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Book Review: When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

When You Were Mine
Title: When You Were Mine 
Author: Rebecca Serle
Series: Standalone
Pages:  352
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Date of Publication: 26th April 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Rosaline has been best friends with Rob since they were little kids. Recently, something deeper and more electric has entered their friendship, and when Rob returns after the summer break and asks Rosaline on a sort-of date, it seems they are destined to become a couple, just as Rosaline always knew they would be. The next day at school, a mysterious, beautiful girl arrives: Rosaline's long-lost cousin, Juliet. And suddenly it looks as if Rosaline might be about to lose her best friend AND her new boyfriend…

This review is kind of spoilery. Not anything you couldn't guess from it being a retelling of Romeo & Juliet, but still it's kind of spoilery. But only a bit.

My Thoughts:
This book was amazing. I loved it so much more than I thought I would. I wasn't sure about the book at first, seeing as I'm not really a fan of Romeo & Juliet but the synopsis sounded pretty good and it was getting amazing reviews so I decided to see what all the fuss was about, and I'm so glad I did!

When You Were Mine tells the story of Rosaline and Rob - Rosaline and Romeo - before Juliet comes along, and it was nice to get a different take on possibly the most famous love story of all time. I haven't read Romeo & Juliet since we read it at primary school, so I don't really know much apart from the basic storyline, so I don't know if there is a romance between Rose and Romeo before Juliet... I could look it up, but I'm lazy so I'm not going to...

Once the story got started I could not stop reading. I was wide awake one night so I planned to read around twenty pages just to send me off to sleep... And I read 110 in about an hour. It hooked me in and I couldn't stop reading! I loved that we didn't meet Juliet properly until quite a way into the book, so that Rebecca Serle could really build up a relationship between Rose and Rob that we could root for, only to shoot it down once Juliet arrived, and it was this relationship between Rose and Rob - their easy friendship - that sucked me in.

I was kind of worried that I wouldn't be sad when Juliet came along - that I wouldn't be sad that Rose and Rob's relationship was falling apart. I don't know why, but I didn't exactly expect to be so affected by Juliet... I guess up until that point it has just felt like a short and sweet romance that I love while reading, but in the end I'd probably forget it. But once Juliet appeared I knew that wasn't the case. Seriously, I *hated* her. Eurgh, she was horrid... She stole away Rob from Rose without a second thought, and all for her own gain. I don't think I've hated a character as much as I hated her for a very long time.

So as you can guess, the whole way through I was rooting for Rose and Rob, and though I knew what would happen at the end, because of course it's based on Romeo & Juliet, I was hoping and wishing that it wouldn't end in the same way, but it does. And while that might be a spoiler, I think it's pretty obvious so I'm sorry if you didn't realise... But the ending broke my heart. Honestly, I was right there with Rose, feeling like if she hadn't said this to a particular person at that point in time, it would have ended differently; she could have saved both Rob and Juliet... *sigh*

Anyway, this book is incredible. It makes you happy to see Rose and Rob happy, and then Juliet comes along and you're right there with Rose, feeling crappy because Juliet's stolen the thing you want most. Then it looks like it'll all be alright again, and then it isn't. It's horrid, but at the same time it's everything you want from a book. I absolutely freaking loved it! I would most definitely recommend to all YA contemp fans, or if you're just looking for a really good read, because it will hook you in and won't let you go until you've read the very last page.

*Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book! 


  1. I love the look of this-especially since we're studying R+J at the moment. It's nice knowing there's a completely different take on something so familiar. Great review!
    PS-would you be willing to part with your copy? Temporarily or permanently? For a book/gift vouchers?

  2. I'm really glad you enjoyed this book Bella .. I actually wasn't planning to read it but I really want to now!! I didn't know it was a standalone which is a good thing because I have too many series to read right now so When You Were Mine would be a nice break :) !!
    Fabulous review :)

  3. I really want to read this book. I have heard so many amazing things about it. Thanks for the great review!

    Sara @ Just Another Story

  4. It was great wasn't it? Glad you loved the book as much as I did. It's definitely my favourite new Shakespeare:P

  5. Oh this sounds interesting!!! Fab review.

  6. I HAVE to read this book! Only problem is that I'm so scared of the 'not happy' ending :(
    Definitely starting this one soon though! I just think it's such an interesting idea, and I can't wait to learn more about rosaline!
    So excited about this one :)


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