This well-reviewed romance is a pleasant, cozy read for a weekend afternoon. The voice is really clear and fun, which makes for a likable and relatable young character. Judy has a good sense of humor that carries the book well and her teenagers avoid that edgy-camp sound that's in vogue in young adult novels. I enjoyed reading about a set of teenagers with normal teenage concerns who made it through the day without handfuls of drugs or severe mental illness (though books about edgy-teens have their place, I realize).
This is a high school romance. The bodyguard trope is in full effect and I'll admit to being a little bothered by the older guy and high school girl thing, but I'm so alone in that camp that it's almost not worth mentioning. Overall, it's a well-written, cute romance with a PG rating and no heavy themes.
Author Q & A
How do you feel that you changed as a person and/or writer after completing this work?
This is the book that taught me how to write a novel! I had blogged and journaled quite a bit before starting Protect My Heart, but actually writing a novel was a completely new experience. In writing this I became a lot more understanding of people and the world around me.
What is your process for writing a novel?
I am a plotty/pantser. I like to brainstorm and write down as many ideas as I can for my novel. But I can only outline so much. If I put too much pressure on myself to outline, I never get anything written. So I find it best to have a good idea of where I want the story to go, but then jump in and see how the story actually goes. Usually I find the creativity takes over and everything works out better than I even planned.
What is your favorite go-to advice for an emerging writer?
Don't put so much pressure on yourself that you become incapacitated. Writing a book can be a daunting thing, but just take it one sentence, one thought, then one page at a time. Don't expect perfection from the first draft. Just get the ideas out there. I wasted so much time trying to get things perfect the first time, when I could have done so much better if I'd just started writing. The magic, at least for me, comes with revision. But you'll never get to the revising or publishing stage if you don't write those first words first!
What's next for you? Do you have any works in progress?
[I recently published my] next Young Adult Contemporary Romance, DON'T FORGET ME, ready for publication at the end of October! I know I'm crazy for publishing two books so close together, but I couldn't wait to get that story out there in the world. I also just started working on the next novel in my Don't Forget Me series! It has been so much fun to write so far and I hope I can write it fast!
Judy Corry has been addicted to love stories for as long as she can remember. She reads and writes Clean and YA Romance because she can't get enough of the feeling of falling in love. She graduated from Southern Utah University in an area that has nothing to do with writing. Some of her favorite things are chick flicks, singing, and playing the piano. She believes in swoon-worthy kisses and happily ever afters. Judy met her soul mate while in high school, and married him a few years later. She and her husband are raising four beautiful and crazy children in Southern Utah.