What Happened to David provides a new twist on what it’s like to be bullied. It tells the story of what it’s like to stand up for yourself and then get sent to an alternative school because of it. In What Happened to David, 15-year-old Mary is victimized by an obsessive, love-struck teen gangster and then sent from a magnet school to a tough alternative school where she meets David, another victim of an unfair system. Although both are honor students, a couple of unwise choices involving self defense with a weapon and an illegal drug bust get them branded as criminals by the school district and law enforcement. While reflecting on stupid car thieves, bad tattoos, and other foolishness, as well as the hard luck stories of the students around them, David helps Mary to view herself and her new school as an opportunity rather than just a punishment or an embarrassment. Their love grows as they adapt to their new school. Mary starts to feel like she finally belongs somewhere. Ironically, just as she starts to feel safe, an after-school shooting shows her that her safety is an illusion when she learns she was sitting next to the armed shooter in class. As David tries to calm her fears, the obsessive gangster from Mary’s past returns to stake his claim on Mary. David and Mary enlist the aid of their parents, teachers and friends to protect them only to learn that there is no real protection to be had. This is a story about young love, obsession, belonging, violence, survival at school and coping with tragic loss.
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What Happened to David based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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.