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JAY ASHER's debut novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, a #1 New York Times and international bestseller, has sold over 3 million copies in the United States alone and is now a thirteen-part series on Netflix. The Future of Us, his second novel, was co-authored with Printz Honor winner Carolyn Mackler. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling What Light. Piper, out in Fall 2017 and co-authored with Jessica Freeburg and illustrated by Jeff Stokely, will mark Asher's graphic novel debut. His novels have been translated into thirty-seven languages. He lives with his family in California. Follow him on Twitter @jayasherguy.
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.
"Heavy but compelling. . . . Asher's novel asks us to look at how petty cruelty can deal crushing blows." --Miami Herald "Wonderfully realistic in his writing, Asher offers teens and parents alike a great story on an important topic." --Green Bay Press-Gazette "It is a brilliant debut that will leave readers feeling a sense of remorse for Hannah, guilt for Clay, and hope for the lasting lesson of the story." --Bookazine "Breakneck pace and dizzying emotion." --School Library Journal "[Hannah's] pain is gut-wrenchingly palpable. . . . Asher has created an entrancing character study and a riveting look into the psyche of someone who would make this unfortunate choice. A brilliant and mesmerizing debut from a gifted new author." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review and Editor's Choice "Readers won't be able to pull themselves away." --Publishers Weekly "Asher's ability to convey the anguish of someone who was left behind is truly remarkable." --Book Page WINNER OF Association of Booksellers for Children's "Best Books" American Library Association's "Best Books for Young Adults" and "Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers" Heartland Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature Florida Teens Read Award California Book Award Kentucky Bluegrass Award Book Sense Pick International Reading Association's "Young Adults' Choices" Finalist Chicago Public Library's "Best of the Best Books" Kansas State Reading Circle's "Recommended Reading List" New York Public Library's "Book for the Teen Age" 16 State Award Master Lists "Thirteen Reasons Why is a mystery, eulogy, and ceremony. Twenty or thirty times, I snapped the book shut when a sentence, an image, or a line of dialogue was too beautiful and painful. But I, afraid and curious, would always return to this amazing book. I know, in years to come, I will often return to this book." --Sherman Alexie, bestselling author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian "Every once in a while you come across a book that you can't get out of your mind, one you have to rush back to if you must put it down for some reason. Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why is one of those books, and is at the very top of my personal Must-Read list." --Ellen Hopkins, bestselling author of Tricks, Identical, Crank, Burned, Impulse, and Glass "A spectacular first novel. Jay Asher tells his story with such honesty and simplicity that the tragedy feels shatteringly real." --Gordon Korman, author of Son of the Mob and Jake, Reinvented