About the Author
Jay Asher got the idea for Thirteen Reasons Why at a museum. While taking an audio tour, he was struck by the eeriness of the voice in his ear - a woman who described everything he was looking at , but wasn't there. Jay has worked in various bookstores and lives in California. The US bestseller, Thirteen Reasons Why, is his debut novel.
Gr 9 Up-With the arrival of a box of numbered audiocassettes, Clay Jensen's life changes forever. Listening and reacting to the words of fellow classmate and crush Hannah Baker, Clay begins to understand and to feel the depth of the pain, anger, and confusion that led to her suicide. With each recorded story, Hannah systematically lays bare the cruelty and deception of the 13 people whose actions she implicates in her decision to end her life. Alternating between Hannah's and Clay's voices, narrators Debra Wiseman and Joel Johnstone zero in on the indecision, angst, and desperate hunger for acceptance experienced by young adults struggling to find their place in the world. There are no heroes in this novel (Razorbill, 2007) by Jay Asher, and each character, including Hannah, is guilty of making poor choices. The pace of the story and the constant tension of wondering what will happen next make this an "edge of the seat" listening experience whose unanswered questions provide much food for thought and discussion.-Cindy Lombardo, Cleveland Public Library, OH Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
This uncommonly polished debut opens on a riveting scenario: 13 teenagers in a small town have each been designated to listen, in secret, to a box of audiotapes recorded by their classmate Hannah and mailed on the very day she commits suicide. "I'm about to tell you the story of my life," she says. "More specifically, why my life ended. And if you're listening to these tapes, you're one of the reasons why." Clay, the narrator, receives the tapes a few weeks after the suicide (each listener must send the box to the next, and Hannah has built in a plan to make sure her posthumous directions are followed), and his initial shock turns to horror as he hears the dead girl implicate his friends and acquaintances in various acts of callousness, cruelty or crime. Asher expertly paces the narrative, splicing Hannah's tale with Clay's mounting anxiety and fear. Just what has he done? Readers won't be able to pull themselves away until that question gets answered-no matter that the premise is contrived and the plot details can be implausible. The author gets all the characters right, from the popular girl who wants to insure her status to the boy who rapes an unconscious girl at a party where the liquor flows too freely, and the veneer of authenticity suffices to hide the story's flaws. Asher knows how to entertain an audience; this book will leave readers eager to see what he does next. Ages 13-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
A dizzying ride of suspense and revelation -- Kathryn Hughes * Guardian * A stealthy hit with staying power . . . thriller-like pacing * New York Times * Thirteen Reasons Why is a mystery, eulogy, and ceremony. I know, in the years to come, I will often return to this book -- Alexie Sherman, author of the award-winning DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN Readers won't be able to pull themselves away . . . * Publishers Weekly *