Fitz by Mick Cochrane
Fitzgerald does not usually do rash things. He is not as cavalier as his friend Caleb. He is unable to share his feelings with that cute girl Nora, who likes his band. But he did just buy a gun and is holding his father, a man whom he has never met before, hostage. So much for not doing rash things.
Fitz is Mick Cochrane's new young adult novel. The title character, named after F. Scott Fitzgerald, is in desperate need of some father-son quality time. He tracks his dad down like a super sleuth, wanting all sorts of answers. How did his parents meet? Why did he leave? Is he sorry for abandoning his son?
This could lead to an overwhelming amount of sulking and rage on Fitz's part, and there is some of that. Cochrane thankfully wrote this book with a kind of mature introspection. Fitz ponders much over his father's actions, and we spend a lot of time in his head trying to make sense of the situation.
Curtis, his dad, is a confident lawyer who does not lose his cool when a gun is pointed in his face. He knows what to say to calm Fitz down, giving him clear-cut explanations for how he has spent the past fiftteen years of his and his son's lives.
Fitz is unable to know whether his father is genuine in his answers or if he is just telling the boy what he wants to hear. What he does know is that for one day he gets to be the one to call the shots. They go to the zoo and feed the sea lions. They visit the diner where his parents first met, ordering extra slices of pie like there's no tomorrow. And when you are holding your estranged father hostage with a gun...there might actually be no tomorrow for either of you.
Our protagonist is awfully mature for his age, but he does offer a few realistic tirades against dear old dad. Ultimately, this is a breezy read despite the subject matter. It never gets too bogged down in despair or anger.
Will this quality time cement a bond between the pair, or is this the first and last day that they will ever spend together? Read to find out!