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Jay Asher (1) (1975–)

Author of Thirteen Reasons Why

For other authors named Jay Asher, see the disambiguation page.

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About the Author

Jay Asher's novel Thirteen Reasons Why, has appeared on the NYT bestseller list regularly in the last nine years. It was also one of the most challenged books of 2017, according to the American Library Association. (Bowker Author Biography)

Works by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why (2007) — Author — 12,339 copies
The Future of Us (2011) 1,630 copies
What Light (2016) 708 copies
Piper (2017) 139 copies

Associated Works

13 Reasons Why: The Complete First Season (2018) — Based on the book by — 5 copies


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Common Knowledge

Arcadia, California, USA
San Luis Obispo High School
Cuesta Community College
California Polytechnic State University
children's book author
Short biography
Jay Asher was born in Arcadia, California on September 30, 1975. He grew up in a family that encouraged all of his interests, from playing the guitar to his writing. He attended Cuesta College right after graduating from high school. It was here where he wrote his first two children’s books for a class called Children’s Literature Appreciation. At this point in his life, he had decided he wanted to become an elementary school teacher. He then transferred to California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo where he left his senior year in order to pursue his career as a serious writer. Throughout his life he worked in various establishments, including as a salesman in a shoe store and in libraries and bookstores. Many of his work experiences had an impact on some aspect of his writing.

He has published only one book to date, Thirteen Reasons Why, which was published in October 2007. He is currently working on his second Young Adult novel, and has written several picture books and screenplays. Thirteen Reasons Why has won several awards and has received five stars from Teen Book Review. It also has received high reviews from fellow authors such as Ellen Hopkins, Chris Crutcher, and Gordon Kormon.



I've been stewing on this one for about a week. There were a few things about it that I loved, and a few things that really bothered me.

Let's start with what I loved:

1. I feel like this book really drives home the idea that all actions big or small will impact lives and might escalate in ways that we don't always realize.

2. It also drives home the fact that sexism, objectification, abuse, and expectations of women are dangerous.

3. Almost every character has to deal with the fact that they could have (and in some cases should have) handled things differently, but made the very human, imperfect choice not to.

4. The fact that one of those imperfect characters is an adult illustrates to teen readers that learning life lessons doesn't stop after high school.

5. Clay walks away from the tapes with the understanding that he is not responsible for Hannah's choice and that he can not change the past, but that he can use what he has learned from it to help others in the future.

Things I hated:

1. I find the concept of the tapes incredibly presumptuous. People commit suicide because they don't believe they have a reason to live, not to teach a lesson.

2. Hannah's Depression is described as a series of reactions. Depression is a mental illness, not a reaction.

Overall I think this book is worth reading and it has a lot to offer. It's thought provoking and it will get teens thinking and hopefully talking about a lot of important things, but it misses the mark on some of the more important issues.
… (more)
jskeltz | 753 other reviews | Nov 23, 2023 |
I have mixed feelings about this book. It was a compulsive read and I stayed up late to finish it but the dual narrators grated on me and sometimes I felt it was verging on trashy. The use of the cassette sides for each chapter was clever and I guess teenagers would get a lot out of it.
secondhandrose | 753 other reviews | Oct 31, 2023 |
A few days after a high school girl kills herself, one of her classmates gets a package in the mail. It contains 7 cassette tapes, on which are recorded 13 stories, narrated as if from beyond the grave, of how 13 different people at her school played a part in her decision to commit suicide. We follow both the stories on the tapes and Clay’s thoughts as he listens to them.

An interesting story with a interested method of storytelling. I appreciated how nearly every character, including the deceased narrator, is complex – both flawed and with saving graces or understandable reasons for their flaws. No one and everyone here is to blame for a myriad of minute events that lead up to one big one. Overall, a good read.… (more)
electrascaife | 753 other reviews | Oct 25, 2023 |
Vishnu_VM | 753 other reviews | Sep 24, 2023 |



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