Book Review : Tagged by Mara Purnhagen

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Tagged by Mara Purnhagen

Product Details
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373210078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373210077

Kate Morgan is just as confused as the rest of her classmates when she arrives at Cleary High to find six life-size gorillas spray painted on the side of a building. Could the culprit be one of her friends or classmates? And is the kind-of-amazing creation really vandalism, or a work of art? She's tempted to stay out of it, mostly because, as the police chief’s daughter, she's always accused of being a snitch. But when gorillas start appearing throughout the state, her investigative instincts kick in.

Now Eli, Kate’s favorite co-worker at the local coffee shop, is MIA. With her best friend, Lan, preoccupied with her own boy troubles, Kate needs to figure out some things on her own. Like why she can’t stop thinking about Eli. And what she will do when all clues about the graffiti point to someone she knows...

Tagged is narrated by Kate Morgan, who is the daughter of a police chief and the best friend of a Vietnamese-American girl named Lan. When she discovers a mural of six life-size gorillas on her school wall, she is intrigued. When these gorillas kept appearing at different places, she wants to help solving the mystery. I admired Kate's way of dealing with things. I also liked the close relationship between her and her parents.

Tagged mainly discusses about the line separating 'art' and 'vandalism' in graffiti. Well, I looked through the opinions of some people online, and I found this statement which suited the situation well:

"Graffiti is art if it is placed on a surface that is owned by someone who wants it there otherwise it is vandalism."

Racial issues are also discussed when Kate's best friend, Lan is humiliated by Tiffany, a snobbish rich girl. Tiffany is throwing a mega birthday bash to celebrate her 16th birthday, and she's going to have it aired on national TV. I disapproved with Tiffany's way of hosting her birthday party as if she were the queen where everyone was required to gather at a place to hear her announce who's on her invite-list.

Tagged has a good character set, a solid opening and an interesting plot. My only complaint is that the gorillas kept appearing and I lost my initial excitement and felt like it has become a clique. My intuition tells me the artist/vandal's identity right from the beginning. So it wasn't much a surprise to find out that I'm right. However, I don't understand the artist/vandal 's real intention of creating the graffitis. Why can't he think of a better way of doing what he's wanting to do? And why gorillas? It was unexplained.

To sum up, Tagged was fun, amusing and entertaining, but I sensed that there's something missing in this book. Nevertheless, teens will enjoy reading it.

Rating: 3.685

I'd love to thank Lisa from Harlequin Teen CA for sending me a paperback copy of Tagged for this review! Thank you so much, Lisa!

Get Tagged on Amazon / The Book Depository / Harlequin Teen
Mara Purnhagen cannot live without a tall caramel latte, her iPod, or a stack of books on her night stand. She has lived in Aurora, Illinois; Kalamazoo, Michigan; Dayton, Ohio and Duncan, South Carolina. She presently lives outside Cleveland, Ohio with her family and two cats.

Find her on Facebook:
Mara Lohrstorfer Purnhagen

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Mara's Blog

1 creative remarks:

Misha1989 said...

Thank you for the review! I had never heard of it before. But it seems interesting.