Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why Study Guide

Thirteen Reasons Why (stylized as TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY) by Jay Asher is a fictional Young Adult novel published in 2007 by Penguin Books. In July of 2011, the paperback edition became the #1 seller on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Asher's critically acclaimed novel has been published in seventeen different countries across the globe and has been recognized for awards by the International Reading Association, Writing Conference Literature Festival, and Young Adult Library Services Association. It was also the 2008 California Book Award winner as well as a Kirkus Review's Editors Choice novel.

The inspiration for Asher's story and the main character of Clay Jenses was strongly rooted in the author's experience in high school. As a teenager, he experienced a similar tragedy to Jensen as a close relative of Asher attempted suicide. When the idea for the novel came, Asher turned to his female friends and began exploring how they, as young women, experienced high school with a specific focus on the emotions they felt at that age.

The novel's title itself come from the character of Hannah Baker. Her life is described as tragic throughout the story and thirteen felt fitting as it is often associated with ill-fate. However, Asher's love of puns plays a role as well, as a Baker's dozen is thirteen.

The novel's purpose was to create awareness of teen suicide and the dangers of bullying. Jay Asher himself participated in an anti-bullying and mental health awareness campaign after the novel was published and continues to do so to this day.

This novel, best described as "eerie, beautiful, and devastating" (Chicago Tribune) had its film rights sold to Netflix in October 2015 with Selena Gomez as the executive producer.