Monday, August 27, 2012

When You Were Mine

By Rebecca Serle
3 / 5 Gnomes

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….

~Amazon Description~

Romeo and Juliet was never my favorite Shakespeare play.  I loved the lyrical language and, somewhere hidden in there, the idea of destined love.  But those two pre-adolescent, crazy kids drove me bonkers.  You're babies!  And you're filled with lusty, hormonal feelings!  Take a step back, a deep breath, and get some perspective already.

But I'd never really thought about Rosaline beyond the fact that I loved the name.  Poor Rosaline who gets tossed to the side without, literally, a second thought.  So I thought the premise of Serle's When You Were Mine was an interesting choice.

The Awesome
I really enjoy books where teenage girls have healthy friendships.  Charlie and Olivia are awesome.  The fact that they are completely different personalities makes them even more awesome.  They recognize their differences and love that about one another.  They forgive each other, and they are fiercely loyal.  So uber props to the supporting cast.

I also really enjoy books with awesome parental units.  It doesn't happen often.  That's usual the cause of teen angst, and I suppose we see both sides in the book, but Rosaline's parents are supportive.  And they are also in love which is just refreshing to see.  Sometimes people come from good families.  Let's celebrate that every once in awhile!  

Len is also awesome.  While I saw the budding relationship coming a mile away, his cool demeanor and steady patience won me over.

The Not So Awesome
There were some pretty predictable moments, and this was bound to happen since everyone knows that Romeo and Juliet meet an untimely end.  But the boy in the wings and the quick rebound love was easy to see coming.  That might have been okay if there were more context.  I never really understood why she so despised Len at the beginning or how the shift came so quickly.  And Rosaline...dear Rosaline.  SPEAK UP!  I know it was her personality to forgive, and I'm not suggesting you go all postal, but my dear wonderful girl, stand up for yourself.

Overall, I did really enjoy the book.  It was a fresh take on an old story and it's filled with some heavy things to think about, choices, destiny, friendship, love.  If you're looking for a contemporary tale to whisk you away, consider When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle.

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