pdf When You Were MineAuthor Rebecca Serle – Wildlives.co
Sometimes a book calls out to you, be it for all the right or wrong reasons When it comes to re imaginings of age old tales and classics of the literary pantheon, one must tread lightly, particularly when entering the realm of William Shakespeare It s important to remember the cultural and historical context of his work when applying it to a modern day setting It s possible to remain faithful to the source material while still adapting it to fit today s moral societal changes A good example of this is the movie 10 Things I Hate About You , a high school retelling of the very archaic The Taming of the Shrew Said play is pretty misogynist, emphasising the important of subduing a woman s fiery spirit in favour of making her an obedient wife In 10 Things I Hate About You , the shrewish heroine does not change for a man, nor is she forced into it Their romantic resolution is witty, equally matched and doesn t rely on either of them completely changing their personalities I highly recommend the film if you haven t seen it However, today s review is about a less successful Shakespeare modern day retelling When You Were Mine actually manages to be just as, if not sexist than the play it s taken from, the ever popular Romeo and Juliet.I have a big revelation for you all, dear readers It may shock you, it may not I hope not , but I m sick of the world still living by this false assumption in 2013 and think it s time to set the record straight for the good of us all.There is no such thing as a slut.Seriously They don t exist.If someone calls you a slut, then ask them to define it Usually they can t, or the definition changes with every person you ask That s because there s no such thing as a slut.The term slut , and variations on that term, are so casually tossed around towards women, basically exist to shame women for being vaguely sexual, although they re just as commonly used as insults to women for completely unrelated reasons wearing a low cut top is tantamount to being the whore of Babylon according to some Women are often depicted as being manipulative, stupid, malicious or just plain evil solely based on their sexuality they re evil because they re a slut, and they re a slut because they re evil Poor innocent men are snatched from their true loves by those evil sluts, who don t have real human emotions like the nice girls, and leave men completely merciless to their slutty wiles These women all look a certain way usually blonde, wearing lots of make up and revealing clothing, often compared to porn stars or blow up dolls, frequently cheerleaders Many jokes will be made about sexually transmitted diseases towards these sluts, although male players are clean on this front More often than not, bad things happen to these women, but don t worry, because they deserve it.Remember, these women don t exist.I stress this because after reading When You Were Mine , I seriously began to believe that the author, a woman herself, hates other women, or had a cousin who seriously messed with her at some point during her life In this modern version of the oft imitated tale of star crossed lovers, Rosaline is beginning a relationship with Rob Caplet see what they did there just as her cousin Juliet returns to the scene and immediately snatches him away Rob goes from being besotted with Rosaline to completely obsessing over Juliet, that slut Juliet is, of course, a heavy make up wearing spoiled brat with bleach blonde hair who snatches away innocent men and turns them into little lapdogs But never fear, good readers, because underneath that harsh and fake exterior is a broken little girl who is just jealous of her plain but intelligent cousin, and will meet a tragic end that will be entirely blamed on her.Do you see where this book goes wrong In Romeo and Juliet , Rosaline is never on stage, and serves as a plot point than anything else She is a means for Romeo to attend the Capulet family s party and meet Juliet, his true love A lot of great literary analysis has been written on her and I implore you to check some out because you won t find any of that here In the play, where Rosaline serves as a contrast and plot point, here she is the angel to Juliet s whore The na ve teenage girl consumed by first love in the face of petty familiar conflict has been turned into a slut, and later on a dead slut This is not okay.There is literally nothing else to Juliet s character except her evil sluttiness and the consequences of it In this book, being a slut is literally described as being a defining qualityCharlie says there s a difference between being a slut and being slutty She thinks Olivia was slutty for hooking up with the Belgian, but she would never call her a slut Her theory is that the distinction is between how you act and who you are Olivia s was an action, whereas Darcy s is a defining quality Charlie and Olivia are Rosaline s friends So there you go good friends can be slutty but they re never sluts That s for other women.Juliet is entirely blamed for Rob s actions, which is both sexist and daft The last time I checked, men were autonomous creatures completely capable of doing as they pleased Women can do that sometimes as well By putting all the blame on Juliet for Rob s actions as if his penis just fell into her vagina , his responsibility is completely removed from him He s not a victim he knew exactly what he was doing Of course, in the end he tries to run back to the good and sweet Rosaline, but it all ends badly do I even need spoiler alerts for Romeo Juliet because that is the normal way of things In 2013 I actually have nothing else to say about this book because I can t remember a single thing about it outside of the weapons grade level of slut shaming Taylor Swift looks like bell hooks in comparison to When You Were Mine I honestly can t get over how much this book hates women It s archaic and makes Shakespeare s Elizabethan era play look progressive in comparison At least in Romeo Juliet the pair were supposed to be blind with infatuation and Juliet didn t shove the poison down Romeo s mouth It s not as if the original material is untouchable, and it s not as if there isn t great potential in giving some depth to Rosaline, but absolutely no effort is put into that here because the author is so concerned with demonising Juliet to the point of insanity Take my advice and stick to the source It s better written, makes some sense and doesn t loathe women.1 5. I ve always loved the story of Romeo and Juliet It s a classic and one of the very few Shakespeare books that I actually paid attention to in high school, so I was very curious about When You Were Mine after reading the blurb I never thought about what it would it be like from Rosaline s perspective and I gotta tell ya, I was mighty impressed.Rebecca Serle spins a remarkable tale of teen angst, broken hearts, hope, family drama and tragedy all mixed together in a high school setting The writing is strong, perfectly cut and fantastically paced.Rosie and Rob have one of those really sweet tender bubbling romances that I would be lying if I said I didn t want explored, but at last Juliet walked into the picture and everything just changed For awhile there I wasn t sure if this book was for me YA contemporary is a hit or miss for me specially around teenage drama which there was a lot of in this book, but as the story unfolded I couldn t help be invested with these characters lives Len was a really good surprise He s very deep and wise in his own way and I liked the person he is and the person he brought out in Rose Rob disappointed me, but I guess that was to be expected However I didn t expect the ending we got concerning him But I think that s cause I totally lost myself somewhere within these pages and I forgot I was in a Romeo and Juliet re telling so it kinda hit me out of no where Not that s a bad thing, but it sure surprised me All in all, I kinda loved this one and I m looking forward to seeing this portrayed on the big screen Gentle reader, I wish to spare you my suffering Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears I come to bury this book, not to praise it When You Were Mine is awful It is not simply awful it is bitter, stupid, sexist, and above all a lie.Actually, no The worst part really is how grossly sexist and simplified it is The author says she had her own heartbreak and turned the experience into this book, which shows because Rose s bitterness is very authentic There are times, brief and fleeting, where I could see the strain and want to sympathize with her.Then we get to parts where the narration has Juliet admitting she stole everything from Rosaline out of pure jealousy, where Romeo I mean, Rob comes to her doorstep pleading that he s always loved her, but she turns him away because she now has a better, sensitive and endlessly patient boyfriend That is a pure revenge fantasy of a scorned lover And I would enjoy reading a character coping with such a thing if the whole book didn t feel like it was justifying it and wallowing in it with its every paragraph But others have better explained the pitfalls and failures in that sphere and I would recommend reading their reviews if mine leaves you unconvinced.What I am offended about is that it is also a lie Because the hook, the catch, this book s raison d tre is that this is Rosaline s untold story that was overshadowed by the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet And this, gentle reader, has nothing in common with Romeo and Juliet And I don t mean it s not by switching locals from fair Verona to Southern California, mixing up the ages, or switching Romeo to Rob, and Montague to Monteg and Capulet to Caplet, I mean nobody has any resemblance at all to the play Not even a pale attempt Rosaline had no lines in the original, so this would be perfect to craft a whole and unique voice, to recreate a character whose circumstances can cast the events of the play in a new light But she doesn t even try this tactic Juliet, instead of a naive young girl, is a bitter overdramatic slut oh yes, they use this word a lot who makes Regina George from Mean Girls look positively endearing She s crazy, she s emotionally manipulative such as threatening suicide if Rob breaks up with her, and she goes out of her way to be nasty to Rosaline for the perceived slight back when they were seven Rob was always a well mannered and level headed boy, not prone to flightiness and expected to go to Stanford, until Juliet shows up Then he becomes vicious and picks fights with people in jealous fits of rage And instead of being completely fixated with Juliet he harbors feelings for Rosaline that crop up every so often when he s not being a massive jerkoff.The tragedy of their families, instead of a longstanding blood feud that has been going on so long that nobody remembers what it s about, has been given a reason that is as recent as view spoiler Rob s mom having an affair with Juliet s dad hide spoiler It s no secret the greatest love story ever told is no love story Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy a tale of bigotry, and murder a story about a thirteen year old girl and a fickle, capricious boy, ending in suicide and tragedy for all But what if it was wrong Or not the whole story Turns out it s every inch as heartbreaking, and if Rebecca Serle does one thing magnificently, it s laying on the heartbreak Grab your tissues and your comfort food, and prepare to fall in love You know what comes next.The Story Rosaline Caplet s final year in school should be perfect And it is, for a time When her best friend and next door neighbor, Rob Monteg returns from Summer break, things start to change between them Despite reluctance to damage a cherished friendship, Rose follows her heart, and, when the two kiss, the stars align Or so Rose thought The next day, Rose s or less estranged cousin, Juliet Caplet returns to town, and the day after that, Rob s love, his lips, even his friendship aren t Rose s any, no They belong to Juliet Because for Rob and Juliet, it was love at first sight, and like those star crossed lovers with such similar names, so many years ago, it can t end well As Rose struggles with her shattered heart, people start whispering of Juliet s instability Will she take Rob with her when she falls And will Rose get her own happily ever after My Thoughts Going into an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet is challenging Knowing the story can only end poorly, it s difficult to let go of a certain reticence to become fully engaged Yet it quickly becomes difficult to keep When You Were Mine from getting under your skin With a charm uniquely its own, warm, vivid characters and sweet first love, it all comes together, feeling so, so right Before it all goes so, so wrong.Here s where, enter, stage left, comes our heroine, Rosaline Caplet Sweet, quiet, and, well, ordinary Rose is the perfect girl next door to Rob Caplet s Romeo She has a simple kind of strength of character that shines through ordinary , making her engaging and easy to like It s from Rose s outside point of view we watch her first love and best friend fall for another girl, and it s Rose who brings the tragedy home Because it s not just the pain of two young, promising lives derailing so swiftly and violently It s what comes before and what s left behind, and Rose feels it all with heart wrenching intensity.As I followed fair Rosaline s journey, I longed for it to change, for Rose to curse the inauspicious stars, to fight their pull, and to choose her own adventure to make things right in the world and to prove that fate isn t sealed in the cold, cruel lights in the sky, It s hard to trust the very wise Ms Serle when she says No love story ends or begins out of accordance with how it needs to go 1 , but it s well worth the risk This is a book designed to make you feel, and oh, does it succeed From the depths of grief and despair, to the soaring heights of creeping, hateful hope, Serle plays the heart strings with graceful perfection.From the sweet, giddy breathlessness of first kisses, to the depths of despair, Serle doles out heartache, heartbreak, and emotional intensity with a calm, measured efficiency And it s the emotional impact of When You Were Mine that is its greatest strength Even in its darkest moments, Serle reminds us there is always light in the darkness Whether the incandescent warmth of true friendship, the love of family, or the pinpricks of light in the night sky, the sadness in When You Were Mine is always tempered with something with hope, with friendship, with the spark of something new and exciting, after the loss of something old and precious.With the stage is set, the players enter, and events are set in motion The show goes on And it s this relentless march towards the inevitable that lends When You Were Mine such poignant tragedy the simple knowledge that a few small choices would provide such a vastly different fate for our star crossed lovers But this is the question choice, or fate Serle examines fate, destiny, and choice, and lets the reader have the final say, lets them choose It is not a story of blacks and whites, but one of greys and shadow of loss, of endings, and of new beginnings.It s worth noting When You Were Mine s slow, steady start, but certainly not as a criticism Though Serle does have a tendency to overload, at times, on what could seem insignificant details, it comes to feel measured, deliberate Serle takes her time presenting her players She lets them fall in love lets the reader fall in love with them, all before tearing them apart and setting her tragedy in motion.A glooming peace this morning with it brings The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head Go hence, to have talk of these sad things Some shall be pardon d, and some punished For never was a story of woeThan this of Juliet and her Romeo.Romeo Juliet, Act 5, Scene 3.The Verdict When You Were Mine is not quite the love story, or the tragedy, you remember Once again, in a cruel play of fate and synchronicity, the stars align in exactly the wrong way to cause catastrophe A string of small coincidences, combined to cause something profound Once again, politics come into play, and lives are destroyed, and ultimately, all are punished When You Were Mine isn t quite Romeo and Juliet, but truly, it is not exactly aiming to be It is not Romeo s, nor Juliet s story, it s Rosaline s It s about the girl left behind, forgotten, and learning to live with heartbreak It s a retelling, and a reimagining something slightly different, and, in its own way, something It s not entirely a tragedy, and despite its heavy subject, avoids being bleak It s tempered with something hope It s not precisely the same love story you know, but if you have one, it will break your heart.Originally posted at saz101 In This Intensely Romantic, Modern Recounting Of The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, Romeo S Original Intended Juliet S Cousin Rosaline Tells Her Side Of The Tale What S In A Name, Shakespeare I Ll Tell You Everything Rosaline Knows That She And Rob Are Destined To Be Together Rose Has Been Waiting For Years For Rob To Kiss Her And When He Finally Does, It S Perfect But Then Juliet Moves Back To Town Juliet, Who Used To Be Rose S Best Friend Juliet, Who Now Inexplicably Hates Her Juliet, Who Is Gorgeous, Vindictive, And A Little Bit Crazyand Who Has Set Her Sights On Rob He Doesn T Even Stand A Chance Rose Is Devastated Over Losing Rob To Juliet This Is Not How The Story Was Supposed To Go And When Rumors Start Swirling About Juliet S Instability, Her Neediness, And Her Threats Of Suicide, Rose Starts To Fear Not Only For Rob S Heart, But Also For His Life Because Shakespeare May Have Gotten The Story Wrong, But We All Still Know How It Ends Rosaline Caplet lives in South California with her parents and she s a senior at San Bellaro High School which she attends with her best friends Charlie, Olivia and Rob Rose hasn t seen Rob in 8 weeks but it s the first day back at school and she s nervous about seeing again as she s realised she has feelings for him and there s a chance he feels the same way about her But then her cousin, Juliet, returns to town and moves in on Rob, leaving Rose heartbroken.When You Were Mine by Rebeca Searle is written from Rose s perspective I found her to be smart, self aware, responsible and listening to her tell her story hooked me completely, especially as the blurb gives away the fact that everything is not going to go as she planned She and Rob have grown up next door to each other but it s only in the last two months that she s realised she likes him than a friend and she can already imagine them going to college, ending up together and I really wanted that for her.Rose and Rob are so sweet together, they know each other so well, have a whole lifetime of shared memories, they seem perfect for each other I loved how awkward their first date was, even though they have spent so much time with each other.But then just as things are moving along for Rose and Rob, her extended family returns to town Rose hasn t seen Juliet since they were little kids, they used to be as close as sisters But then there was a disagreement between Rose and Juliet s fathers and Juliet and her parents moved away Juliet is not friendly to Rose, or Rose s friends and she moves in on Rob immediately and he returns her feelings I was amazed at how much this book made me feel, at this point I was feeling like Rose, sick to my stomach and sad, so so sad.Luckily Rose had her two best friends to support her, Charlie and Olive are a big part of her life They re both gorgeous girls in different ways, Charlie is a red head, Olivia a blonde Charlie is obsessed with making sure they are the popular group with Rose commenting that Charlie acts as if she s living in a high school movie, which it definitely felt like as I found myself picturing these girls as a combination of Cher Dionne Ty from Clueless and the girls from Mean Girls After a few descriptions of Olivia s physical appearance and personality I could not stop picturing her as Karen from Mean Girls and I found this book a lot of fun from that aspect, you know apart from all the heartbreak They re also the kind of girls who are a little mean, Charlie makes up mean nicknames for some of their classmates and refers to another as a slut and while I never like hearing anyone called those sort of things, I felt it was true to Charlie s character and to teenage girls in general Charlie would be a fantastic friend to you, but she s the kind of girl who isn t welcoming to others.Since writing my review I ve read a couple of others that rated this book a 1 or 2 and gave the reason for this as slut shaming I don t think the author was putting her opinions on her characters or saying that calling another girl a slut is ok, but I do think it s a typical part of high school and felt true to the story I also don t think all the blame can be put on Juliet, I felt equally annoyed at her as I did Rob.There s also another love interest for Rose in the form of Len I picked it as soon as we were introduced to mysterious, scruffy, piano playing Len and I was definitely happy that he was in the picture and kept hoping Rose would start treating him better than she did.Even though the ending might seem quite obvious as this is a modern take on Romeo and Juliet, I was still wondering throughout the story about how it would come about and so I was still surprised when the ending hit It was sad and I felt for Rose who took on some of the blame even though it wasn t her fault.When You Were Mine is a beautiful, sad and bittersweet story of teenagers and first loves I know it will be a hit for fans of contemporary YA and YA romance It s available online and in local book stores.My copy of When You Were Mine was sent to me for review from the lovely people at Simon and Schuster Australia. 2.5 starsWhen I first heard about this book I was quite intrigued with the idea of telling the story of Romeo and Juliet from Rosaline s point of view The girl before the girl So I was a little disappointed when I started reading and realised that this was actually a contemporary novel, based on the famous play.For one thing, the little we know of the original Rosaline was that she rejected Romeo I ve always doubted she was the first girl Romeo had proclaimed his undying love to and Romeo laments her rejection He isn t too happy about the fact that she s taken a vow of chastity either.Poor boy.Serle s Rosaline is in love with Romeo, or Rob, in this case, and when he finally asks her out, she believes it is the beginning of an epic love Of course, as we all know, Rob s attentions aren t destined to last long and soon enough, poor Rosaline is dealing with a broken heart and a few painful home truths.If I m honest by page 109 I was seriously considering abandoning this The main characters were silly, shallow and pretentious and the first half of the book is incredibly tedious, consisting of Rosaline s rather self deprecating monologue about her typical high school day, how generally superior her and her friends are, how much of a disease a boy called Len is, how unfair life is and either daydreaming about Rob or over analysing every thing he says However, the book definitely improves during Act Three and I will admit to quite enjoying the second half of the story The main reason for this is because of the growing romance between Rosaline and Len, resulting in some far interesting scenes than we ever see between her and her supposed true love.The original Romeo and Juliet were foolish and naive, but ultimately, endearing Choosing to depict the story in this way, with Rosaline heartbroken over Rob, Serle fundamentally alters the characters as we know them Rob is an all together less sympathetic hero, in fact, he s a jerk, who treats his life long friend in the worst possible way By default, Juliet becomes a boyfriend stealer , a slut , and later on, a hysterical, potentially suicidal, slut at that This just wasn t a message I was comfortable with I detest slut shaming, both in fiction and real life, and while I wouldn t say it is overly emphasised in the book, it is there and I don t feel the author took the time to properly explore the issue, other than Rosaline s half hearted attempt to befriend Juliet near the end Why is Juliet blamed for everything Why does no one take issue with the fact that Rob becomes and unstable and screams at her in very threatening way in public Why are there rumors that she is suicidal view spoiler Why does everyone blame her for their deaths Another problem with this interpretation of the characters, is that when tragedy strikes, it has far less impact of the reader than it perhaps should have done Rob s character is never fully developed beyond his appalling treatment of Rosaline and Juliet, and Juliet s death almost feels like a footnote We get some glimpses into the Rob Rosaline knew and loved as she grieves, and there were some quite strong scenes with Rosaline that highlighted the pain of loosing such a close friend so suddenly, and I only wish these had been expanded on hide spoiler The review is also available on my blog, Bows Bullets Reviews MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS This book had my full attention as soon as I read the description Finally Someone who remembers that Romeo was all in love with someone else at the beginning of that horrid play What this awesome author does is take The Tragedy of Romeo Juliet and set it in modern times, telling the story from Rosaline s perspective the girl Romeo was all in love with until he set eyes on the wonderful Juliet and fulls in lust love with her My excitement could not be contained when I saw that PulseIt had this novel up for the month of June dies of happiness This novel starts with the romance just beginning between Rob aka Romeo Rosaline They have been neighbors and best friends for their entire lives and they are in that awkward stage between friendship and romance Then Rosaline s cousin moves back into town and it all goes to hell Rob drops Rosaline like a hot potato to get next to Juliet without any explanation at all beyond I didn t expect to fall for her which obviously upsets Rose I had mixed feelings about Rose One minute, I could completely relate to her and the next, I was so annoyed at her for acting so stupid The same goes for her friends, one minute I was so irritated at them for being so shallow and the next they are pulling together to help Rose in any way they can In the beginning this novel reminded me a lot of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, especially the dynamic between the friends But the difference is that when Rose starts changing, they don t push her away, they support her like real friends should It also reminded of that because I knew from the beginning that she would end up with the geeky guy they were making fun of, just like in Before I Fall except Rose gets to live happily ever after whereas Sam dies at the end of Before I Fall which made me angry to no end, but I digress The one thing that truly shocked me about this book was my reaction to it Going in, I knew this was a retelling of Romeo Juliet, so I knew that R J were going to die, right Wrong Even though I should have, I didn t see their deaths coming, at all I was completely fucking blindsided by it And I could completely understand Rose s guilt over the deaths and how she kind of collapsed into herself after the fact I was irritated at her for pushing everyone away and at the same time, I could completely see where she was coming from That is when I really became impressed with her friends because they refused to back down They stand by her throughout the whole catastrophe and in the end, they make her get out of her bed and continue on with life I think this novel is as much about friendship as it is about love and loss It s a really great read and anyone else who wants to see a completely unique spin on Shakespeare s worst most romantic playshould read it. Because Shakespeare may have gotten the story wrong, but we all still know how it ends This line right here sold me on the book. Have you ever had one of those out of body experiences where you can see yourself stabbing yourself repeatedly, but you can t stop it Okay, maybe not stabbing, but a situation in which you can t seem to stop yourself from doing something self destructive That was how I felt while reading When You Were Mine I knew it wouldn t turn out well, I had no idea why I was reading it, but I did it anyway It s the lackluster story of Rosaline, who, if you remember your Shakespeare well enough, was the chick Romeo had the hots for before he got spellbound by Juliet s mask This story is told from her point of view, and I suppose the point is to make Rosaline seem like the victim of Romeo and Juliet s all consuming love There are a couple problems with this scenario One, I never really felt that bad for Rosaline She pissed me off with how obsessed she was with Rob AKA Romeo In fact, there were many times when I could not deal with how pathetic she acted towards the entire situation I guess this is a high school thing, but I m in high school, and it was nauseating even for me She claims to be smart and a shoo in for Stanford, and there are frequent mentions of the SATs Funnily enough, I never get that feeling Rosaline is incredibly shallow, and though she is heralded to be smart, she never really lives up to it She s a complete bitch to Len I still don t get why everyone hated on him so much and she seems like a complete pushover with a lack of personality Her friends are equally annoying when Rosaline actually gets in a sticky situation when she s looking for a reason to prevent Rob from going to the dance with Juliet , Olivia and Charlie are completely distracted Maybe it wasn t supposed to be a big deal, but I think that friends who aren t paying attention at one of your most embarrassing and helpless moments aren t very good friends at all An exampleYou smell like a burger, I hear her say, before they start making out. Real deep, guys This book is real deep Though I did feel sorry for Rosaline, I also wanted to slap her around a bit and scream at her to get a grip and stop crying I get it, Rob was her best friend, but if he went drooling after the first pretty girl to come along, he didn t really deserve any of her endless crying and moping Yeah Rob Perhaps even pathetic than Rosaline Also the second problem with this scenario The original play already has the fault that Romeo and Juliet s love at first sight thing built itself on extremely shaky foundations By incorporating this into a high school contemporary, Serle has made it even ridiculous I mean, one minute Rob is all over Rosaline, and the next he s swaying with some random girl, kissing her, and forgetting his best friend What a dipshit I have a hard time believing that someone who Rosaline wasted so much time gushing about and reliving childhood memories with would be such an incredible ass Also, he starts applying early to USC instead of Stanford He s definitely a public menace now Rosaline says at one point, Stanford is already outdated No NO Stanford will never be OUTDATED Stanford is one of the best universities in the entire flipping WORLD It will NEVER be outdated Rosaline is such an annoying twit She doesn t deserve to go there, not if she s worried about the application of a guy who apparently doesn t care about her at all This entire book is so simplistic, with its predictable plot and annoying characters Even Serle s attempt to make Juliet the good guy is pitiful The only character I liked was Len, although why he would be attracted to someone as pathetic as Rosaline, I have no idea Maybe towards the end, Charlie began endearing herself to me , especially with her reaction to the anticlimactic climax, but that doesn t help the fact that this book is a complete, utter cliche I would have been an interesting story if it hadn t come off sounding like a poorly written soap opera script Maybe I should stop reading these attempts at contemporary young adult and stick to paranormal But that would be wrong, because there are still little gems like Wanderlove and Anna and the French Kiss, not to mention Sarah Dessen s books, which give me a little faith that not all high school girls are airheads where boys and life are concerned.