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 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…
Reading Kate's story brought me right back to high school. I could relate to her desire to fade into the background and not be noticed. Tagged tackles some interesting questions regarding art. What is art? Who decides if something is art or vandalism? Not only does Kate come to terms with finding a definition for art, but she also realizes how to define herself.
Overall I think Mara Purnhagen's Tagged was a fun quick read that I easily immersed myself in. It's an enjoyable story of growth. Kate is a really nice girl, and even though she starts out as normal as she believes herself to be, by the end of the story she starts to come into her own.
I like Mara Purnhagen's writing and I'm already looking forward to her next book Past Midnight coming in September.