Friday, April 5, 2019

Blog Tour/Review: Waiting for Fitz by Spencer Hyde

Waiting for Fitz, by Spencer Hyde
2019, 256p, Contemporary YA Fiction
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way

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 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 what’s necessary to let go and learning what is truly worth waiting for.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but was intrigued since it dealt with mental illness. The author based this book on his own experiences with severe OCD, and acknowledges that each person's experiences with the same mental illness will vary. It was hard to read in places because their minds are so different than what I experience. I think it would make me tired if my brain didn't shut off or if it took me three hours to leave the house every morning. 

Addie has OCD and Fitz is schizophrenic. I didn't relate to either Addie or Fitz, but was interested to learn about them and how they interacted with others. They were part of a group of eight teenagers that met every day for Group Talk. There were plenty of interesting characters in their group and they formed a bond with each other. 

There were parts of the book that were slow, but overall, I thought it was interesting! I enjoyed the nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout the book. It's definitely given me a lot to think about and is a book that will stick with me for a long time.

Spencer Hyde spent three years of his high school experience visiting Johns Hopkins for severe OCD. He feels particularly suited to write Waiting for Fitz because he’s lived through his protagonists’ obsessions.

Spencer worked at a therapeutic boarding school before earning his MFA in Utah and his PhD in Texas, specializing in fiction. He wrote Waiting for Fitz while working as a Teaching Fellow in Denton, Texas. He is currently an assistant professor of English at Brigham Young University.

Stories have a way of changing lives—Spencer learned that the first time he picked up a Tom Stoppard play and realized that words can nudge the world and build bridges to hope.

Spencer and his wife, Brittany, are the parents of four children. They love to hike, read, watch movies, fly-fish, and bake.


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