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Review by Suze
Josie and Mitchell are living at the Indian Paintbrush Community for Sustainable Living, a commune in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Josie and Mitchell used to be best friends and they do still spend time together at Paintbrush, but at school they never interact. Josie loves everything about Paintbrush. She likes being outside, she loves working in the communal gardens and she enjoys spending time with everyone in the community. Mitchell can't wait to leave Paintbrush behind, he wants to go to a good university and is always working on his grades.
When Mitchell's world falls apart he needs someone to lean on and surprisingly that person is Josie. He begins to see her in a completely different light. However, Mitchell wants to get away from Paintbrush straight after graduation and Josie isn't planning on going anywhere, will they ever have a chance to find out if they can be more than just friends?
Paintbrush is an original romantic story. Josie is a wonderful person. She's kindhearted and caring and she's perfectly at ease with herself, which is something I greatly admired about her character. Mitchell is going through a lot and his emotions are all over the place. He thought he had everything figured out, but life at home messes things up for him completely. I could feel his pain and hoped he'd eventually find peace with his new situation. Mitchell and Josie are both dealing with family problems, which makes them become even closer. I liked that even though their connection started because of limited availability it develops into something much more. They have a gorgeous precious bond that I loved reading about.
Paintbrush is a unique setting and Hannah Bucchin makes it come to life incredibly well. I loved the community spirit. Everyone is looking out for each other and people are generally friendly. When there are problems they solve them in a peaceful way. I could easily imagine that being part of a large community would be overwhelming for Mitchell, but could also see the other side, the safety that can be found in being cared for by many others, which is part of what Josie finds so appealing about it. Hannah Bucchin uses their feelings and opinions to paint a complete picture of the setting that plays such a vital part in her story and she does this incredibly well. I really loved Paintbrush and highly recommend this special book.
If you love romantic YA stories with an original setting you will definitely like Paintbrush.