When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

Rebecca Serle

Publication Date:
May 1, 2012

Simon Pulse

Hardcover, 352 pages

CAD $19.99

A copy was provided by Simon and Schuster Canada! Thank you!


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….


Reading the description off the back of this book made me think it was about Romeo and Juliet, but it wasn’t. It was better. The story follows Rosaline, Rob’s best friend and next-door neighbour. Following a long summer without Rob, Rosaline develops real feelings for Rob, and without any explanation, Rob finally makes a move, and the two start dating. Their senior year of high school start and with that comes the privilege of hanging out in the lounge where it’s exclusive to seniors only.

Now I have no idea if I was blind and ignorant in high school, but why in the world are popular people considered to be rulers of the school? Take the character of Rosaline’s best friend Charlie. Beautiful, and absolutely annoying. She’s also quite mean! I wished Rosie had the backbone and the strength to stand up for herself. Why compare yourself to your best friends? What does it do to you? It makes you feel inferior and I felt Rosaline felt inferior to Charlie and Olivia. Her whining about how beautiful and smart her best friends were annoyed me to no end. Can I just give Rosaline proof that she is also those things? Rob loves her. He loves her, and not just because of her looks but because she’s an amazing person. Sometimes, characters like Rosie make me want to coddle her so she can realize she should be confident. Screw low self-esteem!

Now to the retelling of the story, I thought it was done well. Capulet and Monteg families feuding as usual, but I loved the spin that Rosaline was Juliet’s cousin. Wonderful twist, to a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, When You Were Mine is a delightful read!

Rating 5/5


“It’s not that most girls are delusional, per se. It’s just that they have this subtle ability to warp actual circumstances into something different.”—Rosie (10)

“I guess that’s the thing about getting older. You realize differences can be good things. Not just bad ones.”—Rosie (238)

“So I guess Shakespeare didn’t get it wrong, after all. The truth is that there are many different endings to the same story. This one is mine.”—Rosie (334)

Giselle San Miguel is a freelance web designer who has a voracious appetite for reading and manages her own book blog at booknerd.ca. She also enjoys writing, design, movies, and photography.