Teens' Book of the Month: Minty
Author: Christina Banach | Age category: 12-16
Fourteen-year-old Minty and Jess are inseparable. Maybe they bicker now and then, even crave a bit of space once in a while. But they have a connection. Unbreakable. Steadfast. Nothing can tear them apart. Until a family trip to the coast puts their bond in jeopardy. As Minty tries to rescue her dog from drowning she ends up fighting for her life. Will Minty survive? If she doesn't, how will Jess cope without her? Only the stormy sea knows the answer.
Through Minty’s eyes we see how family and friends are affected by bereavement. It deals with loss, love, friendship and over all, hope, resilience and strength of character. It's a haunting, eerie and beautiful read that will resonate with you for days after you read it.
We have 5 copies of Minty to be won! To be in with a chance of winning one, just answer this question:
What is Christina's former profession?
Send your answer to Miriam Morris at email@example.com. Competition closes on Sunday 30 December. Entrants outside the UK must cover postage.
Q&A with Christina Banach
Did you enjoy writing your debut YA novel?
Writing the book was an incredible experience. I loved getting to know the main character, Minty: she’s loving, thoughtful and resourceful but is funny and feisty as well. There were many times when she made me laugh, yet she made me cry too. I also loved spending time with Jess (Minty’s identical twin), her parents and friends, not to mention the enigmatic Jack. Indeed, each character became so real to me that I found them hard to let go of once the writing was complete. As for the story itself - a ghost story, told from the point of view of the ghost – the various aspects of the plot sometimes proved challenging. This is probably because it’s such an emotional story, even if it is also shot through with humour. Ultimately though, I found writing Minty a very satisfying experience.
Why did you start writing this book?
The idea for the book appeared early one summer morning, just as the sun came up. During the night I thought I sensed my late father's presence, after which, unable to get back to sleep, I sat in the sunroom contemplating what had actually happened. Whilst doing this I heard my dog panting and put out my hand to stroke her. Until it struck me – how could it be my pet? She had died the month before. That's when Minty's story came to me, the story of identical teenaged twins whose inseparable bond is shattered when something traumatic happens to one of them. A story that deals with universal themes such as love, family, grief, hope and redemption, but that also attempts to answer one of the big questions in life, namely, what happens to us after we die.
What else do you have in the pipeline?
I have several books in the pipeline. However, the one I’m working on at the moment is a contemporary ghost story cum psychological thriller, which is set in the legendary village of Glencoe.
Find lots more book recommendations, blogs and videos in our Parents section.