Review: Waiting for Fitz

Addies 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.

My Review:

With the recent posts on social media about mental health, and especially what OCD is and what it isn’t, I thought I would revisit this book. I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley.

This book took me awhile to get into.  I almost gave up. I’m glad I didn’t. This book is worth the read, especially after I learned more about what OCD is. OCD isn’t the simple disorder people joke about.  (You like to keep your pens grouped by color? Paperclips organized by size and color? That’s not clinically OCD if it’s because you like things organized to a fault. But if you organize it every day in your office as a ritual before you work because if you don’t calamity will befall you or the office, that is OCD. )

Addie has OCD. Part of why this book was hard for me to get in to was you really get into Addie’s head. It’s very internalized.  Dealing with mental illness in your family is difficult enough. You often feel like you are walking on eggshells, not wanting to trigger them. Seeing it from the patients side was also hard for me.  It gave me new understanding and renewed empathy.

Now, other aspects might be hard to believe.  But this is a work of fiction, and is also a coming of age story about Addie.  If you can suspend your disbelief about children being able to escape the hospital,  it’s worth it.