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When You Were Mine Hardcover – May 1, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781442433137
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442433137
  • ASIN: 1442433132
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,337,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Serle's modern-day retelling (Simon Pulse, 2012) of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is told from the perspective of the slighted Rosaline. Rosaline and Rob have been best friends since childhood and are finally pursuing a romantic relationship. As things start to fall into place for the couple, Juliet moves back to town and manipulates her way into Rob's heart. Juliet is portrayed as needy and broken, but her motives are underdeveloped and, therefore, not believable. While this is an interesting twist on the classic love story, those drawn to this plot may be dissuaded by the slow narrative arch. The story moves towards the climax with sometimes unnecessary detail to the mundane. Sarah Grace does a solid job of portraying Rosaline, but some characters come across as trite and annoying. Teens may be drawn to this title because a film version is in the works. However, there are better retellings available, such as Juliet Immortal (Delacorte, 2011) by Stacey Jay and Letters to Juliet (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2006) by Lise Ceil Friedman.-Rebecca Flannery, Lyman Memorial High School, Lebanon, CTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


"By turns heart-stoppingly romantic and heart-poundingly exciting, When You Were Mine is a book you'll want to make yours." --Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus, bestselling authors of The Nanny Diaries

“I swooned. I cried. I loved, loved, loved this delicious novel.” –Sarah Mlynowski, author of Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) and Gimme a Call

“A powerful story about the thrill of first love and the devastation of first heartbreak.” –Leila Sales, author of Mostly Good Girls and Past Perfect

“I cried, I swooned, I pumped my fist in triumph! When You Were Mine is as heartbreaking as it is inspiring, with enough sizzling romance and compelling drama to make Shakespeare jealous.” –Sarah (aka Poshdeluxe), founder of Forever Young Adult

“A sweet, fun, and utterly irresistible read." –Deb Caletti, National Book Award Finalist

“A whirlwind of drama, intrigue, political scandal, and romance worthy of the Bard himself. Serle infuses plenty of realism and heart into her tale….She has made such an appealing character that the story goes from being another retelling of R&J to Rosaline’s story, told at long last.” --VOYA

“This emotionally authentic debut novel about a fragile first love keeps the pages turning….Serle gets the nuances just right. The optimism of new love, the concerned friends after Rose’s heartbreak and the dynamics of a triangle—not just the love triangle between Rose, Rob and Juliet, but also the triangle of female best friends.” --Shelf Awareness

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Customer Reviews

And I'm pretty sure you all think you know how the story ends.
Amazon Customer
And by doing so, Serle created a character who stepped outside of the bounds of her role in the story, a girl that could easily exist in modern times.
It's just with this story, getting to the ending knowing what was going to happen wasn't fun.
Laura Benson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Brandi Breathes Books on May 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Retellings for me are a hit or miss, and this was a hit. I enjoyed the plot and the twist of seeing everything from a new view. Rosie had a voice and story that helped me to feel for her and care about what she's going through.
Her relationship with Rob is so new and tender and I just wanted to root for them even though I knew what was coming. They made a cute couple, and seemed to be really into each other.
It was hard for me when Juliet came onto the scene. There was so much talk about 'the fight' between their family but when the details were revealed it felt like it was barely touched on and even though we see the devastation, we don't really get to feel it because its so brief. Juliet also isn't very nice. I could forgive going after Rob at first because Rosie never really clarified and it seemed like love at first glimpse from Rob and we never really get to hear why he was so attracted. I guess that it is supposed to be assumed and established because of the real play, but it was hard for me to buy. And regardless of first impressions and the fight between the families it seems that Juliet wouldn't violate the woman code and go after another's man once she figured it out.
That said, I really enjoyed the build up and mystery of Len. I think it was one of my favorite aspects.
Charlie also raised this story up! She was funny and a great best friend.
As for the ending, I was really wondering how and if she was going to pull it off, but I think it was as well done.
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Format: Hardcover
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: This novel takes a long time to get rolling, mainly because the characters stick to their stereotypes and this retelling brings nothing new to the table.

Opening Sentence: Shakespeare got it wrong.

The Review:

I'm going to preface this review by saying that I study Shakespeare. I've taken classes devoted entirely to him. So I probably have more background in Shakespeare than the average reader. I have expectations to any retelling I pick up, which is namely that if you're going to re-work one of the most famous stories of all time, you do it well or not at all. Serle didn't make the cut. In her version, everything you think you know about our star-crossed lovers is wrong. It all goes back to our characters.

Rosaline's in love with Romeo -- I mean, Rob -- so when he finally asks her out, she thinks it's true love and roses for eternity. The reader knows his attention won't last longer than it takes for Juliet to show up and is forced to wait for the other shoe to drop. There are so many ways Serle could've worked this, but because she didn't take the time to flesh out our characters everything they do seems silly and pretentious. They're shallow and self-serving. Rosaline over-analysing everything Rob says until you just want to reach into the pages and pull her hair out.

The good part is, this doesn't last. Just like in Shakespeare, everything interesting happens after Act Three. This is mostly because we finally see Rosaline and Len together. Their budding romance makes them far more likable -- especially Rosaline -- and their scenes are far, far more interesting than anything we saw between Rob and our heroine.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amber @ Down The Rabbit Hole on May 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
When You Were Mine manages to capture everything that made Romeo & Juliet unforgettable--the unstoppable feeling of love at first sight and tragic end that brings two feuding families together--and update it into an interesting retelling that will leave its reader breathless. Focusing on Rosaline, the girl Romeo said he was in love with before that fateful meeting with Juliet, we get to see an entirely new side to a well-known story that is every bit as encompassing as the one it was inspired by. Imaginative, inventive and wildly romantic, When You Were Mine is a beautiful contemporary.

I'm always interested in story's that retell a well known tale from a different angle so when I read about When You Were Mine being from Rosaline's point of view, I was instantly drawn to the book. The author set the novel in a rich community but Rosaline's family seems to be pretty middle class. That is to say, she doesn't have all the finest things but she isn't really wanting either. I genuinely liked Rosaline from the beginning. I think part of that is because I know how the story was going to go and she already had that sympathy thing going for her but I know that a lot of it was because of the person she is. She was insightful and seemed to see people for who they were better than everyone else except for Rob and Juliet.

What I found really interesting was that the author chose to make Rosaline and her friends the popular kids in their school. This is one of the first novels that I've read where we get to go into the inner workings of the mean girls but instead of them being judged by an outsider, we got to see them from one of their group. I'll definitely say that I enjoyed Rosaline's group of friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Howell on June 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love Romeo and Juliet. Love it! So I was excited to read a retelling of it and from a different point of view. But maybe its because I love the original so much that I felt like this book was lacking in several areas.

First the good. I love Rosaline! She is such a great character. She's part of the popular crowd but still down to earth and questions about how she got to be popular. I just feel like she's someone I would be friends with in real life. And I liked Charlie. She reminds me of a girl I used to be best friends with. Loud and outgoing and straightforward. Olivia got on my nerves some though. The boys were okay. I liked Ben and how he seemed a little nerdy. And I really liked Rob at the beginning. But then the big surprise happens and I feel like he turned into a complete jerk. And Juliet. I love Juliet in the original so it was fun to hate it her in this version.

And I liked the overall plot. I like the idea of Rosaline getting her heartbroken by her best friend, just not how it was done (not that I like the idea of heartbreak, just that it makes for a good story). And I liked the general idea of what happens at the end, just not the rumors going around about it.

What I have problems with are pretty spoiler-y, so I'm going to write them below the stars.


I didn't like how Rob and Juliet got together. Juliet asks to Rob to take her to the dance, in front of Rosaline, and he says yes?? Um, how about no?!?! Then when Juliet isn't there yet, and Rosaline goes into the bathroom for 5ish minutes, she comes out and suddenly they're wrapped up in each other, totally in love? Yeah, not so much.
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