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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
What Happened To David is a romantic young adult adventure by P.M. DeVuono. The plot centers around Mary and David, two youngsters sent to an alternative school in Los Angeles, where it becomes quickly apparent that they have been victims of an unfair school system. As they mix with a new brand of company in the form of other misunderstood kids and the occasional hopeless case, Mary and David learn that the inside and the outside are two different things when it comes to being a struggling teen. The tough regimes in their new school are made even tougher by issues like bullying, new love, and Mary’s violent past, as she and David become embroiled in the obsessive and jealous behaviour of a dangerous gangster.
Author P.M. DeVuono presents a detailed and beautifully human view of underprivileged and misunderstood youths in What Happened To David, which left me thinking about society and the school system for a long time after I finished reading it. Whilst Mary and David’s story is engaging and quick to read on the surface – full of snappy, authentic dialogue and tense teenage action – the undercurrents and the bitter truth of life are never far away, and waiting to strike tragedy into the tale. I found the story to be well crafted and authentic, and was particularly drawn to DeVuono’s fascinating discussion about female body image in the form of character Gloria Mundi. Overall, this was a sharp and insightful novel with a lot more going on than first meets the eye.