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When You Were Mine


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About the Author

Rebecca Serle is a full-time writer, which means she gets to wear pajamas to work. She went to the University of Southern California, then got her MFA from the New School in NYC. (She likes New York much more than LA, but don't tell anyone that.) Rebecca loves shiny hair, coffee, yoga, and pretending to be British. She, too, experienced heartbreak once. It worked out okay, though, because she turned the experience into her first novel, When You Were Mine. Find out more at


"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
"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

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, CT (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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