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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 crazy . . . and 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.
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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 this book. When You Were Mine is her first novel. Find out more at rebeccaserle.com.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
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 even the original title of the play. It was called The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Tragedy. Everyone dies for this love that, in my opinion, wasn’t all that solid from the get-go. I mean, their families hated each other, so even if they did survive, every holiday and birthday until the end of time would be a royal pain. Not to mention that they had absolutely no friends in common, so forget double dates. No, it would be Romeo and Juliet all alone, forever. And maybe that seems romantic at fourteen, or whatever, but it’s totally not realistic. I mean, I can’t think of a less romantic ending to a story. And the truth is, it wasn’t supposed to end that way.
If you read closely, you’ll realize that there was someone before Juliet ever came into the picture. Someone who Romeo loved very much. Her name was Rosaline. And Romeo went to the party that first night, the night everything began, to see her. Everyone always thinks Romeo and Juliet were so helpless to fate, that they were at the mercy of their love for each other. Not true. Juliet wasn’t some sweet, innocent girl torn apart by destiny. She knew exactly what she was doing. The problem was, Shakespeare didn’t. Romeo didn’t belong with Juliet; he belonged with me. It was supposed to be us together forever, and it would have been if she hadn’t come along and stolen him away. Maybe then all of this could have been avoided. Maybe then they’d still be alive.
What if the greatest love story ever told was the wrong 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 my eyes and sit up. It’s already light out, but that’s not too surprising, given that it’s August in Southern California. It’s also hot, and the tank top I slept in is drenched. I don’t understand why, after all these years, my parents still have not sprung for air-conditioning.
Charlie hands me the Starbucks cup, folding herself down next to me on the bed and stuffing another piece of candy into her mouth as she continues to lecture me. Charlie never drinks coffee—she thinks it stunts your growth—but she still picks me one up every morning. Grande vanilla latte. One sugar.
“Are you even listening?” she asks, irritated.
“Are you kidding me, Charlotte? I’m sleeping.”
“Not anymore,” Charlie says, pulling the covers off. “It’s the first day of school, and I’m not letting you drag me down with you. Time to rise and shine, Ms. Caplet.”
I scowl at her, and she smiles. Charlie’s beautiful. Not in the way any old blond girl is in high school, but actually spectacular-looking. She’s got strawberry-red, curly hair and bright green eyes and impossibly white, translucent skin. Sometimes she’s so stunning, it’s shocking even to me. And I’m her best friend.
We met on the playground in the first grade. John Sussmann had taken my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and tossed it into the sandbox. Charlie knocked him over, fished it out, and even ate half just to prove he hadn’t won. That’s real friendship, right there.
“So anyway, listen,” she says as I swing my legs over the side of the bed and head into the bathroom. “Ben and Olivia totally just got together. Ben told me.”
“About time.” I stick a toothbrush into my mouth and root around in the medicine cabinet for my deodorant. I can tell from Charlie’s impatient prattle that there’s no time to shower.
“This is, like, a big deal. He’s my brother.” Ben is Charlie’s twin, actually, but they’re nothing alike. He’s tall and blond and lanky and he likes English, a subject Charlie thinks is frivolous. She’s a history buff: “Why read about stuff that didn’t happen, when you can read about stuff that did? Real life is way more interesting, anyway.”
Olivia is our other best friend. She’s been with us since the eighth grade, when she transferred to San Bellaro.
“Look,” I say, spitting, “they’ve been flirting for decades. It was bound to happen.”
“But now she’s going to, like, what? Come over after school?”
“She already comes over after school.”
“I know why you’re so calm about this,” Charlie says.
“Because I am still unconscious?”
“No, because Rob got back last night and you’re going to see him today.” She pops another fish into her mouth, triumphant.
My stomach clenches and releases. It’s been doing that all week. The thought of seeing Rob is, well, making me ill.
It’s been eight weeks, which I guess is a long time, although I refuse to see it that way. In the general scheme of things, what’s two months? Like, a millisecond. Okay, so it’s the longest we’ve ever been apart and, yeah, I’ve missed him, but I’ve known Rob my whole life. It’s really not a big deal seeing him again. It’s been a busy summer, and it’s not like Robert Monteg is my boyfriend or anything. God, even his name flashing through my mind like that makes me nauseous. I don’t get it. It shouldn’t. We’re friends. He’s just the next-door neighbor.
“You guys are totally going to be the new senior couple,” Charlie says. “I decided.”
“Well, as long as you decided.” I tug on a blue skirt and slip a white tank top over my head. Charlie looks like she just came from the salon, and I permit myself one glance in the mirror. Just as I suspected, total bed-head.
Charlie tosses me a bra, and it hits me in the face. “Thanks.”
“Oh, come on,” she says. “It’s Rob. You guys finally kissed last year, and then he goes away to be a camp counselor the entire torturous summer and writes you all of these love letters saying how much he cares about you, and you think that now that he’s back, you guys aren’t going to get together? Please.”
Of course this is how Charlie sees it. The problem is, that isn’t exactly what happened. It’s not even close. Let me explain.
The “kiss” she’s talking about wasn’t really a kiss at all. And the fact that Rob and I went to junior prom together has absolutely no significance. We’re best friends, and neither of us had a date. Rob is handsome and smart, and I could easily list ten girls in our soon-to-be senior class who would have traded in their Gucci book bags to go to prom with Rob, but I think he’s scared of the female species. Well, actually, Charlie thinks that. It’s the only explanation, she says, for why he still doesn’t have a girlfriend. The only explanation besides the fact that he’s waiting for me (her words, not mine).
Anyway, we were on the dance floor and my hair got in my eyes, and Rob brushed it away and kissed my cheek. My hair is always getting in my eyes, and my father kisses my cheek, so I hardly think that counts as a make-out session. It just happened to be in public, to a slow song.
And those emails? Definitely not love notes. Example:
Thanks for your letter. I’m glad to know Charlie is as crazy as ever, and thanks for the gum. I’m chewing it now.
Camp is good but I miss home. Sometimes I think it was a stupid idea coming back here this summer, especially after the end of school and everything. It’s good, I guess. I’m back with Bunk 13. Remember when we were here together? It seems like so long ago. I guess it was. Anyway, I really miss you. I guess that’s what I meant when I said I missed home. It’s not the same without you here. Last night I went out to the docks, and I thought about that time we swam there after lights-out. Do you remember that? The water was freezing. It was that summer our parents had to send us more sweatshirts. Anyway, I’m thinking about you and hope you’re doing well.
Charlie combed through that email and constructed a new one, which basically read: I love you and I’m so sorry I went to camp and my heart is breaking being away from you and let’s spend eternity together when I get back. Heart, Rob.
It makes sense that she likes history, since she’s constantly rewriting it.
Her fantasy is nice and all—it’s just not accurate. It’s the kind of thinking that gets girls into trouble all the time. And it’s not just Charlie. For instance, last year when Olivia was dating Taylor Simsburg (and by “dating,” I mean they made out twice and once was sort of in public at winter formal), he told her she looked nice in yellow, and she made him a playlist called “Here Comes the Sun.” She also started carrying around sunflowers for no good reason.
It’s not that most girls are delusional, per se. It’s just that...
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Book Description Brilliance Audio, 2012. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1455818976
Book Description Brilliance Audio. MP3 CD. Condition: New. 1455818976 We ship daily + good service buy with confidence. Seller Inventory # KHAUCD-1478