August 2, 2012

The Classic Friend Zone • When You Were Mine

When You Were Mine book cover
When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Source/Format: Bought || Books of Wonder

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…

(This book is one of the books up for grabs as part of my birthday & Travel Tales giveaway!)

I am a longtime fan of Romeo and Juliet, and have been since the first time I read the full length Shakespeare play when I was about ten. There's just something magical about the words and sad about the tragedy, and I loved it. So it was a sure bet that I'd grab WHEN YOU WERE MINE as soon as I possibly could!

The book tells a modern day Romeo and Juliet story, but from the point of view of a character that tends to be overlooked - Rosaline, Romeo (or in this case, Rob's) first love. Using this particular character as her mouthpiece definitely worked for REBECCA SERLE, as I felt like it was fresh and interesting to examine the events through Rosaline's eyes.

I definitely started out rooting for Rosaline and Rob. I knew that it wasn't going to happen, as the summary makes clear, but I couldn't help it. There was just something so sweet about their relationship, and I really, really, really hoped that things would work out. It was fairly apparent to me (and to everyone in their lives) that they were perfect together - and this made me feel optimistic even though I knew it wasn't going to end up that way. Deep inside my heart though, I still wish that Rob and Rosaline could have ended up together - I mean, come on, the best friends falling in love is totally a story I can root for.

Of course, most of the drama begins when Juliet, Rosaline's cousin, moves back into town, which is only to be expected. Her first appearance alone is enough to bring tension into the story, and nowhere more so than when it comes to Rosaline and Rob. Juliet proceeds to bring drama into every single thing - friendships, relationships, family... and I sort of hated her for it. It annoyed me to no end that she acted so entitled, but I can definitely say I felt a bit of sympathy for her towards the end of the book.

For the most part, if you can't already tell, WHEN YOU WERE MINE does follow the Shakespeare play it took its inspiration from. REBECCA SERLE takes the familiar elements - the feuding families and the "starcrossed" lovers, most especially - and brings them into a tale all her own.  I enjoyed experiencing the modern twists and interpretations that make up the story, and it's quite cleverly done.

One of the other things I loved about the book was the presence of really strong female friendships. Best friends like Charlotte and Olivia just don't grow on trees - they're awesome characters in their own right. I love how supportive they are of Rosaline, how they encourage her to pursue Rob, but protect her when things go wrong between them. Plus, they definitely add a fun aspect to the story!

Another new addition to the book that I really love is the presence of Len. He starts out as a character that Rosaline would barely give the time of day to, but ends up becoming someone important to her. At first, I wasn't fully convinced that I would like Len, but his thoughtfulness and his fun personality won me over. My only complaint about him is that there's not nearly enough of him in the book!

All in all, I loved WHEN YOU WERE MINE just as much as I thought I would. It's a sassy, intelligent reinterpretation of one of the most famous Shakespeare works of all time; REBECCA SERLE certainly did it justice. This is the perfect book if you're looking for something with romance and friendship, with a bit of drama thrown into the mix.


  1. Yes, I have to give credit to Serle for potrying positive female relationships, I didn't notice that when I first read this one.

    I just noticed your new blog design. I love it !

  2. This one sounds great! I didn't know it was based on Shakespeare! That's a change ... everything seems to be based on fairytales these days!

    Great review ... I'm going go have to add this to my list. :)

  3. I absolutely loved Romeo and Juliet. I can't wait to read this one :)

  4. I loved Len! That boy is just *sigh* :)
    I can also totally root for friends falling in love, but I was just so incredibly MAD at Rob!
    So glad you enjoyed this one as well, I loved it!

  5. I am always so happy to hear that people enjoyed this book, loved your review Alexa! I really liked Len, such a unique male MC :)

  6. So, so glad you enjoyed this! I really did too. I gobbled it up. I was so, so angry at Rob though. I mean, just hurt by his actions. :( Len was a nice saving grace - he was a great character!


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