Two teens facing their mental illnesses together... Waiting for Fitz by Spencer Hyde (Review)

If you're looking for a new contemporary read, definitely read my review below...

Waiting for Fitz
By Spencer Hyde
YA Contemporary
Hardcover & ebook, 256 Pages
March 5th 2019 by Shadow Mountain


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.

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My Review

WAITING FOR FITZ is a story about a girl who is dealing with her OCD that has taken over control of her life, and the boy she meets in the psych ward at the hospital who reaches her heart. The story is poignant, thoughtful, sweet, humorous, and heartwarming. This is definitely a read that YA contemporary fans should pick up!

Addie is a great character! She's sarcastic, very introspective, whip smart, and dealing with a mental illness that is ruining her life. Her internal dialogue is spot on as is her interactions with those around her as she tries to keep her walls up. Fritz is immediately arresting from the first page he's introduced. I just simply loved him! He's attractive, smart, funny, and there's an instant attraction between him and Addie. I loved their banter and their silent moments the most. I also loved Addie's relationship with her mom. They play this Tragedy or Comedy game that was hilarious. I could totally see those in the psych ward playing it and it's definitely something I could see my kids getting a kick out of. Towards the end I couldn't flip pages fast enough. I appreciated that this story is about a whole lot more than just romance - the romance is actually only a small part of the story. There is so much going on as Addie and Fritz try to navigate their own minds, live in their world, and figure things out. It was emotional and sweet and scary.

I only had a few minor qualms about this story. One was that in the beginning I felt like there was a lot of being told things instead of experiencing them with the characters. I also didn't always catch the change from Addie talking to being in her head. My other qualm was that Addie is in her head a lot and I don't know if all of it was necessary for the story. It also wasn't always on a deeper level, so it came off as kind of flippant and one-dimensional sometimes when I wanted more complexity and emotional depth. These aspects did get better as the story progtessed though.

And on a side note... this cover is perfect! I love how Fitz is portrayed, the words written behind the title, the wings blended in... it's so perfect for this story! I also love how it draws the eye and looks really interesting. The cover designers should be proud. :)

In the end, was it what I wished for? I really enjoyed this! I had a smile on my face at the end and that perfectly content feeling that us readers of happily-ever-afters love. I also appreciated that everything wasn't wrapped up in a nice little bow. These characters aren't at the end of their journey, but they're slowly finding their way at the end of this book. Definitely recommended!

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.

About the Author

Spencer Hyde spent three years during high school at Johns Hopkins for severe OCD. He feels particularly suited to write this novel because he's lived through his protagonists' obsessions. Spencer worked at a therapeutic boarding school before earning his MFA and his PhD specializing in fiction, short humor pieces, 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.

Do you have any thoughts on the book or my review? Have you dealt with the difficulties of mental illness yourself or with someone you love?

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