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Friday, December 1, 2017

Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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.

About Hannah Bucchin

Hannah has spent her life falling in love with beautiful places, both real and fictional. She grew up in charming Bethlehem, PA, went to college in sunny Chapel Hill, NC, spent a summer studying wildlife in Tanzania, volunteered on organic farms across New Zealand, and hiked all over Acadia National Park in Maine. When not writing, reading, or adventuring, she likes to daydream about the dog she'll adopt someday, listen to music from the sixties, and exchange ridiculous texts with her parents and siblings. Paintbrush is her debut novel.



1) Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

Of course! I'm an avid read, writer, and lover of the outdoors. Going on adventures is my favorite thing to do - both literary and in real life. I grew up in Pennsylvania and currently live in Asheville, North Carolina. I love dark chocolate, weird-looking dogs, and books about friends and love and friends in love.

2) Paintbrush is set in a commune, where did you find the inspiration for your setting?

The commune setting in Paintbrush was inspired by the scenery and culture of Western North Carolina, where I currently live. The mix of hippie life and country life, combined with the beautiful mountain scenery, inspired me to come up with the idea of two teenagers growing up in a hippie commune, and the characters and story grew from there.

3) Could you describe the main characters of Paintbrush in six words each?

I love this question! It's a tough one, but here goes:

Josie: Introspective, loyal, protective, kind, compassionate, practical

Mitchell: charming, stubborn, diligent, ambitious, adventurous, impulsive

4) What's the most special thing about falling in love with your best friend?

Falling in love with your friend is so unique, because it's like discovering an entirely new person. It's sort of like opening a present that you were certain was one thing, and discovering something completely different and even more awesome than you thought.

5) You've traveled quite a lot, what was your best experience?

The places I've been lucky enough to experience are all so different, so this is a difficult question. In New Zealand, I got to hike a four day, 30 mile trail along the coast, which was amazing. Going on safari in Tanzania was pretty spectacular as well. Plus, baby elephants are hard to beat.

6) What did you learn from your travels?

The short answer is: a lot.

Longer answer: Be flexible, because the world doesn't always run according to your schedule. Be extra kind to other people, even rude ones - you never know what kind of day, or week, or year they're having. Old people have the best stories. Be patient when people make assumptions about you and gently correct them. Don't make assumptions about other people, and don't be offended when someone corrects you. Smile a lot. You can still have fun if you have no money. Good shoes are important. I could go on and on and on...

7) Paintbrush is your first story, what was the writing process like?

Since this was my first time writing a full novel, I had to discover my writing process through trial and error. I quickly discovered that I needed to be on a schedule to make any real progress, so I fell into a weekly routine. I also discovered that I could only write a maximum of 2,000 words in one sitting. No matter how determined I was to write 5000 words in one day, no matter how long I sat at my computer, I was never going to write more than 2000 words that were actually good and usable. This was an important lesson for me to learn, so I was able to stop beating myself up for not getting more done. The most important lesson was that writing is more important than outlining (at least for me personally). I get easily overwhelmed with trying to create a perfectly accurate and detailed outline. The truth is that sometimes characters have a mind of their own. Overplanning actually inhibits my writing, so I try to just give myself a very basic outline.

8) You like going on adventures, what are the best kind in your opinion?

For me, the best kind of adventures are the kinds that have a mission to complete. I know that's not very spontaneous of me, but I love having a goal and accomplishing it - whether the goal is to reach the top of the mountain or to find the best milkshake in town, I love having a feeling of accomplishment at the end.

9) How did you translate your love for nature into your story?

Mitchell and Josie spend a lot of time out in nature, and many of the places they travel to are inspired by real-life places I've been to. The lake, the cave, the mountain swimming hole - none of those actually exist, but they are heavily based on real places I've explored.

10) What are your plans for the future?

I am currently in the process of writing another novel. This one follows the lives of two sisters over one summer in Maine. It's still YA Contemporary, and it still has a romantic storyline!


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a kindle copy of Paintbrush.

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. This sounds like such a cute read!

  2. I love romantic YA stories with an original setting. Paintbrush sounds like a must-read.

  3. love the cover, and the story looks great and well written xx

  4. Looks a great read.
    Has a warm. likeable storyline.

  5. Hannah, I love going on adventures, too. I enjoyed reading your interview.

  6. Would love to read this book!

  7. This book sounds so interesting! I love the cover ♥

  8. Best way of defining a Paint brush, loved the cover. Thank you for showing this to us.
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