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 almost couldn’t write a review on this one. You can ask my friend Tee over @ YACrush, I had SEVERE hatred towards this story at times. Who would have thought I could hate Juliet? Who could convince people to hate one of the most beloved and tragic characters? Ms Serle that’s who and I think she did an excellent job with this story. There were times I wanted to throw the book, punch someone, or just give up reading. (Though I did none of these and I’m glad I stuck with it.)
At the start of the book you see Rose and Rob start a somewhat shy relationship. The day after their first date Juliet, Rose’s cousin, shows up at school. Her family has moved back and now though she and Rose used to be BFFs she is frosty to her. Then, IN FRONT of Rose TELLS Rob to take her to the dance. Enter classic Romeo and Juliet insanity. Are you kidding me?! If that was my cousin I’d smack her upside the head. New girl or not, the way he handled Juliet showing up was disrespectful to Rose and their budding relationship but what hurt me more than what he did to her is what Rose did to herself. She didn’t really blame him and took all of this pain and hurt solely on herself and though she stopped being friends with Rob so to speak, she had to deal with her group including Juliet. Rob was their friend too and even though they hated to see Rose like that they also didn’t want to shun Rob. (IMO, I’d have dropped him like a bad habit.)
I do think that the reason for the two families to be “at war” was a bit silly. Not that what happened wouldn’t have caused an issue with most people (no spoilers I promise) I don’t think it would have been that dramatic. After what caused the rift between the families gets out Rob has problems dealing and Juliet and Rob start to spiral into depressive states ultimately ending in tragedy.
I like how the chapters were marked as act and scenes; I think it’s the small things like this that count and make a story stick out even more to some people. The ending was much better than I expected and I had convinced myself things would change and wouldn’t end just as tragically. Bravo Ms Serle for not only making me believe it could change but still being surprised by what happened even though I knew all along.
Thank you to Simon Pulse for sending me a copy When You Were Mine. Also, thanks to Tee @ YACrush for recommending this one!