by Mick Cochrane
Published: November 13, 2013
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
A father, a son, and a gun. This could make for an interesting day..
Sometimes Fitz would look at himself in the mirror, an expression of pathetic eagerness on his face. He was a dog in the pound, wanting to be adopted. He'd smile. What father wouldn't want this boy?
Fifteen-year-old Fitzgerald—Fitz, to his friends—has just learned that his father, whom he's never met, who supports him but is not a part of his life, is living nearby. Fitz begins to follow him, watch him, study him, and on an otherwise ordinary May morning, he executes a plan to force his father, at gunpoint, to be with him.
Over the course of one spring day, Fitz and his father become real to one another. Fitz learns about his father, why he's chosen to remain distant and what really happened between him and Fitz's mother. And his father learns what sort of boy his son has grown up to become.
Fitz starts off by jumping right into the action with Fitz taking his father hostage. I thought this was a great way to grab the reader and throw them into Fitz's life. Then it slowed right down to the point where I wanted to skip pages. Not the best thing with a book that is fairly short.
I suppose I was just expecting more drama, more action, more excitement. Fitz, though, is a literary tale that focuses on Fitz's journey to understanding who he is, as defined by his absent father. Fitz is obviously a very troubled boy, and Cochrane gives us bits and pieces that show Fitz has a lot of stuff going on in his head. I just never felt connected to him. It felt more like I was simply being told everything and I wanted to actually experience Fitz's anger and sorrow.
This is definitely a book that would appeal to more literary work lovers, though I think readers who have gone through similar upbringings as Fitz may be able to connect easier with his character.