Burnt Orange: Color Me Wasted

( 22 )


Up until her senior year, Amber has been the model of perfection—just like her dad, Pastor Conrad, taught her to be. But when Claire Phillips invites her to more and more parties, Amber’s little white lies about her drinking spark a raging wildfire that threatens to overtake her life. Will she be honest with herself and her friends before things really get out of control? Burnt Orange, the fifth book in the teen fiction series TrueColors looks at alcohol abuse, addiction, and ...

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Burnt Orange: Color Me Wasted

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Up until her senior year, Amber has been the model of perfection—just like her dad, Pastor Conrad, taught her to be. But when Claire Phillips invites her to more and more parties, Amber’s little white lies about her drinking spark a raging wildfire that threatens to overtake her life. Will she be honest with herself and her friends before things really get out of control? Burnt Orange, the fifth book in the teen fiction series TrueColors looks at alcohol abuse, addiction, and temptation. Tyndale House Publishers

The daughter of a pastor justifies going to drinking parties as helping others, disregarding the feelings of real friends.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781576835333
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/22/2004
  • Series: TrueColors Series, #5
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 979,079
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

MELODY CARLSON is the best-selling author of more than one hundred books, including young adult favorites Dark Blue, Deep Green, Torch Red, and Pitch Black—the first four books in the TRUECOLORS series. She has two grown sons and enjoys an active lifestyle of hiking, skiing, and biking. Melody lives in the beautiful Oregon Cascade Mountains with her husband and Labrador retriever.

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First Chapter

burnt orange

color me wasted
By melody carlson

Th1nk Books

Copyright © 2005 Carlson Management Co., Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-57683-533-2

Chapter One

"Hello, my name is Amber Conrad," I say in my most serious voice, "and I'm an alcoholic." I'm standing at the podium at the front of the room wearing a new T-shirt and a deadpan expression. I take a deep breath and continue. "And I am here tonight to admit that I am in need of serious help."

Suddenly my friends burst out laughing and, of course, I can't help but laugh too. I step away from the wooden podium and head over to the kitchen area to help Simi and Lisa set up. It's actually youth-group night at our church, and the three of us got here early because we're in charge of setting up snacks.

"You happy now that I fessed up?" I ask Simi Gartolini in my most sarcastic voice. Simi can take it. My best friend since middle school, she's been on my case all day long about this.

"Hey, I never accused you of being an alcoholic," she responds in a slightly defensive tone as she fills a bowl with cheese twists. "I only said I was concerned that you went to that party last night."

"Yeah," says Lisa Chan as she arranges soft-drink cans into a cooler full of ice. "What's up with that, Amber? You knew what those kids were up to. Everyone knows they're just a bunch of alkies."

I laugh at this absurdity. "Yeah, sure, Lisa. Everyone at that party is an alcoholic. Get real."

"Well, they're boozers," she retorts in that slightly superior tone. "You can't deny that."

"I think you guys are just jealous," I say, hoping I can change the subject from drinking to something a little more comfortable. "I think you're picking on me just because you two didn't get an invite to Tommy Campbell's party."

"Tommy Campbell's a snob and a moron." Simi makes a face as she pops a bright orange cheese twist into her mouth. "I don't even know why you think he's so cool anyway."

"Oooh," I say to Simi now. "Sounding pretty judgmental for a Christian, don't ya think?" Then I grab a bag of tortilla chips and attempt to open it, finally resorting to using my teeth to rip the stubborn plastic bag.

"I'm not judging. I just think God expects us to have some common sense when it comes to choosing friends," she says, "and I think your dad does too."

"Yeah," adds Lisa. "Going to that party was a dumb move, Amber. I mean, kids look up to us as Christians and we're supposed to be the leaders in youth group. Seriously, what's going to happen when word gets around that Amber Conrad, daughter of Pastor Conrad, is a beer-drinking party girl now?"

"Man, I never should've told you guys about it." I sigh loudly and roll my eyes. "Besides, like I already told you, I only had one beer and I didn't even drink the whole thing. Seriously, it's no big deal, okay? The only reason I was there at all was just so I could witness to Claire Phillips-"

"Yeah, you bet," says Simi. "That's a great idea, Amber-go to a drinking party, have a beer, and then witness to someone."

Lisa laughs. "Yeah, brilliant plan. Maybe you should share your strategy with the youth group tonight. Maybe we could take it to the bars."

Okay, now I'm feeling pretty defensive. I mean, what right do these two have to judge me and everyone else on the planet for that matter? Like, who died and made these two girls God?

"Whatever," I finally say as if I don't really care. "Think what you want about me." I use a slightly wounded tone, hoping to garner some pity, but then I hear the sound of voices coming down the hallway toward us and I know it's too late. "But hey," I say quickly, "it's not like you have to tell everybody in youth group about my sinful ways."

"You don't think they'll hear about it anyway?" asks Simi.

"I don't see how." Then I get more serious. "Come on, you guys," I plead, "don't make this into a big deal, okay? I mean, I trusted you with this. I thought you were my friends."

Simi smiles now. "Okay, Amber. My lips are sealed."

"Yeah, mine too," says Lisa, although she looks slightly smug. "You happy now?"

I shrug. "Hey, I appreciate it."

"But you can't blame us if the story leaks out anyway."

I know she's probably right. It's not like I can really keep a lid on the big news that I, Amber Conrad, a slightly nerdish pastor's kid, went to Tommy's party last night. I know as well as anyone how rumors can fly through the information mill at South Ashton, but usually the rumors are about someone else. I don't think there's ever been a rumor about me personally. Like, who would care? Of course, now that I'm a senior and graduation is only two months away, well, maybe I don't really care either. I mean, hey, maybe it's about time I did something worth talking about!

But as the room starts filling up with youth-group kids, I'm not so sure anymore. I mean, do I really want these guys to know what I was up to last night? These are church kids I have known for years-kids whose parents are close friends with my parents-and, for the most part, they're fairly nice kids. Now, I know that everyone has their problems and stuff and nobody's perfect, but these are the kinds of kids who really try to follow God and live their lives for his glory. And for the most part, they are my friends too. But the truth is, I'm actually thinking they're just a little bit boring right now. Maybe I think this more tonight than usual. Of course, I don't let this show. I know better than that.

Instead, I smile and say "hey" to everyone, just like always. I even compliment Tyler Addison on his haircut, although I honestly think it's way too short for his long and narrow head. In fact, he kind of looks like Homer Simpson right now. And I ask Laney Edwards if she's lost weight, and this makes her smile. The truth is, she looks heavier than ever, and that fuzzy hot-pink sweater isn't helping one bit.

Okay, I'll admit it: I'm a total hypocrite sometimes. But it's like I'm supposed to have this happy outlook on life all the time, like I'm supposed to make everyone feel good about themselves even if I'm telling a big fat lie. It's just how a pastor's family is supposed to act, you know?

Oh sure, my parents never actually say as much. In fact, I'm pretty sure my dad would deny he acts like that at all, which in my opinion is just another form of deceit. Okay, in defense of my well-meaning parents, I think maybe they actually sort of believe the outrageous things they say. It's like they've been doing it for so long that they can't even tell the difference between the truth and phony baloney.

Anyway, I've studied them over the years, and I've learned from them as they play their little feel-good game without ever thinking twice. They just smile and tell their little white lies and act like it's no big deal. And naturally, being a good daughter, I just follow their lead and do the same.

That's probably what had gotten Claire Phillips' attention last week. It looked like she was having a bad day, so I complimented her on her outfit, which, although I suspect by the labels was probably expensive, didn't really look that great on her. It actually made her look stockier than she is. Not that she's exactly chubby, but she's kind of short and compact-that curvy kind of compact that guys seem to appreciate, including her boyfriend, Tommy Campbell.

"Thanks, Amber," she said to me with a bright smile. Then she asked if I had my notes from English lit on me.

"Sure," I told her. "Do you want to borrow them? I noticed you missed class yesterday."

"Yeah, I was sick," she said. "But I don't want to get behind. Mr. Sorenson is hard enough on us as it is."

"Man, I know," I agreed. "He gave me a C for midterms."

"You got a C?" Her eyes grew wide.

"Yeah, and when I asked him why, he said it was to push me harder for the final grade. Can you believe it? I've really been trying to keep my GPA up."

"Man, that's harsh," she said as I handed her my notes. "I'll get these back to you in time for class," she promised.

I should know better than to loan out my notes, but for some reason, I trusted Claire-and all right, she's one of the most popular girls in our class and I wouldn't mind if she liked me better. So I was pleasantly surprised when she returned my notes, in perfect condition I might add, and then actually invited me to come to Tommy's party.

"I can invite whoever I want," she assured me as we walked into Mr. Sorenson's class. "So, I hope you'll come, Amber. I'd really like to see you there." Then she laughed. "And everyone knows Tommy's parties are the best."

I blinked and tried not to look too surprised, and then I told her I'd think about it. By the end of class, she'd already written down his address and phone number on a torn-off corner of notebook paper. "Here," she said. "Now, seriously, I want you to come, okay?"

"Okay," I said and then added, "I mean, I'll think about it."

"Good." She smiled. "Since there are only two months until graduation, I've been trying to get to know more kids, you know, so I'll know more people at our class reunions."

Now, I had to laugh at that. "I guess I haven't been thinking that far ahead," I admitted.

She grinned. "Well, maybe you should."

And that's how I ended up going to Tommy Campbell's party. And here's the truth: I actually had fun. And it wasn't boring at all. Claire was really nice to me, and then her other friends were fairly nice too. It's like everyone just really cut loose and had a great time. Sure, some kids drank too much and one girl even got sick and threw up in the pool, which really put a damper on swimming. But I didn't get drunk and I didn't get sick. Mostly, I just had an unexpectedly fun time. And, really, what's wrong with that? I mean, even Jesus drank wine with his friends. And wasn't his first miracle turning water into wine? So, seriously, what's the problem?


Excerpted from burnt orange by melody carlson Copyright © 2005 by Carlson Management Co., Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 3, 2010

    Blame It On the A-a-a-al-ca-alcohol

    Burnt Orange: Color Me Wasted is a continuation of the "True Color" series. The 'True Color" series was originally thought up by Carlson as a way to explore edgy topics teenagers are dealing with. These edgy topics include loneliness, jealousy, sex, and witchcraft. In Burnt Orange: Color Me Wasted, the topic is drinking. Amber Conrad, the main character, is a regular, teenage girl who loves to have fun and happens to be the pastor's daughter. At the beginning of the book, Amber had recently attended a party where alcohol was being consumed; her church youth group friends Lisa and Simi are mildly upset with her. Within the book, you see struggles between friends develop as Amber hangs out with her troubled and rich drinking friend, Claire. Amber becomes more dependent on alcohol and fitting in. While she notices these new trends, her friend Claire seems to be oblivious. It takes a car crash and the death of a friend for Amber to realize what she is doing and for her to get professional help. Personally, I thought the book deeply explores the controversial topic of teenage drinking; however, one of the appeals of this book, its mimicking of teenage mannerisms, is one of its bigger deterrents. I had the same problem with a previous book in the series, Torch Red: Color Me Torn. Despite that, I think a majority of the Christian, teenage girl population would like this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2008

    Temptations of an American Teenager

    Burnt Orange is written by Melody Carlson. She writes many of her books for teens, which she loves. Most of Carlson's books include Godly families and struggles. This all goes back to her childhood as an atheist and later she gave her heart to Jesus Christ.<BR/>I came across this book in our school library. I read the back of it and it sounded interesting so I checked it out, and started reading it. I loved the fact that it had to do with teenagers and i could actually relate to it. There wasn't really anything I didnt like about this book.<BR/>Amber Conrad, the narrator is split between this Christian image she is supposed to portray, and just wanting to have fun and be a teenager. She makes new friends Claire and Slater which like to drink and party. Being the preachers daughter, Amber's other friend, Semi, thinks Amber is being really stupid by getting caught up in all those things that she should have no part in, such as drinking and partying. she starts ditching her true friends along with church functions to get drunk with Claire. Amber just tries to think of going to these parties as helping those types of people to become Christian and introduce them to church. But as we all know, that's not what happens, you get sucked into other bad habits. And thats exactly what happens.<BR/>I really enjoyed this book. I would recommened it to any teenage girl. It's an easy read and many teenage girls can learn a few lessons from it. Such as the things that teenage girls get caught up in so that they fit in.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2007

    Don't burn yourself make the right decisions

    This is a very good book it tells a story of a very good girl her name is Amber. She has a preacher for a father and a just all around religious life. She starts wishing she was popular and when she gets the chance to be she jumps for it. She would do anything it took to be popular and to be in with that crowd. She was invited to one party and she was handed a drink by a guy she had a crush on and after that it was all down hill. She is only in high school and has a few years until she is legally aloud to drink. The girl 'Claire' she starts hanging out with is a very heavy drinker and at first it seemed like a mild problem, after a while it was much more then that. The girl she chose to hang out with was a heavy drinker she knew and yet she still hung out with her. As they became better friends Claire was pressuring Amber to drink way more then she ever wanted to. Her friend, Simi who is also very religious starts noticing her missing church and they aren¿t hanging out anymore. As Simi realizes that drinking is taking over Amber¿s life she tries to help her and make her understand it¿s wrong. When Amber finally gets it through her head and stops drinking will she be able to keep both friends? Will it be too late how will Amber help Claire stop drinking? Will they all become friends in the end? You must read to find out!! The things that I liked about this book are its real, its today. Many high school girls are faced with a lot of these decisions and I think if they read this book it could inspire them or make them realize that drinking can only hurt you. If you think one drink can¿t hurt then this book is for you, you need to read it. I loved mostly everything about this book, I have no complaints. This book was written by: Melody Carlson. UI have also read some of this series. This series is called the Color Me series. The books I have read so far are: Deep Green, Blade Silver, Bitter Rose, and now Burnt Orange. This book doesn¿t remind me of any television show but it does remind me of prom week when all the teachers tell the kids that they need to make the right choices. If they don¿t it could change their lives for ever. I would recommend this book to anyone even boys.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2014


    Started reading, it is amazing. Good book for all christians.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    Brie click here everyone elce dnt clil here

    Hahahaha that s fubby zac used to do that and now jason ad luke do it. O and where dp u wanna eat lunch and wjose house do you wann gp to after we eat.?????

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2012

    Love this book!

    Great book and teaches you a lot!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

    Loved it

    Super good book. It was about a girl dealing with drug problems

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  • Posted April 25, 2012

    Melody Carlson’s true colors series of books really are gr

    Melody Carlson&rsquo;s true colors series of books really are great. All of her books have an excellent message in them.

    This book is an interesting story about a pastor&rsquo;s daughter, who is basically doing bad things with drinking.

    The girl realizes what she has been doing wrong turns he life back around.

    This book may make you cry with some of the problems that appear in this story.

    Overall, this book was one of her best!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    Loved It.

    This is a great book. This book shows how bad desicisions can affect your future and possibly others. This book also shows how bad company can corrupt good charcter. This is a great read and is very inspiring. I love her writing and she really understands our generation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2011


    Loved it personaly the best book i have read in a while. Sad but true people do these things very touching story!

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Young adult rrecommend

    Its a perfect book for teens!!for me it was too fast a read but great storyline! Five stars for teens though!

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  • Posted June 5, 2011


    I absolutely love melody and i loved this book. It really shows you what teens r going thru these days. It was really touching amd i would recommend it for any1.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2011

    Interesting Read

    Burnt orange by Melody Carlson is a story written about a teenage girl Amber Conrad who has one special friend named Simi. But when Amber gets caught up with a girl named Claire Phillips she begins to go to parties, and starts leaving Simi out. When Simi finds out about who Amber has been hanging out with and what they have been doing she gets concerned. Amber then starts drinking more and more and hanging out with only Claire. Then Simi has a talk with Amber and Amber begins to realize what she's doing. But when Amber decides to have a talk with Claire and try to get her to stop as well, Claire refuses and continues. Then something very bad and surprising happens to one of Amber friends...This is my favorite book I have ever read because it pulled my attention into it! This book is a great book for teen girls to read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    i love this book!

    this book taught me that drinking isnt fun.i read this book twice and i absolutly love it!she inspired me to never drink because it has side affects.shes a role model to me in the begining.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2007

    All is fair and love and war?

    Amber Conrad, a high school student has peers that pressure her to do things out of the ordinary. The ensue of her illegal drinking interferes with her relationship with her family, friends and most importantly, God. Being a pastor¿s daughter makes it hard not to feel guilty. After partying every weekend with her new `best¿ friend Clair, she gets into situations that she does not want to be into, such as driving under the influence and drinking and getting drunk. Saturday night partying means a late night and missing bible study that night and church on Sunday. Clair is having a breakdown and Amber wants to help work it out and to meet up with her after her shift at a popcorn store. As Amber is about to leave work, she hears of a sudden accident that leaves unexplainable causes. It is about a high school student and it foreshadows what is coming for me in the near future. The book was an okay book, because there was no suspense. It was all so predicable. I could mainly figure out what is going to be happening. I like books with suspense and I can¿t figure out the ending and such. There is a whole series of these books that you may read. You don¿t have to read them in order.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2007

    I havent read this yet...

    im a pastors daughter myself, but i heard this was a good book, ive enjoyed all of the melody carlson books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2007


    The best True Colors book! A must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2007


    this book is probably one of the best books i have ever read. i am not usually the type to read a book but i instantly got hooked!! after i read this book i read all the other true color series by mealody carlson and i loved all 9 or how many there are!! i highly recommend this book and all the other books in this series. i have yet to read her other series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2005

    totally a good book

    This book shows how drinking can hurt other people especially when you drink and drive. any teen who is going through a problem with drinking should read this book. it shows the bad things that drinking does. It was all around a good book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews

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