We all know the story of Romeo and Juliet — heck I had to read it in high school – but what about the minor characters? Rebecca Serle examines the character of Rosaline, Romeo’s love interest pre-Juliet against the modern backdrop of high school in Southern California. When You Were Mine is a heartbreaking read that will eventually put those pieces of your heart back together.
Rosaline grew up next door to Rob Montag. He left for the summer right, but before leaving he kissed her. Due to the his, Rosaline thinks as a senior her and Robb will finally hook up the way it is meant to be. Her best friends Charlie and Olivia will rule the school with her. In short, it will be the best year ever. These plans come crashing down when Rosaline’s cousin Juliet comes back to town and takes more than a friendly interest in Robb.
I think that the mark of a strong story for me is that I am riveted and hoping against hope, even if I know how the story is going to end. We all know the outcome of Romeo and Juliet and you guys I wanted SO badly for Robb to see how much Juliet sucks and to date Rosaline instead. Sigh. But we all know that definitely does not happen. And I was practically shouting and muttering at the book because hey, I might be able to change the outcome. Alas. That did not happen.
The characters in When You Were Mine are very well drawn. Rosaline is so vulnerable. I like that because Rebecca Serle writes in first person, we don’t have a huge wall up around Rosaline. I feel like I know her. Plus, she’s easy to relate to. I think we all know what it’s like to have a crush on or be attracted to someone and then shot down because something more attractive comes along. Serle captures that sort of pain and angst, perfectly. Yet she also shows growth with Rosaline. We see Rosaline learn that you can’t pin all your hopes on one guy and that there are indeed, other fish in the sea.
I also loved reading about Rosaline’s friends Charlie and Olivia who reminded me of my friends. Charlie is bossy and totally the HBIC. Olivia is gorgeous and a total ditz. Yet when push comes to shove, they have got Rosaline’s back. I love that they aren’t perfect people, but they are damn good friends. To me, this is admirable — this group of people who support each other and are not backbiting or betrayers.
I listened to the audiobook version of When You Were Mine which is read by Sarah Grace and produced by Brilliance Audio. It is pretty short, only 7 hours and 54 minutes unabridged. I quite liked Sarah Grace’s soft and vulnerable voicing for the most part. However I was not a huge fan of her male voices and especially her performance of Rosaline’s potential love interest. Seriously, she made him sound like a mouth breather which is gross. That stated, this is actually a pretty decent audiobook and a good one if you want to check When You Were Mine out and have a good commute. I actually liked listening to it while going on walks.
Disclosure: Purchased copy.
Other reviews of When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle:
Makeshift Bookmark – “My pitchfork hand was getting a little stabby”
Rather Be Reading – “I was fully invested in the story almost instantaneously”
Paranormal Indulgence – “Serle is the painter who does extraordinary things with the smallest, thinnest brush”
Chick Loves Lit – “It is an interesting sensation to nearly instantly hate Juliet.”