REVIEW #103: The Earth Painter (Painter #1) by Melissa Turner Lee

Title: The Earth Painter
Series: Painter #1
Author: Melissa Turner Lee
Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Release Date: April 24, 2013
Pages: 224, Paperback

When a self-conscious young woman discovers the boy in drama class is actually the immortal who painted the world into being, she becomes the target of another painter who hates humanity.

The Earth Painter is a Young Adult Supernatural Romance set in the small mill town of Chesnee, SC. It revolves around Holly Scruggs, whose family has just moved back to Chesnee after her dad lost his job along with pretty much everything they owned. Her image conscious parents correct her to the point of brokenness until she meets Theo. He is the artist responsible for all the beauty of the land and he thinks Holly is beautiful too. Together they will fight against Fritz, the water painter who hates humans and is hiding a secret under the high school.


The Earth Painter had an interesting concept having to do with the origins of the world. The Painters for Earth, Water and Sky painted the world into being. The Sciences made sense of the world the Painters created. And the Sculptor created the people to inhabit the world. It was a completely original and refreshing idea.

The plot centered around one of the gifts given to the Water Painter Fitz for a  job well done - a water source that allows the drinker to understand his/her true calling so to speak. But Fitz hates humans for their destruction of the world he created and doesn't want them to have it. When a well under the high school is discovered to contain this water source Fitz works to have it destroyed. He will stop at nothing to accomplish this and destroy anything or anyone in his way - and that just happens to be Holly. 

Holly, for reasons unknown, is able to see Theo, the Earth Painter and Theo is equally drawn to Holly. Theo makes Holly feel beautiful, something she is not used to feeling under the constant belittlement of her controlling mother. Feeling comfortable with each other they grow closer and Holly begins to have feelings for Theo. But Theo is unable to return her feelings - he is unable to feel any human emotions. Something Holly has trouble accepting.

The book was a pretty easy read but I had my problems with it. There were details of the world that I found off-putting. Like the fact that the Painters and Sciences gambled for the rights to tweak things in the natural order of the world. Or how the Sciences were all really good-looking and unusually trendy. And why Holly's mother was such a b!t@h. They didn't sit well with me.

And I wasn't entirely sold on the idea; I had too many questions. Like why couldn't anyone notice the Sciences and Painters unless attention was drawn to them? If they served their purpose why are they still around? And the book holds the Sculptor in the highest regard for creating people but did he just create like Adam and Eve of sorts and let nature take its course. What about evolution?

And then for reasons not really important but not the obvious, Holly and Theo kiss and Theo has this like revelation and becomes like cathartic. Huh?

Overall the concept was a new idea but I think the execution could have been a little better The plot wasn't the strongest and the world-building wasn't complete. I think this book would suit a younger audience best, or someone that doesn't get hung up on the details.



  1. Thanks for another great review Nicole. Although this does sound like a very interesting and unique story I think I'm going to pass it up. It also seems just a little to weird for me. :)

  2. This one sounds like it has a great concept, but things that you said in your review make me think that I and this book would not be pals. Great review, even though the book seems like it wasn't everything you wanted it to be.

    1. yeah, it was a new concept but could have been developed better.

  3. So much of this sounds really interesting, and I'm super intrigued by the mythology. But hearing that you were left with lots of questions is sending up red flags that I can't ignore.

    1. Well, everyone has different triggers. If you think you will be frustrated by the things I mentioned then maybe skip it, if not then it's a quick read and might be worth trying for yourself!


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