also those things? Rob loves her. He loves her, and not just because of her looks but because she’s an amazing person. Sometimes, characters like Rosie make me want to coddle her so she can realize she should be confident. Screw low self-esteem!

Now to the retelling of the story, I thought it was done well. Capulet and Monteg families feuding as usual, but I loved the spin that Rosaline was Juliet’s cousin. Wonderful twist, to a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, When You Were Mine is a delightful read!


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. (10)
I guess that’s the thing about getting older. You realize differences can be good things. Not just bad ones. (238)
So I guess Shakespeare didn’t get it wrong, after all. The truth is that there are many different endings to the same story. This one is mine. (334)





  1. Jaime Lynn

    August 16, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    I like that this is a different take on the same old story. Poor Rosaline….

  2. Grace Lo

    October 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    *Sigh* Protagonists who are softies are getting common alongside mean BFFs. But I thought that this idea was a much better idea than the original Romeo and Juliet book. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m already intrigued and ever so slightly heart-broken for Rosaline. It’s supposed to be a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, but if it follows that path, I’d feel so emotionally torn for Rosaline, but having Romeo turn back to Rosaline’d seem a bit too much of that happily-ever-after . . .

  3. Juhina

    June 11, 2012 at 5:36 AM

    I really hate when the protagonist doesn’t stand up for herself and lets her mean “best friend” basically rule her. I really am tired of contemporaries with a mean best friend! but still, great review, and the book still seems like an awesome contemporary!

    – juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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