Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Want to Break Up

Published: May 1st, 2012
When You Were Mine
By: Rebecca Serle
Simon Pulse
ISBN-13: 9781442433137

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….


   This book had so much promise to start off with.  It was a modern-day re-telling of Romeo and Juliet from the discarded Rosaline's perspective.  It had a three-way family feud including Rosaline's branch of "Caplets", as well as her cousin Juliet's.  Rob (Romeo) and Rosaline have been friends since they were little and they shared a moment before he went away for the summer.  Now that he's back she thinks they'll be starting an epic romance.  But then her cousin Juliet moves to town and it's insta-love between her and Rob, whose parents hate each other (because Rob's Dad and Juliet's Mom had an affair apparently).  So of course they're doomed from the start, not to mention that Juliet is apparently mentally unbalanced (this inclusion kind of pissed me off).  I felt like Rose was over-reaching and expecting too much from Rob even from the start of the book.  Not to mention, their one date together was super awkward and her friends Olivia & Charlie have basically already married them off.  Rose annoyed me to put it simply.  She spent a lot of time allowing herself to be kicked around by Rob and everyone else, who acted super shallow when push came to shove.  But then when Rose starts something up with Len, the school freak (labeled as such by her shallow friends), she ditches Rob altogether and doesn't even account for their lifetime of friendship to try and stop his downward spiral with Juliet.  I was sympathetic when she grieved near the end of the book, but I felt like the characters in this book came across as very two-dimensional, even Rose who it supposed to be a much-deepened and expanded version of her character in the play.  This book was designed to make me care that Romeo gave up on her immediately after meeting Juliet (understandable due to the vow of chastity).  But I was left feeling extremely ambivalent and kind of bored at the end.  Much to short to do any real character building, at least enough for me as a reader.  Glad I got this from the library and didn't buy it.

VERDICT:  2.5/5  Stars

*No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.*


  1. i do really like Romeo and Juliet, but I've heard so many mixed things about this book that I've decided to stay away from it for now.

    1. I was pretty disappointed. It was on the verge of good, but it kept drifting back into shallow territory. It never quite made it... :(


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