Aparajitabasu's Reviews > When You Were Mine

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
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's review
Jun 09, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, romance, shakespeare-an-play, pulse-it-simon-and-schuester-readin, young-adult
Read from May 30 to June 05, 2012

My fourth Simon & Schuester pulse it read and its another sad one based on my least favorite tragedy by the English bard Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet. Presenting my views of When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle.

Here is the summary of the book:

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…

Its based on Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, and for me it gathers much more points than the original did, even West Side Story gathers much more points that the original.... So I don't really think I need to explain what this is all about really. Rebecca Serle's version bases itself on the least known character of the original play, Rosaline (very smart).... its a modern re-telling of the tragedy of Romeo & Juliet but with Romeo's original love, Rosaline as the center piece.

Rosaline Caplet and Rob Monteg have been best buddies for all eternity and just when things were starting to look brighter for them both, her deranged cousin, Juliet comes in between and destroys the peace between. Rob falls for her outward beauty and Rosaline takes a back seat much to the chargin of their friends.....the worst decision of her life and its not just her friendship (well love) that hangs in the balance but Rob's life too because Juliet is known to be crazy and to even kill to get her end.

Now I don't really like contemporary stories; romance, tragedy, coming of age or whatever..... makes me sad and rambling a lot but this one is way sadder than I thought it would be. Rosaline is a simple teenage girl who loves her next door neighbor and long time best friend very much but is afraid to say the words because if it didn't work out then it would be pretty disastrous for both of them. Then they go to their first date and share a heart stopping kiss and all seems to be great but then her deranged and psychotic cousin comes and in and it all goes astray. Rob falls for her Barbie looks (sorry I love Barbie and there is no way i'll compare them but it was only fitting). Rosaline, bless her kindred soul only wants to see her best friend and her cousin happy even at the cost of her own happiness....and it definitely is not what I wanted to see.

Now while reading it, I have to say though I was pretty much shipping Rosaline & Rob together, they completed each other and when Juliet comes in between them, all I wanted was to hurl something at my LCD monitor (where I was reading it) and tell Rosaline to get a movie on and claim what was was her's before something happened but no she stepped back and in a bid to make her estranged cousin happy....lost everything. Even Rob was at fault here....if he wasn't so nervous and had they sat down and talked things through then maybe things never would have taken such a big U-turn. It all comes down to our 'choices' .. its these choices and decisions that shape us and then post disaster you can't really blame yourself for what went wrong but to accept what happened and try very hard to move past it.

But got to say though I really liked it and recommend everybody to give it a try. Rebecca Serle really brought a new twist to Shakespeare's play and made my heart go out to their situation....or Rosaline's situation. I definitely liked the supporting cast very much. The pacing was all done very well..... although it did start slow. If there is one thing I didn't like ..... well it was how it ended ..... I really was rooting for Rosalie and Rob to end up together and save the day but I suppose Ms. Serle's writing works pretty well.

"Hauntingly beautiful - Rebecca Serle bring out the least known character of Shakespeare's original tragedy to the center stage"

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Reading Progress

06/05/2012 page 84
25.0% "onto Act II Scene 2 now.....my goodness Juliet really has some issues"
06/05/2012 page 151
45.0% "I seriously hate Juliet right now"
06/05/2012 page 334
100.0% "finished in one go - this book is really going to be hard to review though and there's this other thing.....Ms. Serle you are making me go to sleep crying not good at all"

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