*JANUARY FIRST came out this past Tuesday, so it's available now! Happy Book (Week)!
JANUARY FIRST was a tragic memoir revolving around a family and their attempts to save their daughter Jani from descending into madness. She is the youngest person to be diagnosed with such an extreme case of schizophrenia. Her violence got so bad that her parents were forced to live apart in two separate apartments in order to keep both of their children safe and happy.
I admit that I read this book more out of morbid curiosity than anything else. I vaguely remembered hearing about this girl on TV a few years back and was hoping to see what had become of her. I was sad to see that the book doesn't go into the future and where the family is today except for a couple of lines at the very end. What happened to January between the time she last made the TV circuits and now? How is she doing today?
I went online to find out more and was disturbed at all of the theories being tossed around. While the parenting was suspect at times in the memoir, Michael Schofield also kept a blog, and while the lines have been deleted now, at one point he admitted to abusing January in order to get her to "behave." It makes me wonder how much of this "memoir" is truth, especially since he has a Master's Degree in English. Has he been wanting to write something so hard-hitting all along and set his daughter up for failure? Is Jani schizophrenic, or does she just have an extreme imagination? I had a huge imagination as a kid as well and see that time as when I brought the stories in my head to life orally rather than on paper. If Jani's parents have introduced violence to the house, it's possible she's imitating them and not really of a violent nature herself. Of course, it could be that poor Jani really has extreme schizophrenia. I'm honestly not sure what to believe at this point after looking around online. All I know is that I hope that Jani can overcome her obstacles and grow up in the most ordinary way possible.
C O V E R F L A S H :
I like that the image is completely in motion. That, combined with JANUARY FIRST in huge letters, caught my attention and made me click to read the summary! The pop of pink helps it stand out as well.