Waiting for Fitz Summary
Addie loves nothing more than curling up on the couch with her dog, Duck, and watching The Great British Baking Show with her mom. It’s one of the few things that can help her relax when her OCD kicks into overdrive. She counts everything. All the time. She can’t stop. Rituals and rhythms. It’s exhausting.
When Fitz was diagnosed with schizophrenia, he named the voices in his head after famous country singers. The adolescent psychiatric ward at Seattle Regional Hospital isn’t exactly the ideal place to meet your soul mate, but when Addie meets Fitz, they immediately connect over their shared love of words, appreciate each other’s quick wit, and wish they could both make more sense of their lives.
Fitz is haunted by the voices in his head and often doesn’t know what is real. But he feels if he can convince Addie to help him escape the psych ward and get to San Juan Island, everything will be okay. If not, he risks falling into a downward spiral that may keep him in the hospital indefinitely.
Waiting for Fitz is a story about life and love, forgiveness and courage, and learning what is truly worth waiting for.
Waiting for Fitz Review
The Young Adult-Teen debut novel of Spencer Hyde, Waiting for Fitz is the story of Addie, a young woman with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It is also the story of Fitz, a young schizophrenic who is one of Addie’s co-patients in the adolescent psychiatric ward.
This is not a light and comfortable novel, but the subject matter is handled well, and the characters well-developed. There are no stereotypes here and the author makes it easy to see Addie, Fitz and the rest of their patients as real people—not just “mental patients.” The story does not develop quickly and we spend a lot of time in Addie’s head, learning her thoughts and understanding maybe a little more about OCD. Time is given to developing the story and allowing events to unfold. There will be surprises and unexpected twists, just like in life.
For most of us, mental illness is a concept that defies description. I cannot imagine what it is like to like with OCD or schizophrenia or severe depression, or any one of the other conditions out there, but reading and relating to the characters in Waiting for Fitz can certainly help us develop understanding and empathy.
This would be an excellent book to read and discuss as a family with your teens.