Thirteen Reasons Why

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Thirteen Reasons Why
Author Jay Asher
Cover artist Christian Fuenfhausen
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young adult
Publisher Penguin Books
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback)
Pages 288
ISBN 978-1-59514-171-2
OCLC 85622684
LC Class PZ7.A8155 Th 2008

Thirteen Reasons Why (stylized as TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY) is a 2007 young adult fiction novel written by Jay Asher. The book was published by RazorBill, a young adult imprint of Penguin Books. The paperback edition hit #1 on the New York Times best-seller list in July 2011. Clay Jensen, a high school student discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there were thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them.


Clay Jensen, a shy high school student, returns home from school one day to find that he has received a mysterious package in the mail. The package is revealed to contain thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, a classmate who recently committed suicide.

The first person to receive the tapes was Justin, whom Hannah met shortly after she first moved to town. They kissed once, after Hannah developed a crush on him. However, Justin told his friends that they did more than just kiss, which earned Hannah the reputation of being a slut at school.

The second person to receive the tapes was Alex, with whom Hannah was once friends. Alex violated their friendship when he published a "hot or not" list comparing the girls in their class. He awarded Hannah the title of Best Ass, which only reinforced her reputation as a slut. He also awarded his ex-girlfriend Jessica the title of Worst Ass, in revenge for her breaking up with him.

The third person to receive the tapes was Jessica, with whom Hannah was once friends. After being compared to Hannah on the "hot or not" list published by Alex, Jessica slapped Hannah and effectively ended their friendship. The slap left a scar on Hannah's forehead, which acts as a physical manifestation of the pain she feels inside.

The fourth person to receive the tapes was Tyler, a classmate who worked as a photographer for the yearbook. After suspecting that Tyler was taking pictures of her through her bedroom window, Hannah enlisted their classmate Courtney to help her catch Tyler in the act.

The fifth person to receive the tapes was Courtney, who used Hannah in order to make herself more popular. Known as the sweetest girl in school, Courtney revealed her true nature to Hannah when she spread a rumour regarding the sensual massages they gave each other in Hannah's bedroom, which only reinforced her reputation as a slut.

The sixth person to receive the tapes was Marcus, who believed the rumours about Hannah and tried to take advantage of her as a result. After being paired up by a Valentine's Day fundraiser at school, Marcus asked Hannah on a date to a local diner. Ignoring her protests, Marcus repeatedly tried to touch Hannah inappropriately.

The seventh person to receive the tapes was Zach, who tried to comfort Hannah after Marcus stormed out of the diner (though Hannah later realizes Zach was only acting on a dare). Later, in their Peer Communications class, each student is given a pouch in which their classmates can leave anonymous compliments, and Zach to all of Hannah's notes evert day.

The eighth person to receive the tapes was Ryan, the editor of the "Lost N Found" column in the school newspaper. After gaining her trust, Ryan stole a poem written by Hannah in which she detailed many of her personal problems. He published the poem anonymously in the school newspaper, but some of their classmates realized that Hannah wrote it and proceeded to mock her. Hannah blames Ryan for making her feel like even her thoughts are not safe from scrutiny.

The ninth person to receive the tapes was Clay. Hannah apologizes for including Clay on her list, as he did not make her suicidal like the rest. In fact, she admits that Clay was the nicest person she ever met and that she wishes they had had more time to get to know each other. While listening to the tapes, Clay walks around town and visits the various places mentioned by Hannah. He runs into their classmate Tony, who acts strangely upon seeing the tapes. Clay realizes that Tony must be featured on the tapes too; he demands to know what Tony did to make Hannah suicidal, but Tony only tells Clay to keep listening to the tapes.

In shock, Clay again demands to know what Tony did to make Hannah suicidal. The tenth person to receive the tapes should be Justin, although Hannah acknowledges that he will have already received the tapes once and that Clay should pass them on to Jenny instead. Hannah describes hiding in the closet after Clay left her alone in the bedroom at the house party.

The eleventh person to receive the tapes will be Jenny, a cheerleader who offered Hannah a ride home from the house party. A The twelfth person to receive the tapes should be Bryce, although Clay doubts if Bryce would care enough about the tapes being leaked to pass them on himself. Hannah describes house-sitting one night while Courtney threw a house party down the street. The thirteenth person to receive the tapes will be Mr. Porter, the counselor at school. Hannah secretly recorded a conversation they had in his office, in which she expressed a desire to kill herself. Overwhelmed by the situation, Mr. Porter simply told Hannah that if she was unwilling to press charges against Bryce, then she should just try to move on.

Clay returns to school the next day and finds himself unable to stop thinking about Hannah. He runs into his classmate Skye, whom he has suspected of being suicidal. The novel ends with Clay reaching out to Skye.

10th Anniversary Edition[edit]

On December 27, 2016, the 10th Anniversary Edition of Thirteen Reasons Why was released. In the edition, the book's original ending is included. The anniversary edition also includes a new introduction from Asher, an essay from Asher, pages from the notebook that Asher used while writing Thirteen Reasons Why, reader reactions and a reading guide.[1]

Production and distribution[edit]

Asher's book has been published in the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Denmark, France, Georgia, Serbia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Romania and Poland.


Main article: 13 Reasons Why

Universal Pictures purchased film rights to the novel on February 8, 2011[2] On October 29, 2015, it was announced Netflix would be taking on the book to become a miniseries, with Selena Gomez as the executive producer.[3]

Awards and recognition[edit]


  1. ^ "Jay Asher tells why the Thirteen Reasons Why anniversary edition contains the book's original ending - Penguin Teen". Penguin Teen. 2016-10-07. Retrieved 2016-12-27. 
  2. ^ "Universal Acquires '13 Reasons Why' As Selena Gomez Vehicle". Deadline Hollywood. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "Netflix Gives Selena Gomez's '13 Reasons Why' Straight-To-Series Order". Deadline. Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  4. ^ "Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy November 2009 :". International Reading Association. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  5. ^ "Previous authors". 
  6. ^ "YALSA 2008 Best Books for Young Adults". Young Adult Library Services Association. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  7. ^ "YALSA 2008 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers". Young Adult Library Services Association. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  8. ^ "YALSA 2008 Selected Audiobooks for Young Adults". Young Adult Library Services Association. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  9. ^ "77th ANNUAL CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARDS WINNERS IN BRIEF". Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  10. ^ "THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher". Kirkus Reviews. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 

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