Jay Asher (born September 30, 1975) is an American writer of contemporary novels for teens. He is best known for writing Thirteen Reasons Why.
Asher was born in Arcadia, California, on September 30, 1975. He attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo where he left his senior year in order to pursue his career as a serious writer. He married Joan Marie on September 7, 2002. Throughout Asher's life he worked in various establishments, including working as a salesman in a shoe store and in libraries and bookstores. Many of Asher's work experiences influenced some aspect of his writing.
Asher has published three books, namely Thirteen Reasons Why, a 2007 New York Times best-selling young-adult fiction novel; The Future of Us, co-written by Carolyn Mackler; and What Light.
Asher has written several picture books and middle school humor novels. Thirteen Reasons Why has won several awards and has received five stars from Teen Book Review. It also has received high praise from fellow authors such as Ellen Hopkins, Sherman Alexie, Chris Crutcher, and Gordon Korman.
Asher is a fan of the television series How I Met Your Mother. Asher cites it as a major influence on his work.
Netflix released a series based on Asher's novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, with Selena Gomez as an executive producer, on March 31, 2017.
In February 2018, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators announced that it had expelled Asher in 2017 following allegations of sexual harassment. Asher disputed the allegations and said he left the SCBWI voluntarily.
- Thirteen Reasons Why (2007) This is the story of Hannah Baker, a girl who dies by suicide. She reveals her thirteen reasons for her decision in a series of several audio tapes mailed to a classmate with instructions to pass them from one student to another, in the style of a chain letter. Through Hannah's recorded voice, her classmates learn the reasons why Hannah decides to take her own life. Besides Hannah, the reader also sees the story through the eyes of Clay Jensen, one of the recipients of the tapes.
- The Future of Us (2011) This was co-written with Carolyn Mackler. This is the story of Josh and Emma, two teenagers who used to be best friends until a huge misunderstanding. In 1996, Josh helps Emma set up her internet, only to find Facebook - before it has been invented. There, they can see themselves 15 years in the future - status updates, information, friends, etc. Using Facebook, they are able to change their destinies.
- What Light (2016) Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon - it's an idyllic place for a girl to grow up, except that every year they have to pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life begins to eclipse the other.