For What It's Worth

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

REVIEW: TAGGED by Mara Purnhagen

Tagged (Harlequin Teen)

Kate is just as confused as her best friend, Lan, when she arrives at Cleary High to find the building's been "tagged" with a life-size gorilla graffiti mural. Could the culprit be one of their 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 worried about being labeled a snitch. But when the same mysterious graffiti starts appearing throughout the state, putting more pressure on the authorities to catch the vandal, her investigative instincts kick in.
Now Eli, Kate's favorite coworker at the local coffee shop, is MIA. With 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 the clues about the graffiti point to someone she's close to... YA Fiction

Kate leads a very boring life and isn’t good at anything in particular unlike her friends and family, so she usually tries to blend into the background. When murals of six 4 foot, life like gorillas show up on the wall at school and then around town, she is reluctantly drawn into a heated debate in class as to whether this is art or vandalism. Should Kate give her opinion on the debate and risk embarrassment?
The upside of the gorilla controversy is that it gives Kate something to talk about to her secret crush, Eli, the boy she works with at the coffee shop Something Brewing. He seems interested in Kate’s opinions and she finds herself opening up to him. One thing I really liked about this book was the interactions between Kate and Eli at the coffee shop. Because the place was so small and quirky it put the characters in a lot of situations that they wouldn’t have been in otherwise, yet it never felt forced.
Yes, Eli is swoon worthy – even though he is a little misguided at times.
Tagged also touches on what it’s like trying to fit in with the rest of the crowd and trying to find your own sense of self. This short book (I finished it in about 3 hours) packs quite the punch and I recommend it if you’re looking for a fun read that also gets you thinking. I found myself going back and forth with my opinion about the great gorilla “Art vs. Vandalism” debate.
Loved: Kate and her best friend Lan. Kate’s relationship with her parents. The scenes in the coffee shop.
Nitpick: I would have liked to know a little more of Eli’s perspective

Rating: 3.8 out 4 A smart and fun book by this debut author! Go get Tagged!

Authors Website: Mara Purnhagen
Buy The Book: Tagged (Harlequin Teen)
TAGGED is a book from the Class Of 2k10. Visit their site HERE to find out more about the debut YA authors coming up!


  1. So true! An adorable light read that really gets you thinking about what makes art and what liberties can be taken with community property.

    More Eli!

  2. Yes, my 44 year old self was upset about the defaming of property and thought of how much it would cost but my teenage self thought it wold be awesome to see giant life like gorillas :-)