When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

Another PAYA festival book! YAY! But only three more to go (BOO!!). This book was an epic judge-a-book-by-its-cover book, and I’d seen it a few times in Barnes and Noble and was planning to wait until it came out in paperback, but this was PAYA people! I can’t go to PAYA and only buy paperback books! That’s not the cool way to do it!

Speaking of books and reading, I’m going on vacation in a little less than 2 weeks and I’m going to need some reading material!! I already have 7 books stocked up (SonWolf HallThe Casual Vacancy [what up J.K. Rowling?!], Life of PiThe Master of DisguiseThe Secret of Ella & Micha, and Measuring Up). This may sound excessive, but that’s not enough books for me for a two 3 hour plane rides and a week on the beach. I’ll be done halfway through the trip. If you can’t come up with anything, that’s cool, because they do have a forgotten books library there, but if you have any fantastical suggestions, hit me up.

If you like: retellings of any classic novels or Shakespeare stories, drama, romance, love, disastrous endings, tragedy (this doesn’t mean you like when bad things happen, it just means you like when something super surprising and uncalled for happens that completes the book in a good way), and happy endings.

Rosaline Caplet has been best friends with her neighbor, Rob Montag, since they were little, and her friends always assumed it would grow to be something more. As their senior year of high school begins, it seems like Rosaline’s friends might be right: Rob kisses her, and they plan to attend the big school dance together. But that’s before Rosaline’s cousin and ex-best friend, Juliet, shows up. When Rosaline was little, she went from being practically twins with Juliet to suddenly being enemies with no reasoning behind it. And now, Juliet is back, and acting seriously strange. All Rosaline wants is to have Juliet back as a friend, so she’s nothing but nice, even letting Juliet go with Rob to the dance so that she doesn’t have to be alone. Soon, Rob is all over Juliet, and acting like she’s his one true love, even though he’s supposed to be saying that about Juliet!! Rosaline is devastated, but once she starts hearing about how unstable and dangerous Juliet is, she becomes more worried for her friend than she is for her relationship. Will she be able to protect Rob from Juliet, or will it be too late? Did Shakespeare write the story like it was really supposed to happen?

I have a serious love for all retold stories in either book or movie form. I’ve already reviewed an example: Jane by April Lindner. I don’t know what it is, but retold stories are just SO COOL! On the other hand, I’m not the world’s biggest Shakespeare fan (sorry to let everyone know, but it IS possible to love reading and not like Shakespeare), even though I do have a soft spot for some of his quotes, but this book was AWESOME. One thing I love (retold stories) and one thing I like well enough (Shakespeare) combines to form a book of teen excellence. I haven’t read Romeo and Juliet since 9th grade, but I do remember some of it, and enjoyed being able to giggle because I understood the character and plot connections between the book and the play (I’m easily amused). Plus, as all of you know, I’m a sucker for a love story avec some drama (though I hate drama in real life), and this had both. I was in teen reader heaven. And the ending was totally shocking, but not too cliffhanger-y, which always makes me happy. I hate being able to predict 100% of the ending. I’d really suggest this book!!

Pages: 334
Genre: Young Adult, Drama, Romance, Classic/Shakespearean Retelling
Sequel?: No, but according to Rebecca Serle’s website, this book is in talks to be made into a movie!! Another reason for you to read it!

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