Mitchell Morrison and Josie Sedgwick have spent their whole lives at the Indian Paintbrush Community Village, a commune full of colorful characters tucked in the mountains of North Carolina, and they aren’t particularly close–at least, not anymore. Josie wishes she could spend all of her time at Paintbrush planting tomatoes, hiking the trails, or throwing giant communal birthday parties, while Mitchell can’t wait to escape the bizarre spiritual sharing and noisy community dinners. Luckily for both of them, high school graduation is just around the corner.
But when Mitchell’s mother makes a scandalous announcement that rocks the close-knit Paintbrush community, and Josie’s younger sister starts to make some dangerously bad decisions, the two find themselves leaning on each other for support – and looking at each other in a whole new light. Their childhood friendship blossoms in to something more as they deal with their insane families, but as graduation approaches, so does life in the real world, forcing Josie and Mitchell to figure out what, exactly, their relationship is – and if it can survive their very different plans for the future.
WATCH ME SCREAM AND RUN THROUGH THE ROOFTOPS BECAUSE THAT IS HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! Seriously, I am so incredibly stunned that this is a debut novel. Everything was so beautifully formed. Paintbrush was a beautiful creation of community, love, and togetherness. Even though the relationship between Mitchell and Josie seemed to be a bit like insta-love at first, I abandoned that thought quickly. They are obviously so perfect for each other it hurts. Yes, there is that bump about Mitchell wanting to leave Paintbrush and Josie wanting to stay, but they are both so scared of the world and what is out there versus what they have, that only the two of them with their unique perspectives and upbringing could possibly be right for each other. I got worried halfway through the book because there was so much of the book left for things to go wrong, and I couldn’t see how they could both be happy without sacrificing their desires for the other. Hannah writes so beautifully from Mitchell’s perspective when it came to watching and describing Josie that even I was falling in love with her. Take this quote:
“Eventually I hear her breathing, soft and slow and even, and I know she’s probably asleep. Her breathing mixes with the crickets, with the sound of rustling leaves. Like a mini symphony. A perfect forest lullaby.”
AND THIS WAS BEFORE HE WAS IN LOVE WITH HER. Again, I can’t stress enough how impressed I am with this debut. I will read anything that Hannah Bucchin writes from now on. She makes me want to go to North Carolina (which surprised even me). There were so few things I had a problem with in this book that they honestly aren’t even worth mentioning. And that is super impressive, because I love nitpicking books.
Basically, if you love anything adorable and lovely and cute and you want to squeal with delight, then PLEASE read Paintbrush. I sincerely hope you won’t regret it because this book feels like my baby at this point, honestly.
Final Rating: ★★★★★
Check out the interview I did with the author, Hannah, here!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
If you want to purchase this book, please consider using my Book Depository affiliate link!