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When You Were Mine

When You Were Mine

For Ages: 14 and up
  • reading group guide
Rosaline has been best friends with Rob since they were little kids. Recently, something deeper and more electric has entered their friendship, and when Rob returns after the summer break and asks Rosaline on a sort-of date, it seems they are destined to become a couple, just as Rosaline always knew they would be. The next day at school, a mysterious, beautiful girl arrives: Rosaline's long-lost cousin, Juliet. And suddenly it looks as if Rosaline might be about to lose her best friend AND her new boyfriend…
Choose a format:
  • Simon & Schuster UK | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780857075178 | 
  • April 2012 | 
  • Grades 9 and up
List Price $9.99

Video

Rebecca Serle on When You Were Mine

An intensely romantic, modern recounting of the greatest love story ever told—narrated by the girl Romeo was supposed to love.

Read an Excerpt

When You Were Mine Prologue
Shakespeare got it wrong. His most famous work, and he completely missed the mark. You know the one I’m talking about. Star-crossed lovers. Ill-fated romance. Torn apart by family and circumstance. It’s the perfect love story. To have someone who loves you so much they would actually die for you.

But the thing people never remember about Romeo and Juliet is that it’s not a love story; it’s a drama. In fact, Romeo and Juliet isn’t... see more
When You Were Mine Scene One
“This is so not how it was supposed to go.”

I crack one eye open and sneak the covers down over my head. Charlie is standing above my bed, arms crossed, a bag of Swedish Fish in one hand and a Starbucks cup in the other.

I blink and glance at the clock on my nightstand: 6:35.

“Jesus. It’s the middle of the night.”

Charlie lets out a dramatic sigh. “Please. I’m ten minutes early.”

I rub... see more

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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions for

When You Were Mine
By Rebecca Serle

1.Consider Olivia’s question: “If you could know your entire life now . . . would you?” How would each character answer this question? Would his or her response change from the beginning to the end of the book? How would you decide? Would your answer have been different in your past?

2.In the beginning of the book, Rosaline struggles to make things different with Rob, and the result is awkward. What exactly is the problem? Is Rosaline trying to escape fate? Was it not meant to be or are they not trying hard enough?

3.In the culmination of the novel we witness a variety of perspectives on the debate between chance versus fate as a handful of characters, including Olivia, Rosaline, and Rosaline’s mother, offer their opinions. How would you describe each character’s judgment on the idea of fate? Do you believe the author sides with one character’s opinion more than another? If so, which character and why?

4.Physical locations play a significant role in the story. For example, Rosaline and Rob live next door to each other; the girls use Malibu as an escape; and the cliffs become a site of friendship, romance, and tragedy. In what ways do physical settings influence the plot of the novel? How do the physical locations of scenes affect the themes of the novel, including those of chance, free will, and fate? Wh see more

About the Author

Rebecca Serle
Photograph © Ann Molen

Rebecca Serle

Rebecca Serle is a Huffington Post contributor with a popular column in which she writes about children's literature and literacy. She holds an MFA from The New School and her work has appeared in numerous literary journals. She's also contributed to Brooklyn-based YA blog, Forever YA. Last year, Rebecca founded Nurturing Narratives, a children's program centred around empowering children through storytelling. This is her debut novel.

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