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… – Goodreads
Yikes, glancing through some reviews from blog friends, it definitely looks like I’m in the minority when it comes to Rebecca Serle’s When You Were Mine. Others seem to have taken a liking to this book, but unfortunately I found very little to enjoy about it.
When You Were Mine is a modern retelling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet told from the POV of the first girl Romeo (Rob in this book) was smitten with, Rosaline. I immediately thought this would make for an interesting read because Rosaline would bring a fresh perspective to the story we’ve all grown to be familiar with. Eh, not so much. Rosaline never felt like a complete character to me. As a matter of fact, I can say this for the other characters as well. They came across as cardboard cutouts, with absolutely no layers or defining personalities. Characters are always the main thing for me and Rebecca Serle missed the mark in that regard.
I really struggled to get through the book, but I must say that the second half was an improvement from the first. I still had to make myself get through it, but I found Rosaline less irritating, her growing relationship with Len somewhat sweet, and all the drama a little more interesting. I was especially curious to find out if it would end similarly to the source material…
I find myself thinking that When You Were Mine could have worked better in a different setting. Rebecca Serle had a good idea with Rosaline’s story, but this modernized story, in a high school setting, didn’t help with its lack of depth. This isn’t to say that books revolving around high school can’t be layered — that’s not the case at all — this just wasn’t one. The shallowness of the characters, coupled with the high schoolness of it all — especially some of the more stereotypical characterizations — left me feeling very empty towards the book.
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