Waiting for Fitz

Waiting for Fitz

by Spencer Hyde


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629725277
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publication date: 03/05/2019
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 320,154
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Spencer Hyde spent three years during high school at Johns Hopkins for severe OCD. Hyde later worked at a therapeutic boarding school before earning his MFA and his PhD specializing in writing fiction and essays; he wrote Waiting for Fitz while working as a Teaching Fellow in Denton, Texas. Spencer and his wife, Brittany, are the parents of four children.

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Waiting for Fitz 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
TheBookBag 4 months ago
First of all, I just need to say that this cover is amazing. It’s one that you just need to look at for awhile to absorb all that’s there. So beautiful! Waiting for Fitz is a heart-breaking, realistic look at mental illness, while at the same time being a heart-warming, beautiful love story—a story of two young people accepting one another just the way they are. Addie and Fitz have an instant connection when they first meet each other in the mental hospital. She’s there for treatment of her OCD and he for schizophrenia. They form a close friendship and a tight bond—a bond that eventually leads to an escape plan. Will leaving the hospital heal them, or make them spiral downward and out of control? The fact that the author himself was hospitalized for his own OCD gives Waiting for Fitz an authentic feel for the ups and downs of mental illness and will open readers’ eyes to this somewhat mysterious world. It is a wonderful story that should be read by all.
SSTALEY 4 months ago
Waiting for Fitz is a novel with deep subject matter. Both main characters are dealing with mental illness. Addie has OCD and Fitz is diagnosed with schizophrenia. They meet at the hospital in the psych ward. They hit it off and become fast friends. This is their story of learning how to deal with their illness and how it has affected their past and how it will affect their future. This book at times is hard to read as you see what all of the teens at this psych ward are dealing with. These teens are very unique in their style and approach to life. Personally, I really liked this novel and the journey each character went on. If you yourself or someone you know lives with some type of mental illness you'll be able to relate well to Addie, Fitz, and the others. This novel is for older teens and adults.
Anonymous 5 months ago
In Waiting for Fitz, the main character, Addie, offers a strong voice and curious perspective on the capacity of the human heart. Accepting that her OCD has gotten out of hand, she is admitted to a psych ward where she meets well-written, engaging characters that teach her about the interplay of comedy and drama in life, and how difficult it can be to differentiate between the two. The mix of hard-hitting trials and witty humor (i.e. puns that demand respect from the harshest of critics) allows the book to handle heavy topics with grace. Hyde’s writing gets you thinking as you read and long after you put the book down. The story is bluntly poetic in its calling attention to the fact that we are all a little crazy. Not everyone deals with mental illness, but we all come equipped with our own issues, and we are all putting on a performance. As Addie tries to tackle the language barrier created by these individual impairments, we get a hilariously honest glimpse behind the mask of one person. Waiting for Fitz questions, in the most satisfying way, what it really means to know and understand another person. It’s the kind of story that makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time. The fresh language, believable characters, and compelling plot all come together to teach us something about the human condition.
Anonymous 5 months ago
For a young adult novel that, at first glance, could seem like something that's been done a thousand times, "Waiting for Fitz" is a clever and engaging take on the lives, thoughts and desires of teenagers who struggle with severe mental illnesses. Hyde, who admits in his authors note at the beginning of the book, has had OCD since he was a teenager (just like his main character, Addie) and knows others with various of the mental illnesses addressed in the book. I found this insight particularly important as I read about these characters and was happy to know that the author understood what he was portraying. It made the story more believable for me. The emotions that Addie feels are true to her character of a seventeen-year-old girl with a heavily restricting mental illness, which means that she can come across as silly, annoying, serious, misunderstood, snide and clever all in the same chapter. I learned much more about OCD and its seriousness as I read about her ticks and obsessions, it helped open my eyes to a brutal reality that I’d never seen before; one where mental illness controls someone’s life unless they are helped. I loved the variety and diversity of characters that Hyde introduced, from teenage patients to doctors and even the dog named Duck, as well as the clever puns (I’m a sucker for puns and anything meta, so this book didn’t disappoint!) and the tragic and comedic turns that kept the story breathing and fresh. I would highly recommend this book, not just as a story, but as a means of furthering a nascent understanding of struggles that most of us do not understand at all. It is both engaging and enlightening.
Emma Sumsion 5 months ago
I didn’t think I would like Waiting for Fitz. The book was out of the genre that I usually read but the idea of the main character and her OCD sounded really intriguing.OCD and any of the other disorders where things that I didn’t really know about or understand, and I think the story did well to tell about some of those. I bought the audiobook. I think the person who did the voice for it did it well conveying a teenage girl. I really enjoyed the story and the characters. I’m sure that the book took some creative liberty were taken about the more factual aspects of the story but that’s okay. I loved the main character, Addie, her attitude was relatable but she did seem to say whatever a lot. I also loved the other characters in the psych hospital but the story did have a main focus on addie and fitz so you didn’t get to know as much about the other characters. Fitz also was a fun character. The plot of the story is really driven by both Addie and Fitz disorders but that’s understandable because the whole idea of the story is about that. It wasn’t a super long book because of the focus being mainly on Addie and Fitz. It could have gone deeper into knowing the other character a little bit, but it is a young adult novel. It felt more like a romance then anything else, I don’t know if it was suppose to feel like something else. Everything seems kind of romancastized a bit but it’s still a good read.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Waiting for Fitz is a hilarious, heartful, and at times heavy debut novel. It is full of deep and colorful characters as well as deep meditations on the nature of identity, love, and literature as seen through the eyes of a mentally ill teen. The story follows Addie, an inpatient at the psychiatric ward of the Seattle Regional Hospital, and her interactions with the staff and other patients there. She and her newfound friend, Fitz, struggle together to understand their place both in the psychiatric ward and in the world beyond it. Despite a very slow start (major events kick in about halfway through the book) and an oddly paced stint in the Bahamas, Waiting for Fitz is a standout novel, especially for a debut. In my opinion, the highlight of the book was the large cast of characters. They each have strong, unique voices which made the slow beginning—and the rest of the book—a pleasure to read. In addition, Hyde’s depictions of mental illness are equal parts accessible to an unfamiliar audience and just detailed enough to do justice to the complexities of mental health (this is me speaking from personal experience). The novel, like its characters, contains many layers of complexity often presented in a fun and humorous package that made it easier to swallow without losing any of its depth. Although written for a teen or young adult audience, Waiting for Fitz can be enjoyed by any age group. I’m excited to see what Hyde has in store.
JBronder 6 months ago
Addie has OCD and it has been making her life difficult. She is sent to the psych ward at the Seattle Regional Hospital. While in group sessions she meets Fitz who suffers from schizophrenia. They connect and start having feelings for each other. Fitz then asks Addie to help him escape the hospital. This is one of those stories that if you read it for the story it is enjoyable. I felt for both Addie and Fitz with their mental illnesses. I think it does a great job of introducing the different illnesses to readers along with how others tend to view them. Although it seemed that the illness became the definition of the person instead of the person being an individual. But if you look at it from a realistic point things start falling apart. I doubt a lot of this would really take place, especially knowing insurance doesn’t pay for anything near this. I also doubt staff would let a budding relationship between two patients start. Over all this is a good read. It’s one that introduces some mental illnesses and the struggles those that suffer go through. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
Mel Henderson 8 months ago
I’ll cut right to the chase: I loved this book. There is a special kind of discontented sweetness, if you will (“and you will”) to reach the end of a book and wish it hadn’t ended. Spencer Hyde has a gift for creating characters you don’t want to leave behind. When I finished this book I actually felt strangely---well, abandoned. I wanted more of these people I’d grown to love, but Addie, the narrator, offered me this one, careful slice of her human story (and Fitz’s story). So I receive that slice and respect it, because it feels like an honor to have this glimpse into her world. Hyde tackles an ambitious subject with sharp insight, keen wit, and an absolute refusal to patronize his characters or his readers. (I consider one mark of a good book to be an author who assumes his reader is at least as smart as he is.) This book showed me that serious mental illness in young people is a subject I’ve had surprisingly little exposure to--and I say this as someone who reads a lot, who interacts with a lot of young adults in my job, and is a mother of 3 young adults. So I hope this book gets national attention, and not just because I want to see more from Hyde. We need books like this for the young people who will see themselves in them and dare to believe they are not a lost cause. Hyde is a hope-monger. Waiting for Fitz is worth your time.
LibrarianSGP 8 months ago
Addie, whose OCD has gotten so severe that it takes her 3 hours to get ready for school, must postpone her senior year when she is admitted to an inpatient adolescent psych ward. Her fellow patients include Didi who suffers from Tourette’s and pathological lying, Leah who is depressed after brain tumor surgery, Wolf who is in search of his “horse” and whose diagnosis isn’t revealed, Junior who has anger issues and seizures, and Fitz who has spent the last two years at the hospital for schizophrenia (or, more accurately, multiple personality disorder). Their days are full of both individual and group therapy, exercise, eating meals, playing Boggle, and watching movies. During the times they have to socialize, Addie and Fitz form a strong connection, bonding over literature and punny jokes. The humor is the coping mechanism they use to keep their illnesses from totally overwhelming them. When Fitz asks Addie to break out with him and travel to San Juan Island so he can make amends for the tragedy that landed him in the psych ward, she agrees and even smuggles in money she’s saved in a book by asking her mother to bring her more reading material. Unfortunately, once outside the safe confines of the hospital and without their proper medication, their walls come down and circumstances spiral out of control. The big question posed to Addie by one of her teachers, which is a thread running through much of the book, is what the characters in Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” were waiting for. Will either Fitz or Addie find the answer after their ill-advised trip? Author Hyde spent three of his high school years at Johns Hopkins for severe OCD like Addie’s, and many of the other characters are based on his fellow patients. The authenticity he brings to his writing as a result of his own experiences helps create a vivid and heart-breaking story, but also highlights the humor and humanity found in adolescent psych wards. In this respect, the book would be a great vehicle for bibliotherapy. Unfortunately, Hyde uses literary references from authors generally studied at the college level to sculpt most of the conversation between Fitz and Addie. Although liberally sprinkled with humor, the dialogue is ultimately too cerebral and theoretical for most teenagers, especially Fitz who doesn’t seem to have had much proper schooling and has very limited resources with no internet access and no library at his disposal. Unfortunately, most adolescents wouldn’t have the patience to sift through the dialogue to finish the book. So, although deserving of a large audience, it will be hard-pressed to find one. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Shadow Mountain Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.