When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
The Skinny: Rosaline is in love with her next door neighbor Rob. She just KNOWS they’re meant to be together. And suddenly they are. And it’s perfect. But that’s not how the story goes. Rosaline’s cousin Juliet moves back into town and immediately sets her sights on Rob, but Rosaline is convinced that Rob likes her. That is, until she sees them together after the dance. As Rosaline deals with the sudden loss of the guy she’s liked forever, she begins to question her relationship with Rob, her friends, and even herself.
BFF?: I wasn’t overly fanning over Rosaline. I mean, I liked her… thought she was a great characters… but she was… weak? Not weak as in poorly written, but weak in that she didn’t fight or anything when Juliet and Rob got together. She just sort of rolled over and took it. She let herself be miserable rather than seeing the fickle guy Rob was. Butttt…. okay, okay… she’s only 17. CLEARLY she’s not as evolved as I am in the drop guys when they do you wrong department. (ha) So I guess all that being said, she probably reacted to the whole situation like a real, typical teenager would. So while I hand it to her for that, I’m not so sure I want to be BFFs with her.
Anti-BFF: Y’all, Juliet was a beyotch. Here we’ve always been given a sweet, docile, loving girl a la Olivia Hussey and Claire Danes… not so in this version. I wanted to punch her in the face soooo many times! I mean, get this: she DEMANDS that Rob take her to the dance since Rosaline is going with her girlfriends. Who cares that her cousin is dating him! And she ripped off Rosaline’s Barbie’s head. Ugh!
Readability: I loved Rosaline’s voice as the narrator. It was very fresh and not pretentious at all. There were some moments where I got extremely annoyed with how she talked and then I thought “wow, it’s like an actual teenager is talking to me!” and then I loved it. I also enjoyed how Serle divided the different parts into Acts; it gave the book a real play-like feel, since the story is based on an actual play.
Crush Level: 0
Yeah, that’s a zero. I had zero crush on Rob. I mean, yeah… he was sweet and whatever, but I’ve never been a fan of Romeo and was even less of a fan of Rob. I know everyone thinks how romantic he is, but c’mon… he basically dumps this girl who he is MADLY IN LOVE WITH the second he sees another pretty face and then he is MADLY IN LOVE WITH her. How can you have a crush on that? Ugh, I just can’t.
Extra Crush: 7
Lennnnnn!!!! Oh, Len! He was super great and I really loved him so!
Something I ADORED about this book was that a good chunk of it was spent focusing on the relationship between Rosaline and her friends Charlie and Olivia. Sometimes you see groups of girl friends being all scheming and backstabbing, but there’s something really genuine about these friends. They’ve all got each others’ backs and, although maybe they fight, they’re really truly friends.
Romeo and Juliet Retelling
Like most people, when I first read R&J back in 9th grade, I thought it was soooo romantic. Of course, now as an adult, I sort of see just how misguided and lame the whole thing is. Anyway… I’ve never given much thought to Rosaline, so it was nice to see her story.
Charlie says that everyone has what she calls a seven, or a trait that’s unique to them. While I don’t really agree with it, I thought it was a very teenagery way of setting oneself apart and making you unique. (Yeah, that’s Punky Brewster… the queen of sevens)
Commencement Speech: I read this one for the Forever Young Adult book club (our first meeting is tomorrow night! Yippiee!) but had wanted to read it anyway. While it wasn’t all the things I expected, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying it. I went in with the expectation of this girl who is bitterly broken by Romeo and grieves and learns to live without him. While yes, we saw some of this, I think the story was really more about Rosaline learning to live for herself. It’s hard when the guy you’ve been in love with forever is suddenly ripped away from you by another girl and you’re left standing alone and in shock. While Rosaline’s reactions weren’t what I’d hoped for, I thought they were extremely human and I could relate to them. There were several things though that I wish were more developed – namely Rob and Rosaline’s relationship – so that when things happened they meant a little more. I’m not gonna tell you what things I mean, because that would be spoilery. Overall though, it was a good, cute read and I’m really excited about discussing it at book club!
Yearbook Quote: “Len turns to me, and he’s looking at me so intensely, I think he might have just sucked the air out of my lungs. All of a sudden I feel like I can’t breathe. “Sometimes,” he starts, “the hardest part about letting someone go is realizing you were never meant to have them.”
Superlatives – Best view of the fickleness that is Romeo
Like this post? You may like these too: