A few months after saving Max from his murderous father, Kevin has a seizure while celebrating at his 13th birthday party. In the hospital, Kevin gives Max a blank book for him to write in, but on his next visit, Max discovers that Kevin has died. Freak had lied to him: There was no miracle Bionics cure, no "special operation." Max goes "nuts" and ends up "busting up the hospital." The final chapter begins a year after Kevin's death. Max has spent most of that time brooding in the down under, feeling guilty and "sorry for myself."
... for a long time I felt like I was a balloon and somebody had let the air out of me. (Chapter 25)
Max begins the next school year without Freak and "hated every minute of it." But his attitude about life takes a sudden turn when he bumps into Loretta Lee. When he tells her that he has been doing "nothing" for the past year, the least likely person in the novel to offer good advice comes through. Loretta tells him that
"Nothing is a drag, kid. Think about it." (Chapter 25)
Max "thought about it all the way home" and then retrieved the blank book Kevin had given him. For months and months,
... I wrote the unvanquished truth stuff down and then kept on going. (Chapter 25)