Ok, confession time: I've never actually read Romeo and Juliet. I know, shame on me! But of course I know the story and I actually also knew about Rosaline, the girl who doesn't physically show up in the play. So when I read the summary and found out it would be Rosaline's story in a retelling I went LET ME HAVE IT!! And I'm happy to say that I really, really enjoyed it!
The writing in When You Were Mine is captavating and I immediately felt connected to Rosaline. Score one for Rebecca Serle! I loved how she introduced us into this world and with everything being so wonderful I found myself rooting for the thing that we know is going to happen not to happen. If you follow my drift. But yeah, the wonderful guy that's been Rose's best friend forever and possible boyfriend of late does the douchebag thing and dumps her for her cousin. Seriously, I was SO mad at him! I know you can fall for someone and this was bad timing, but mostly the way he handled it made me call him a douche. Or more of his lack of handling it. I felt Rob owed her more than that with their history.
And this is also where my only problem with When You Were Mine and Rosaline comes in: she was not confronting him about it. I get that it was just her character, but I just wanted to scream at her to slap him or at least ask what the hell he was doing! GAH! I did like that in the end Rose grew a spine, and yay for character growth, but this kinda bugged me. Also, her friends, who were absolutely wonderful in all other things, also failed to confront Rob about it. And I just wasn't feeling Rob as this wonderful guy.
I did really like Rose, she was a wonderful person and was just there for her friends and she loved her family. Also, she cared about her grades and college and that's always something I respect in a person. I also liked that after she got over her prejudice she was willing to learn she was wrong about someone she'd sort of known when she was a kid and who turned out to be an amazing guy and nothing at all like she thought he was. I was definitely rooting for him and I liked the moment when Rose decided she wanted to learn everything there was to know about him!
Sometimes I forgot how this was a retelling of Romeo and Juliet and that of course it has to at least follow the major points in the storyline. So every time I felt comfortably lost in this world something happened to jerk me awake and go NOOOO! and I absolutely love it when that happens. I mean, I'm not easily caught of guard by things happening in a book and with a retelling it's even harder, so that's another point to Rebecca Serle. She made this story so much her own that I sometimes had to take a moment to realise it was in fact a modern version of Romeo and Juliet. And that play was a tragedy. So I should have expected the tragic event, but I didn't and it was horrible and tugged at my heartstrings.
When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle was a captivating debut and I read it in no time at all! I just kept turning the pages, wanting to find out what happend, happily lost inside this wonderful story! I'm hoping to see the announcement of another book by Rebecca Serle soon!
My rating: 5 stars