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"Let me tell you a secret, old pal, old chap," Ari yelled at me. "You've got it all wrong. We're the good guys!" (7.14)
It's mind-boggling that the Erasers don't see how evil the scientists at the School are… or are they privy to some information that the flock doesn't have? What if Ari is right?
"It's a… wing," I whispered. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ella frown. "My, um, wing." Silence. "It got hurt too."
I took a deep breath, feeling like I was going to hurl, then slowly and painfully extended my wing just a bit, so Ella's mom could see where I'd been shot. (31.28-29)
You have to hand it to Dr. Martinez and Ella—they are super good at rolling with the punches. They don't treat Max differently after she admits her hybrid status to them at all; instead they just go along with it.
I pressed my lips together and looked away. My head was throbbing. I wanted to tell her—that was the awful part. Something inside me wanted to blurt out everything. But I couldn't. Not after years of Jeb telling me I couldn't trust anybody, ever. (40.17)
Max wants to tell Dr. Martinez the truth about where she comes from and why she's on the run, but after all this time spent keeping secrets, she can't very well blurt out her whole life story. That would be dangerous.
"What if they moved?" Fang asked for the nth time. "What if you misunderstood what you read and these people aren't related to you at all? Then, with horrible gentleness, he said, "Nudge, even if you weren't a test-tube baby—which you probably were—what if there was a reason they gave you up? They might not want you back." (43.8)
Fang isn't trying to stop Nudge from finding her mom because he's mean, he's just worried that the truth will hurt her. He doesn't want her to find out that her mom never wanted her, or that she gave her up willingly to the scientists.
"The thing is, Angel," Jeb went on earnestly, "life itself is a test. It's all a test. Sometimes you just have to get through it, and then later on everything makes more sense. You'll see. Now go ahead and eat. I promise it's okay. I promise." (45.23)
Even though Max once would have trusted Jeb with her life (he was her father figure, after all), now she can't believe a single word he says. All of his promises mean nothing to her because he betrayed them all by letting them believe that he was dead—he's already proven himself a liar.
Like a door slamming shut, everything in me that had loved and trusted Jeb closed down. In its place rose new feelings that were so powerful and full of hate that they scared me. (60.12)
The truth hurts, and that's definitely true for Max when she finds out that Jeb—her hero growing up—is actually one of the scientists working at the School. This basically makes him her nemesis.
"But in time, Max, it will all come out, and you'll understand what's happening. That's what I told Angel. I told her that everything is a test, even when you don't know it. That sometimes you have to do what you have to do and know it will all be clearer later. All of this has been a test." (61.9)
Jeb is constantly trying to explain to Max that this has all been a test, but she can't exactly take him at his word now, can she? He's already messed with them once, and she's not going to fall for his tricks again.
Worry is unproductive. You can't control what happens to Angel. You can save the world, but the only thing you can control is you. Go to sleep, Max. It's time to learn. (107.16)
As the flock leader, Max is constantly worrying about what's happening and if the voice in her head is telling her the truth or leading her astray. But she can't keep stressing out about what she can't control.
"That's me," he said, but he gave me a long look, like, I haven't forgotten what you did, meaning the Kiss.
I blushed furiously, embarrassed beyond belief. I would never live that down. (119.3-4)
In true teenage fashion, Max and Fang do not discuss things after she kisses him. They're both dying to know the truth about what it all means, but neither of them is willing to be the first one to bring it up. How embarrassing would that be?
Jeb's horrifying words echoed in my head again and again the meaning and consequences seeming worse each time. You killed your own brother. Could that be true? How? Or was this just more theater? Part of my test? (132.1)
Okay, Jeb has just dropped another serious bomb on Max—right after she goes through the awful experience of accidentally killing Ari. Is he telling the truth, or is he just trying to hurt her more?
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