So, there’s absolutely no reason for this chapter break. There is no stop for narration, no time-skip, the chapter before this wasn’t even nearing normal chapter length, and that chapter only barely had a dramatic point to stop at.
Dr. Martinez is trying to help Max get back to her “friends” (Nudge and Fang), and after a bit of omniscient narration telling us that Dr. Martinez was thinking (honestly, book!) they decide to go get Max an X-ray. This means going to Dr. Martinez’s vet practice under the guise of a school report:
The three people behind the counter smiled and nodded as if this was totally believable. Maybe it was. How should I know? (pg 128)
I dunno, Max, you’ve seemed to have a pretty good idea of what’s normal or not until now.
But the quotes don’t stop there!
Two seconds after I walked in, I froze in the doorway, feeling the blood rush out of my face and a wash of terror sweep over me.
There was a man there.
In a white coat. (pg 128)
So Max has no problem fighting with the horrible creatures that are trained to brutally hunt her and her family down (not to mention having nearly stopped her from escaping the School), but a white coat totally does her in. I’m all for characters showing actual signs of having gone through trauma, but I feel like this is a bit much. (However, I must say I have no real experience with PTSD, personal or otherwise, and thus cannot say for sure.)
Anyway, Max gets her X-ray and it’s just muscle damage, no bones (she has bones in her accordion wings–brilliant, that), and OH NO! Max has a tracking chip in her arm!
So the Erasers took years to find Max and her family… why? And why do I get the impression this will never be explained?
Max wants Dr. Martinez to take the chip out, but it was implanted a long time ago and Max’s tissue and blood veins and all that jazz have grown around it. Okay, sounds reasonable.
Then there are men’s voices in the waiting room and Dr. Martinez has Max hide in a closet, where she squeezes in behind some white coats and makes a remark about irony. Which makes total sense, because seeing a man in a lab coat is totally traumatic but hiding behind coats is just ironic.
But Dr. Martinez fends off these people who seem to be looking for Max, and then gets Max to agree to stay another night.
We’re back with Nudge and Fang, and Fang is trying to talk Nudge out of finding her parents in this trailer park they’re in. And then not a page later, he starts helping her. For… reasons, I guess.
They find the appropriate address and wait outside as a woman leaves the mobile home. And then an Eraser comes up behind them, identified by his laugh.
Because all Erasers laugh the same? Really, I just can’t make this stuff up.
Nudge “jackknifes” to her feet, and after looking up the word in a dictionary, it looks like she’s either getting to her feet while doubled over or she’s doing it quickly at an abrupt angle, neither of which make much sense. Anyway, she gets to her feet and finds three Erasers, who start out looking like “male models” (which gives me the imagery of the School just hiring a bunch of models to be their bloodthirsty animals) and then they turn into wolf men and aaaaaaa.
And Fang recognizes Ari amongst them, who apparently was a kid and is now a grown-up Eraser. And then he makes a Three Little Pigs reference. What is it with Erasers and the Three Little Pigs?
Fang makes cryptic references to a plan and for some reason the Erasers don’t immediately attack (well, I guess if they’re models they’re not likely to be intelligent) so Fang and Nudge get the jump on them, Nudge pushing on into a cholla cactus. Yes, specifically the cholla cactus. Why Nudge’s internet education up in the mountains would include cholla cacti… no, never mind, that’s logic.
A bit of action that I can’t make heads or tails of later and Fang is on the ground, being beaten by the Erasers. And you know, I have to wonder why the woman who may or may not be Nudge’s mom is not hearing any of this. But anyway, Nudge grabs some paint cans and sprays Ari in the face (Ari, who is on top of Fang… How Nudge maneuvered into a position to do this, I have no idea) and she and Fang manage to get into the air.
And then Ari takes out a gun (yep, these are some idiotic models right there–use the gun FIRST!) but Fang and Nudge manage to escape and they decide to go back to the hawks.
Now we’re with Angel and Jeb is there and she’s suspicious, and then he holds out a tray with “delish-looking” food. He then goes off on a story about Angel’s appetite and how she ate four hot dogs when she was three, when the rest of the flock only had two. I assume this story is meant to be funny or touching or something, but it’s not and instead is just a poor way of introducing the fact that Angel needs 3,000 calories per day but she’s only been getting 1,000.
More boring stuff happens and Angel says she hates Jeb, then the chapter ends.
So it would appear Max has seen the Andy Griffith Show, as she mentions “Mayberry” (the town the show took place in) in passing. You know, I’d still like to know where Max gets her pop-culture references from. Was Jeb an Andy Griffith fan, did she find it on her own, etc. etc.
Oh, and Max is a horrible person, too:
I. Am. In. Heaven,” I said, inhaling deeply.
I ate enough raw cookie dough to make myself sick, and then I got high off the fumes of gently baking cookies. I could see the chocolate chips melting through the oven window.
Note to self: Show Nudge and Angel how to make chocolate chip cookies.
If I ever saw Angel again. (pg 147)
I… I’m speechless. I honestly have nothing to say.
Well, I do have one thing: why just Nudge and Angel? Doesn’t Iggy cook? Wouldn’t Gazzy like cookies and to be able to make them? Is Max really so sexist?
Blah blah blah, Max eats some cookies and then there’s an abrupt scene change to that night, where Max is telling Ella she’ll have to go tomorrow.
And then Ella, who’s known Max all of, what, two days? says Max can’t leave because she’s like a cousin or a sister! And you know, they’ve just become so close over those couple days. Blah blah blah, chapter ends.