Friday, 4 May 2012

Contempo-May Review: When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

In One Line: Romeo and Juliet from the other girl’s point of view... in modern day high school!
Genre: Based on Shakespeare
The Gist:
So you know that little play by that bald bloke with an earring? The Elizabethan one? Yeah, him. In the very beginning of that play, we have our romantic hero, Romeo, swooning over this girl called Rosaline. What, don’t remember it? That’s because he goes to a swanky party and meets some little madam called Juliet, and the rest is history. But who is this mysterious Rosaline? What’s her deal? Well you’re about to find out...
The Cover:
I can’t say that it really inspires me. Sure, there’s the balcony, and the star-crossed lovers eating each other’s tongues, but otherwise I’m underwhelmed. But there is nothing else that looks like this out there right now, and it would stand out on the shelves, and to be honest I’m pretty glad that there’s no dead girl in a red dress on the cover, so I’ll give this a tentative thumbs up. (Extra Tyra points for the pointy toes, that girl is modelling H2T!!!)
Why You’ll Love This Book
  • You know how those awesome films Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About you are based on Shakespeare and are amazeballs? Well this is like those films but in BOOK FORM!
  • This book at times stays really really close to the original Romeo and Juliet plot (it even structures it’s chapters into Acts and Scenes that parallel the original text) but it also strays far enough a way for it to not just be a Romeo and Juliet pastiche. It does it’s own thing, and very nicely too. 
  • The fact that the action you know and love actually takes place off page. We’re looking at the Other Girl here and her story. There’s this great mystery about what actually goes down between Rob aka Romeo and Juliet aka Juliet and I like it that way. It’s Rosaline’s turn now y’all!
  • Charlie and Olivia, the best friends, are brilliant. At times Olivia reminded me of Amanda Seyfried in the Mean Girls film, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
  • Len. The joker dude you hate to love... *swoons*

Why You May Not Love This Book:
  • Our hero, Rob aka Romeo, is a Class A douche. I couldn’t see any redeeming features and I don’t know what is meant to make him appealing. I just wish there was a way to relay his story and not have him come off as a complete knob. Was particularly furious about how he fell in insta-love with Juliet, but then I guess it has to be that way otherwise the entire novel wouldn’t work. Anyways, Rob = Bellend.
  • Too many characters. Especially at the beginning there was an absolute flood of names and I was just a bit wah?! 
  • If you’re looking for something deep and meaningful, you won’t find it here. This book is unashamed FUN. It won’t blow your socks off, and it won’t change your life, but it’s a great book to read between heavier titles, or whilst you’re studying the play in real life. 

The Hypersomnia Test:
Funnily enough I had this book in my case when I had my recent hospital stay for my sleep study! I was having all my tests for my hypersomnia, and in between tests I wasn’t allowed to nap at all. So I had a couple of friends stop by to keep me company, and in the other times I had this book! And it kept me awake! The pace was speedy, and the heartache angle really perked me up.
Final Verdict:
This book came at just the right time for me. I had read tons of dystopian fiction and I just wanted something fluffy and fun. This was that book. It was romantic and melancholy in all the right places, and the perfect escapist read. The book definitely has it’s flaws, but I didn’t care to look too deeply into them, and if you do the same then I guarantee a good time.
Further Reading:
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
To buy When You Were Mine click HERE!!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm really intrigued by this book. Luckily I have a copy of this somewhere and can jump in sooner rather than later :)