Friday, 18 May 2012

#104 Book Review: When You Were Mine

When You Were Mine
Release Date: May 1st 2012
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Source: Publisher for Review
Format: Paperback
Where to Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository
More Info: Goodreads
Summary from Goodreads:
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….
My review:

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 was that it's told from the POV of a character called Rosaline which is in fact, Romeo's first love in the play. I never actually read Romeo and Juliet's play but I know how the story goes and I know how it ends. I never knew that a character called Rosaline existed. This makes the whole book very interesting because we see the story through her eyes and her character. But, this book is not exactly the same like the play.

In the play, Rosaline was Romeo's first love and that Rosaline rejected him. When You Were Mine is the opposite. The 'Romeo' of the story, Rob Monteg, leaves Rosaline 'Rose' Caplet for Juliet Caplet, Rose's cousin. There is a unique twist to the original play in When You Were Mine and it makes it very enjoyable and wonderful. The only thing about this book is since it's a re-telling of the play, we all know how it ends. When You Were Mine introduced me to a new way of seeing the original play and things can completely change when the play is written differently. I liked how Rebecca Serle turned the play to a modern re-telling and I thought it was really creative. The ending was powerful and beautiful. I loved how it wrapped the whole story.

When I read this book, I was certain that I would love Rob since he's the Romeo and Romeo was such a romantic, sweet, gentle and swoon-worthy guy. Rob might be sweet and gentle but I disliked him. He was absolutely not swoon-worthy and totally not 'Romeo'. He easily dumps Rosaline and left her for Juliet even though they kissed and he acted as if he really loves Rosaline. Sorry Rob, you are no Romeo.

I really liked Rosaline in this book. I felt her pain of being dumped by Rob because he left her for her cousin. Rosaline found a new love in this book and it definitely was not Rob although he was perfect for Rosaline.

Juliet was very annoying. She was the 'It' girl in the story, pretty, brave, daring and boys are bound to love her, just like how Rob fell in love with her. She was in fact, not really in love with Rob and was just using him. Juliet is very different to the Juliet from the original play.

I also loved and adored Charlie and Olivia, Rosaline's best friends. They were very supportive of Rosaline and tried to ease her pain after Rob left her. They are friends that will always stay by your side no matter what.

The twist of the characters compared to the original play was very well-written! I really adore Rebecca's creativity in making her characters have different personalities compared to Romeo and Juliet from the play.

Do you remember Rosaline from Romeo and Juliet? Have you ever wondered what her story is like? When You Were Mine is a creative unique re-telling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet with a gorgeous twist to the story and characters. Beneath the romantic story, When You Were Mine carries a deeper theme for us to think and savour. I definitely recommend this book to those who adore re-tellings of stories, particularly Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet itself!
4 Forget-me-not flowers for When You Were Mine!
Thank you Simon & Schuster Australia for the review copy!


  1. i loved this book how fresh it was
    gr8 review

  2. The characters are all super fab! Even Juliet in a way because you gotta love to hate her. And Rob is so sad. A friendship gone horribly wrong. And don't even get me started on Olivia and Charlie! I EFFING LOVED THOSE GIRLS. This is one of my fave books this year so I'm superhappy to see that you liked it so much!

  3. When I first heard about this book, I think the idea is very creative too! Romeo and Juliet from the another person's POV? Sounds AMAZING! <3 Hm, Rob doesn't sound like a swoonworthy character, but I might have to read this book so I can meet the guy whom finally Rosaline fall in love with! :)

    Another lovely review from you, Celine! I really need to get this book soon <3

  4. I loved this book! Serle's writing style is so witty and engaging! Can't wait to read whatever she writes next!

  5. This book sounds amazing!! I will be sure to check it out :D

  6. I love the idea of this story told from a different perspective. I actually read the first 20% of this a while back and liked it a lot, but then my stupid conscience started tormenting me to go back to all those arcs. I will defintiely continue as soon as I get a chance.
    Fantastic review, Celine!

  7. I LOVED this one, Celine! I'm so glad you did, too. Oh, this broke my heart so many times in so many ways, but I loved it. And I LOVED Charlie and Olivia and Len and Rosaline. Such amazing characters... and one of the things I loved most is that I DESPISED Juliet all the way through the book, but wound up hurting for her in the end when she tried to 'protect' Rob :(

    *sigh* SO glad you loved it, love! ♥

  8. Wow! What an interesting take, from Rosaline's point of view... I do remember her (she's mentioned at the beginning of the movie, I think), but never thought more about her. But her take on the story... Now, that's something I'd like to read! To see the protagonists from another take, it really has to be something. But what a pity Rob isn't like Romeo! LOL
    Great review <3 I hope I can read it soon :)

  9. I love that this is from Rosaline's point of view! I'm not a big fan of Romeo&Juliet (I liked some of Shakespeare's other plays better) but this retelling sounds promising, especially since the author seems to have mixed it up a lot. I have a copy of this book and got so excited to see it divided into Acts... Cannot wait to read this. Great review, Celine. I'm so psyched for this and hope I like it too :D

  10. I am not really into retellings with a twist (or without it), but I love the cover and the tagline - I would be interested in it. I am glad that you liked it and I will keep an eye on this book, maybe I'll give it a try someday.
    Happy midnight reading!

  11. Wow I like the sound of this unique re-telling, especially if you didn't end up liking Romeo! Knowing me I would probabaly assume that I would like him! I think the cover to this one is gorgeous too! Fab review as always Celine :)

  12. Everyone seems to be LOVING this! My twitchy fingers are so gravitating toward a copy. It's such an interesting take, telling Rosaline's story and especially in a way that makes you sympathise with her more than Rob and Juliet. You have me so intrigued about this, Celine. FANTASTIC REVIEW!

  13. Yay you liked it! I really must grab this book sometime in the future! Amazing review. :)

  14. I'm sooo curious about this book but I don't want to read it because I know I would want to punch Romeo (er, Rob) and Juliet! I've heard it was fantastic though and it must be great to make everyone feel so strongly about it. I really wonder what the twist is! Wonderful review, Celine. :)

  15. This looks soo good. I also like the UK/AU cover, better. Awesome review, Celine. I want to read this one :)

  16. {i'm following your blog}

    I am leaving this note to let you know that I am following you. If you aren't already following me can you please return the favor and leave a comment on my most recent entry. Please and thank you! :)


  17. I've heard so many unflattering views of this book that it's nice to hear a different opinion! Especially since I have an ARC, hah. Thanks for the review, Candace!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  18. I love the idea for this and I have seen so many positive reviews, I can't wait to read it myself. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :) Lovely review, Celine.

  19. Great review!! I have this one sitting on my desk just waiting for me to read it. It seems awesome!!! I love it when you can read such a well-known story and classic from another perspective. And I also heard that Warner Bros is turning it into a movie so definitely can't wait for that!! :) Amazing review.

    Btw I just wanted to telly you that Forget-Me-Nots are my favorite flowers EVER! (I'm kinda obsessed with all flora) :P So I'm definitely going to be stalking your blog now!!! LOL.



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