When You Were Mine
by Rebecca Serle
Summary: 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....
I'm kind of a sucker for Romeo and Juliet retellings (although, it's because I tend to find retellings are better at making me believe it's love instead of just lust, Shakespeares version is purely a tragedy in my eyes, not a love story) and this one sounded like it was putting a really original spin on it and I've wanted to read it ever since I first heard about it.
It kind of started out as a major disappointment. In the beginning, I didn't like the writing (it had that kind of shallow feel and a lot of annoying filler stuff - like going on about what they have for breakfast and describing what is in the vending machines and that sort of thing) and I didn't like the characters (their relationships, again, seemed shallow and they seemed shallow too, buying into their own popularity and all that).
It stayed that way for about the first two thirds of the book, with the only redeeming quality being that Lens character interested me and it was entertaining even if it wasn't amazing.
The book was divided up into five acts (I think, maybe four? Pretty sure it was five though) and I only started really genuinely liking the book in the last two acts. Up until that point, Rose's obsessing over Rob was just frustrating - he wasn't a good guy, the way he behaves in the book, it's just... it's frustrating to read about.
I liked Rosaline more nearer the end, her scenes with Len were interesting, her friendships started to seem more real and I started liking the characters more because of that and then it actually succeeded in making me cry nearer the end - it did get grief right and I liked that a lot about the book, because sometimes when you read a book and the characters go through something, it just feels like the author doesn't know what it's like to experience what s/he's writing about but this book wasn't like that, it felt like she got it.
There's not really much else I can think to say about the book. It wasn't as good as I hoped it would be, but it wasn't bad either. I'd rate it 3 stars out of 5.