When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
Release Date – May 1, 2012
Publisher Website – Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 334 pages
My Rating- 2.5/5
**obtained from S&S GalleyGrab link for an honest review**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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….I adore Romeo and Juliet. It’s one of my favourite Shakespeare plays. I love the romance, and tragedy Shakespeare conveyed. I was very excited when I read the synopsis for this novel.. Immediately intrigued, I wanted to learn more about Rosaline, and see a unique spin on the classic tale. The premise, and ideal was solid, unfortunately it ended up not being the book for me.
My main issue was the characters. I didn’t connect or particularly like any of them. Rosaline has her moments where I liked her, but she had just as many moments were I couldn’t connect with her at all. Rob was either making me angry, or just not making a huge impression either way. Juliet was pretty hostile and unfriendly.
I had a hard time with vilifying Juliet because she went after Rob. Nobody told her that Rob was taken. Rob didn’t say no when Juliet asked him out. Juliet had never seen Rob and Rosaline kissing, or holding hands. She might have picked up on some vague feelings, but honestly Rosaline and Rob were just starting to get together when Juliet enters the picture. Could Juliet have been nicer? Absolutely. I just have issues with her being the “bad one” because she went after what she wanted, when it appeared that Rob was available and open to it.
The ending that you know is coming if you have read the Shakespeare play doesn’t resonate the way it should. I didn’t feel I knew the characters of Rob and Juliet enough to feel the pain that should accompany what happens. It felt almost rushed, and like a footnote to the story. Rosaline’s reaction to what happens is well developed and one of the stronger moments in the novel. It was when I felt the most connected to her character, and I felt the author handled this part of the story really well.
I think I would have enjoyed the story more if there were more in depth details provided. The family fight that causes so many of the problems, and is the catalyst for everything is touched on so briefly. It doesn’t have the impact it should, much like the tragic ending.
The premise was promising, and there are some shining moments, but mostly due to me not connecting to the characters, and certain plot areas that I wish had been more developed made this book one that wasn’t for me.