I finished reading When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle early this morning for an Around the World ARC Tour.
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…
I love Romeo and Juliet. Love it! So I was excited to read a retelling of it and from a different point of view. But maybe its because I love the original so much that I felt like this book was lacking in several areas.
First the good. I love Rosaline! She is such a great character. She's part of the popular crowd but still down to earth and questions about how she got to be popular. I just feel like she's someone I would be friends with in real life. And I liked Charlie. She reminds me of a girl I used to be best friends with. Loud and outgoing and straightforward. Olivia got on my nerves some though. The boys were okay. I liked Ben and how he seemed a little nerdy. And I really liked Rob at the beginning. But then the big surprise happens and I feel like he turned into a complete jerk. And Juliet. I love Juliet in the original so it was fun to hate it her in this version.
And I liked the overall plot. I like the idea of Rosaline getting her heartbroken by her best friend, just not how it was done (not that I like the idea of heartbreak, just that it makes for a good story). And I liked the general idea of what happens at the end, just not the rumors going around about it.
What I have problems with are pretty spoiler-y, so I'm going to write them below. You can highlight them if you want to be able to read the words.
I didn't like how Rob and Juliet got together. Juliet asks to Rob to take her to the dance, in front of Rosaline, and he says yes?? Um, how about no?!?! Then when Juliet isn't there yet, and Rosaline goes into the bathroom for 5ish minutes, she comes out and suddenly they're wrapped up in each other, totally in love? Yeah, not so much. The quickness of it just drove me crazy. It would have made more sense if it had grown at least over a couple of weeks. Then Juliet's attempted suicide. I guess we can assume why she tried to kill herself at the end, because of her dad's affair, but that happened a decade ago so I'm not sure that would be the reason and nothing else is given. And it's completely glossed over. There's no mention of Juliet going through therapy or anything. This didn't work for me either. And the death of Rob and Juliet. In the book, it's sad and tragic yest somehow romantic. Here, its just another sad drunk driving accident. Nothing romantic about it. Then at the end, she finally decides to be with Len the day of (or it might have been a few days after) Rob's funeral. I get that maybe she realized that she was really over Rob, but come on! Have some respect! And really, with the way Rosaline treated him, why would Len even want to be with her??
So yeah, while I liked the beginning, and the idea of the end, the problems were pretty major for me. They had me shaking my head several times throughout the book. I think I'll stick to the original Romeo and Juliet.
I gave this book a rating of 3/5.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2012 Reading Challenge 150+: 46
2012 ARC Reading Challenge: 39
2012 Debut Author Challenge: 14
2012 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 43
Completely Contemp Challenge 2012: 2012-9
2012 Standalone Reading Challenge: 12
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for
an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.