THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher
Kirkus Star

THIRTEEN REASONS WHY

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

“Everything affects everything,” declares Hannah Baker, who killed herself two weeks ago. After her death, Clay Jensen—who had a crush on Hannah—finds seven cassette tapes in a brown paper package on his doorstep. Listening to the tapes, Hannah chronicles her downward spiral and the 13 people who led her to make this horrific choice. Evincing the subtle—and not so subtle—cruelties of teen life, from rumors, to reputations, to rape, Hannah explains to her listeners that, “in the end, everything matters.” Most of the novel quite literally takes place in Clay’s head, as he listens to Hannah’s voice pounding in his ears through his headphones, creating a very intimate feel for the reader as Hannah explains herself. Her pain is gut-wrenchingly palpable, and the reader is thrust face-first into a world where everything is related, an intricate yet brutal tapestry of events, people and places. 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. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59514-171-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2007




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OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

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Kirkus Interview
Jay Asher
March 10, 2015

Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why is the gripping, addictive international bestseller that has changed lives the world over. It's an unrelenting modern classic. Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush, who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are 13 reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Asher has recently been on a 50-state tour talking to teens about suicide. We ask him about the tour this week on Kirkus TV. View video >

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