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When You Were Mine

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  5,190 ratings  ·  746 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years comes an intensely romantic modern recounting of the greatest love story ever told—narrated by the girl Romeo was supposed to love.

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
Hardcover, 334 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 2012)
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Averie Hello! I am a new teen, I found this book at Walmart the other day and thought it was a great concept. I am happy to say that I would recommend this f…moreHello! I am a new teen, I found this book at Walmart the other day and thought it was a great concept. I am happy to say that I would recommend this for teenagers similar to my age. There was mentions of sex, for example, one of the characters talks about her first time and such, but it's not too detailed or anything, just casually and short conversation. It's equal to high schoolers wondering about their first time. This book has not too much of language either, so it should be good. It's not written like it's in the medieval times either, it's up to date. I hope this helped and hope you enjoy it!(less)

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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,190 ratings  ·  746 reviews

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Emily May
Feb 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arc, young-adult, 2012, romance

This book is a real snarkfest, in fact I kind of wish someone other than me was reviewing this right now, I have a good many friends who could really go to town on this one. The author successfully manages to be sexist to both men and women, indulge in a bout of slut-shaming, and completely miss the point.

I actually really like Shakespeare most of the time, but I think that Romeo and Juliet is one of his weakest works - or one of my least favourites, anyway. The greatest love story of all ti
Mar 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
Sometimes a book calls out to you, be it for all the right or wrong reasons. When it comes to re-imaginings of age-old tales and classics of the literary pantheon, one must tread lightly, particularly when entering the realm of William Shakespeare. It’s important to remember the cultural and historical context of his work when applying it to a modern day setting. It’s possible to remain faithful to the source material while still adapting it to fit today’s moral & societal changes. A good exampl ...more
May 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
Gentle reader, I wish to spare you my suffering. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury this book, not to praise it. When You Were Mine is awful. It is not simply awful it is bitter, stupid, sexist, and above all a lie.

Actually, no. The worst part really is how grossly sexist and simplified it is. The author says she had her own heartbreak and "turned the experience into this book," which shows because Rose's bitterness is very authentic. There are times, brief and fleeti
Larry H
Nov 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Rebecca Serle's When You Were Mine is a sort-of modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet , with a slightly different focus. (Apparently at the start of the play, Romeo is in love with Roseline, and he goes to a party to try and catch sight of her, then Juliet enters the picture. Story over.)

Roseline and her best friends are excited that senior year of high school is about to begin, and they’re ready to make it the best year ever. She’s hoping that she and Rob, her longtime crush, will finally
Sarah (saz101)
It's no secret the greatest love story ever told is no love story. Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy—a tale of bigotry, and murder; a story about a thirteen year old girl and a fickle, capricious boy, ending in suicide and tragedy for all. But what if it was wrong? Or not the whole story? Turns out... it’s every inch as heartbreaking, and if Rebecca Serle does one thing magnificently, it’s laying on the heartbreak. Grab your tissues and your comfort food, and prepare to fall in love... You know what ...more
Mar 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
2.5 stars

When I first heard about this book I was quite intrigued with the idea of telling the story of Romeo and Juliet from Rosaline’s point of view. The girl before the girl. So I was a little disappointed when I started reading and realised that this was actually a contemporary novel, based on the famous play.

For one thing, the little we know of the original Rosaline was that she rejected Romeo (I’ve always doubted she was the first girl Romeo had proclaimed his undying love to) and Romeo la
Jul 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've always loved the story of Romeo and Juliet. It's a classic and one of the very few Shakespeare books that I actually paid attention to in high school, so I was very curious about When You Were Mine after reading the blurb. I never thought about what it would it be like from Rosaline's perspective and I gotta tell ya, I was mighty impressed.

Rebecca Serle spins a remarkable tale of teen angst, broken hearts, hope, family drama and tragedy all mixed together in a high school setting. The writi
Tabitha (Bows & Bullets Reviews)
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews


This book had my full attention as soon as I read the description. Finally! Someone who remembers that Romeo was all in love with someone else at the beginning of that horrid play!

What this awesome author does is take The Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet and set it in modern times, telling the story from Rosaline’s perspective (the girl Romeo was all in love with until he set eyes on the wonderful Juliet and ful
Have you ever had one of those out of body experiences where you can see yourself stabbing yourself repeatedly, but you can’t stop it? Okay, maybe not stabbing, but a situation in which you can't seem to stop yourself from doing something self-destructive. That was how I felt while reading When You Were Mine. I knew it wouldn’t turn out well, I had no idea why I was reading it, but I did it anyway. It’s the lackluster story of Rosaline, who, if you remember your Shakespeare well enough, was the ...more
Jul 14, 2011 marked it as to-read
"Because Shakespeare may have gotten the story wrong, but we all still know how it ends." This line right here sold me on the book. ...more
Frankly, that was an absolute clusterf*ck.

Full RTC
I usually love alternative retellings of popular and classic works, particularly if the story involved gives a unique twist or spin on the original work that makes you consider it in its own league or spectrum. I think the best Shakespearean spin-off/retelling/interpretation I've read in recent memory in any genre is "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" by Tom Stoppard. I loved the play, I even adored the movie (if you haven't seen the movie and you've read Hamlet - do it now - it has Gary Ol ...more
A finished unsolicited copy was provided by the publisher for review.

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
Apr 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Angie by: Carla
Shelves: good-uns, retellings, ya
Originally reviewed here.

WHEN YOU WERE MINE came and went across my radar after I took a brief glance at its cover and mentally relegated it to the Jennifer Echols realm of contemporary YA romance. I enjoyed Going Too Far, but haven't loved her others or found myself in the mood for more of the same since. But that judgement was admittedly based entirely on the cover, font, tagline, etc. Then I read Carla's review over at The Crooked Shelf, and I took a second gander. Shakespeare, you say? Retel
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
[review originally posted on Rather Be Reading]

After I finished Insurgent, I wanted something 180 degrees different. What better to pick up than a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story - except this time from the perspective of the girl Romeo (or Rob, in When You Were Mine) discarded, Rosaline? I have to admit I was a little unsure of how closely the story would follow Shakespeare’s masterpiece. I don’t want to get into the details of the ins and outs of what happens because you should experience th
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
Review originally posted in:

I adore the yellow sunset background and the image of the boy and the girl about to kiss which I assume represents Rob and Rose. I think I like the UK/AU cover more than the US one!


What if the greatest love story ever told was the wrong one?

When I first heard of When You Were Mine, the only thing I knew was that the book is a re-telling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, set in the modern world. What I didn't know w
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
WHEN YOU WERE MINE wasn't what I was expecting from the summary and reviews. As you probably know, WHEN YOU WERE MINE is a modern adaptation of William Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET through the point-of-view of the jilted Rosaline. I had this imagine in my head of a crazy passionate romance between Rosaline and Rob, suddenly interrupted by her sociopathic cousin Juliet. It would then go into thriller territory, with Rosaline trying to save Rob's life. That's not quite how the book goes.

Emily Anne
Jul 10, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dissapointed
Note: This is a short ramble. I won't be doing a full review :)

I was very disappointed by When You Were Mine. I enjoyed Rebecca Serle's most recent novel, The Edge of Falling, and expected to enjoy this one even more. However, I was very bored most of the time and, in my opinion, the writing was very bleh. Also, I feel as if the portrayal of Rob and Juliet was poorly done. I hated the way Juliet was blamed for the relationship. I won't be writing a full review as I feel as if the slew of other n
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When You Were Mine is an extremely compelling book. It's much more difficult to explain than just simply saying a modern recounting of Romeo and Juliet. In my opinion it was much deeper than a mere recounting of a story. I just can't think of the best way to describe what it's like, other than that. It's a complex and rich love story, filled with both grief and happy moments. Rebecca Serle has come out swinging with this beautiful debut novel.

Most of us know the story of Romeo and Juliet. It's c
Oct 03, 2011 added it
I've never been much of a Romeo and Juliet fan. Not even 12 year old me was swayed by the movie adaptation featuring my one true love, Leo DiCaprio. In fact, it only made me loathe Juliet more – I still believe that if Angela Chase wasn’t brought into my life, I would still be harboring some serious resentment towards Claire Danes. Because how dare Romeo forget all about Rosaline! (who sounds like a riot) Such a guy move! So I never appreciated the story because I was solidly, unmovingly on Team ...more
Jillian Heise
Aug 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics-retold, r-j
Review originally posted on Heise Reads & Recommends

I was really excited to see an advanced reader copy of this book at the convention because I had heard about it/seen the summary, and it sounded really good. It ended up not being exactly what I was expecting from the summary that I had read, but I did like it; although, I was a little bit unsure in the beginning. We all know Shakespeare's version of Romeo & Juliet, but this book says Shakespeare may have gotten it all wrong because it's really
Brandi Kosiner
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 12, 2011 marked it as looks-promising
Friends who fall in love but are kept apart by the heroine's crazy cousin named Juliet? Count me in. ...more
Misty Baker
Sep 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Last year I got into a pretty heated (twitter) argument with a lady about Shakespeare. My stance: Shakespeare is the root of all evil. Her’s? Shakespeare is the definition of love. Now, I could go on and on, stand proud and tall on my soap box and list the many reasons her statement is complete and total bull-crapology. But I have a feeling I’d only be opening up the flood gates (aka my comment section) to a pack of rabid Shakespeare fans, so instead… I’ll let Rebecca Serle (author of “When You ...more
Madelyn Hastings
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I’m leaving my thoughts on this book until a few other people are done ☺️
Nov 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: simon-schuster
Originally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me

"If you read closely, you’ll realize that there was someone before Juliet ever came into the picture. Someone who Romeo loved very much. Her name was Rosaline."

When You Were Mine sets the tone for the rest of the novel with its intriguing prologue, ripe with downcast foreshadowing. We go into this book knowing that Rosaline's going to be dumped by the love of her life, and spend the time afterwards dreading the inevitable breakup and whatever e
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted at:

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
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
***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 fo
Sep 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Guys, let's have a little chat.

William Shakespeare is a fantastic writer, honestly. He's created a lot of words we use today, his writing is really beautiful and descriptive and there's a reason we quote him so much. However, I hate Romeo and Juliet. I hate most of the plays I've read, really, but especially Romeo and Juliet. I always thought it was stupid that Romeo would be so in love with Rosaline and then within minutes it's all about Juliet. I couldn't stand how whiny they were without each
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Madison Mega-Mara...: When You Were Mine, by Rebecca Serle 1 2 Aug 17, 2012 08:42AM  

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Rebecca Serle is an author and television writer who lives between New York and Los Angeles. Serle most recently co-developed the hit TV adaptation of her young adult series Famous in Love, now on Freeform. She loves Nancy Meyers films, bathrobes, and giving unsolicited advice on love. She can be found on twitter: @RebeccaASerle

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