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After one of their classmates kills himself, seventeen-year-old Morgan, whose faith in God was already wavering, makes a suicide pact with some other students.
Ignoring her, I slam my messy locker shut. A sleeve of my favorite red sweatshirt is dangling out, hanging there like a panting tongue, begging to be rescued. But I just give the metal door a loud kick and turn away.
"Morgan!" Carlie is glaring at me now. "Listen to me-"
"Just leave me alone!" I snap at her. "I'm going to be late for economics." Then I shake free from her grip and just walk away. Okay, I know I'm being totally rude right now. And Carlie used to be my best friend. I should turn around and apologize to her, because friends don't treat friends like this. And, considering that my friends are pretty limited these days (like I can easily count them on one hand with fingers left over), I should really know better than to act like this.
But the fact is, I just don't care. Because this is reality: My life sucks. And I am totally fed up. So everyone will be much better off if they just leave Morgan Bergstrom alone. At least for a while.
It's like I can't see anyone as I storm down the hallway toward the east wing. I feel like I'm walking down this dark tunnel, fueled by anger. Oh, I sort of sense the voices around me. And I can tell that kids are here and there, and maybe they're even looking at me. But like I said, I just don't care anymore. I've got bigger problems to consider right now.
Tell me this: How can I be expected to get out of bed every morning and show up at this moronic school in order to get a stupid education (which is probably totally worthless) when everything in my life is totally out of control? I mean, seriously, how much does a seventeen-year-old girl have to take?
It's not like this latest mess is my fault either. I mean, I've tried to do my best, make good choices, even be fairly responsible. And for what? Everything in my life just keeps falling apart. Everything's unraveling and I just can't take it anymore.
Okay, it's no big deal that my parents got divorced when I was in grade school. That happens to lots of kids. And eventually you get over it. Or so you tell yourself. And never mind that my older brother, Jonathan, is using drugs and my mom is totally oblivious. He hardly ever comes home anyway, although every time he does, something valuable disappears. Last time he took my CD player. I now have a dead bolt on my bedroom door. But that's not really the problem.
I admit it bugs me that my mom doesn't really seem to notice these things lately (like Jonathan's addiction problem). And even if I try to tell her, she's so preoccupied with her own life that she doesn't really listen. Oh, she pretends to listen, but you can tell by that glazed-over, dreamy look in her eyes that she's off in la-la land thinking about Bradley. Stupid, moronic Bradley Finch! Man, I wish she'd never met this loser from her job at SPUD (Stanton Public Utility Department). In my opinion, Bradley is a SPUD dud.
But they've been dating for a couple of months now, and it's like he's launched my normally somewhat-conservative mom into this ridiculous middle-aged pursuit of youth and superficiality. Not only is it totally embarrassing (I mean, you should see what she's wearing lately) but it's completely ruining our lives. Talk about a train wreck!
It doesn't help anything that Bradley is in his twenties (he won't tell us his actual age) and my mom is forty-three (which she won't admit to Bradley). She even told him that she'd had her kids when she was "just a kid" herself, which is totally bogus, not to mention lame. But it's like she suddenly thinks she's Demi Moore and he's Ashton Kutcher and they are the hottest couple in town. Give me a break!
At first I told myself to just chill, that this whole thing would blow over before Valentine's Day. Most of my mom's romances don't last more than twenty minutes anyway, and this one seemed more doomed than the others. So I figured if I could keep my mouth shut and just be patient, things would eventually return to normal. Or at least as normal as they can be in our house.
Okay, so maybe I was delusional. Because Valentine's Day has come and gone and it's just a week before spring break, and this guy is not leaving anytime soon. And now I'm even blaming myself, like maybe I could've done something to prevent it from going any further. But, stupid me, I thought their relationship was too ridiculous to be taken seriously. That is, until last night when those two idiots took their stupidity to a whole new level.
"We're getting married!" my mom announced from where the two lovebirds were snuggled up together on our couch. Now, she said this like it was really good news, like I should jump up and down for joy. Yeah, you wish.
"What?" I demanded, actually hoping that I'd heard her wrong.
She smiled at me and laid a big wet one on Bradley's cheek. Then, giggling like she was in middle school, she turned back to me. "We're in love, honey. We've decided to get married."
"Married?" I actually gasped now. I mean, it was one thing for them to date, and I know that Bradley has been spending the night here in our house. But marriage? Right.
"We love each other, Morgan. Can't you see that?"
"I know, I know..." Mom smiled at me in this out-to-lunch sort of way. "It probably seems sudden to you. But we really want to do this."
"When?" I asked in a wimped-out voice.
"We're both taking off work tomorrow. We'll fly standby to Vegas, get married in one of those cute little chapels like Kelly Ripa did, and then we'll have our honeymoon weekend there." She paused to wink at Bradley, as if she thinks I don't know that they've already had their honeymoon and then some.
I groaned and started to leave.
"Can't you just be happy for me, Morgan?" my mom pleaded in a freaky-sounding little-girl voice.
I felt like I was going to be sick. "Mom," I said in my best grown-up tone, "you can't be serious. I mean, you guys barely know each other. And Bradley is, well, he's a lot younger than-"
"Oh, Morgan." My mom made a pouty face that does not belong on the face of the woman I had respected until recently. "You know that age is just a number."
"But, Mom, what about-"
"Hey, Morgan," Bradley interrupted me, "why don't you just lighten up a little?" He paused to stroke my mom's recently bleached hair. "Can't you see we belong together? Lee Anne's the best thing that's ever happened to me."
I wanted to suggest that perhaps Lee Anne could adopt him, since I felt pretty sure she was old enough to be his mother. Okay, maybe she would've had to have gotten pregnant in high school. But hey, she claims she did that anyway.
"Whatever," I finally said. What difference did my opinion make to those two anyway?
"You'll get used to it," said Bradley. Yeah, right.
"I've got homework," I told them as I headed toward my room.
"So you'll be okay, honey?" my mom called after me as I opened my door.
"Yeah, I'll be perfectly fine." I doubted she noticed the dead sound in my voice.
"And you don't mind being home by yourself for a few days?"
"Don't worry about me," I called as I closed the door to my room, securing the dead bolt even though Jonathan wasn't around. Then I threw myself on my bed and cried. I think I actually hoped that my mom might hear me crying and come in, like she used to, and ask me what was wrong. I thought maybe she'd see how absurd this marriage business was and come to her senses and change her mind about running off with SPUD Dud.
But she didn't. When I got up this morning, she was already gone. Her suitcases were gone. Her car was gone. She didn't even leave a note telling me where she'd be staying or when she'd return. For all I know she might never come back. I'm not even sure I would care. All I know is that my life sucks. And I wonder why I even bothered getting out of bed and dragging myself to this stupid school so I could sit here in this stupid economics class and be bored nearly senseless by this stupid teacher.
I glance around the classroom now, wondering how I even managed to get here and sit down. I can tell by the clock that this class is nearly over, and I don't even remember it starting. It's like I've been stuck in time, or maybe I'm experiencing the twilight zone. But suddenly I remember that Carlie had been trying to tell me something about Jason. I look around the room to see where he's sitting. Maybe my pity party is coming to an end because I now feel slightly curious as to what's up with Jason and why it's so interesting to Carlie.
Maybe he's finally gotten that mongoose tattoo (he keeps saying that he's going to do it someday). Now wouldn't that make his respectable, conservative parents freak out? But I don't see Jason in class. And suddenly I'm wondering if he's gotten into some kind of trouble. I sure hope not, since I'd really like to talk to him today.
Jason and I have been friends since grade school. We even tried going out together when we were fifteen, but it felt too much like I was kissing my brother, and so we called it quits.
"Let's just keep on being good friends," I told him. And he agreed. And that's what we've done. In fact, I'm thinking that Jason is just the guy to pour out my current problems to. He's a way better listener than Carlie, even though he lives in this freakishly perfect world with parents who are still happily married to each other and go to church every Sunday and mow their lawn on Saturdays and have respectable jobs and impressive friends. Considering all that, it's pretty amazing that Jason is so understanding of my whacked-out little life. I actually think he's somewhat fascinated by the weirdness of it, and he'll probably want to hear the whole story of how my mom is eloping with stupid Bradley. Maybe we can have lunch together today.
Sometimes I wonder why Jason's been such a loyal friend to me. I think it might be because he considers himself the black sheep of his family. Which is totally ridiculous, since Jason is the coolest and most together guy I know. He gets good grades, goes out for sports, hardly ever gets into trouble, and if he does, he's always sorry afterward. Sure, he's not perfect, but compared to most kids, he's got a lot going for him.
Of course, he doesn't see it that way at all. But I think it's just because he compares himself to his older brother and sister (who must be directly descended from God, they are so disgustingly perfect). It's a lot to live up to, and sometimes Jason gets discouraged. And that's when he tends to do things that aren't so smart. Things he later regrets. Like the time he wrecked his dad's classic Mustang drag racing down by the lake. Not a good scene. But he worked all summer to help pay off the insurance deductible, and eventually he even got to drive again. Although his dad sold the Mustang.
The bell jerks me back to the present and I realize that class is over and I don't even know if we were assigned homework. I gather up my stuff, shove it into my bag, and head for the door.
"Morgan," says Alyssa Reynolds in this sympathetic tone that makes me uneasy. I mean, this girl doesn't really like me and everyone knows she can be a total witch sometimes. "How are you doing?"
"Huh?" I look at her and wonder if she's suddenly turned psychic or nice or both. How could she possibly know about my mom and Bradley? I haven't even told Carlie yet. "What do you mean?" I ask.
"I mean about Jason." She puts her hand on my arm and I feel this icy chill rush through me. Like I know deep down inside that something is wrong. Really wrong.
"What do you mean about Jason?" My voice sounds abnormally high-pitched now.
"You haven't heard?"
"What's wrong, Alyssa?" I can see other kids gathering around us now, like maybe they all know something I don't. "What's wrong?" I say again. "What's going on?"
"Oh, I just assumed you knew." She looks uncomfortable now.
"Knew what?" My voice is getting louder.
She frowns. "Oh, Morgan, I hate to be the one to tell you."
I grab her by the arm now. "Just tell me, Alyssa. What is going on? What happened to Jason?"
"He, uh, he..." Her eyes dart to the other kids. "He killed himself last night."
Excerpted from pitch black by melody carlson Copyright © 2004 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.
Posted October 20, 2012
Posted July 7, 2011
"Pitch Black" revolves around Morgan Bergstrom. She is a seventeen year old girl who feels like her life is sorta out of control. Her brother uses drugs, her parents are divorced and since her mom started dating a new guy Morgan feels like her mom really doesn't pay any attention to her anymore. When she learns that her friend Jason Harding committed suicide, she blames herself, but soon starts thinking that maybe Jason had the right idea, and decides to join in a suicide pact with two other students. Do they go thru with it? Read the book and find out!
Ms. Carlson tackles the subject of suicide. She tells the story in such a way that you feel like you are actually seeing the story thru the eyes of a teen. While this could have been a depressing story it really wasn't instead it shows us the choices we can make, with an inspirational message woven in. While it is the fourth book in the True Colors series it can easily be read as a stand alone work.This is a good clean read perfect for young adults.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by NavPress for review purposes.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 4, 2008
A girl named Morgan has never really had the many friends. Her best friend that she did have was Jason. They did everything together. Then one day she gets really bad news. Her best friend Jason had killed himself. At first Morgan thought that it was a dream or a big joke. But this was no dream and no joke, it was all true. Morgan couldn¿t believe this. She just couldn¿t take the pain of losing her best friend. She couldn¿t go any longer without seeing her best friend. The only solution to Morgan is to just commit suicide herself. But will she? Does she really want to give up her life? Is she strong enough to do it? What I really like about this book was that it started out with a slow pace, but then when Morgan started suggested suicide and then the book really got interesting. The book is part of the Color Me series by Melody Carlson, and it can be read without reading any of the previous books. I would recommend this book mostly to girls because the narrative is a girl, but any boy that wants to read it can.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 15, 2011
you get into the book really fast. I was very effected by their emotions so the author really draws you in. It is very realistic. Sad but hopeful.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 13, 2013
Posted January 9, 2013
Melody Carlson is a great auther. Her Diary Of A Teenage girl series really brings out the true teen life. Thi book is based on a girl whos friend had just commited sucide. She then thinks that it is not a bad idea. Next she decides to join a sucide pact woth two schoolmates. Do they go through read the book to find out!!!!!! Trust me you will love this book of many different emotions.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 24, 2011
When I was 15 I was a huge fan of Melody Carlson's Diary of a Teenage Girl series. For some reason these books spoke to an angsty teen girl's troubles, and possibly gave me an unrealistic view of the future. I didn't read too many of her other books outside that series, so I decided to try out a book from her True Color series.
Pitch Black follows Morgan, as she deals with suicide of her friend, Jason. Jason's death causes Morgan, and her friends to evaluate their own bleak lives to point where they think suicide might be an option too. Morgan has other people who encourage her to observe where her faith has gone, and how it could be thing that gives her the feel of life again.
This book seems to be very relevant by many things we hear happening in the media today. It has the tendency to clean everything up almost too quickly, but there isn't much room in the book to further explore the consequences suicide can leave behind. There is a great discussion guide included, which would probably be very helpful in discussing opinions on suicide with teens. This book should encourage the Christian community to come together more to discuss suicide, and how it is affecting people today.
I think this book would be relatable to teens, or people who have experienced something similiar. If you're someone who just needs a little encouragment in your Christian walk, it is inspiring to see how God is conveyed in this book. The book has researched a variety of ways that people at risk for suicide act, and it deals with various grief responses people have. If you weren't aware of these things before it can be insightful.
This complimentary copy was provided by NavPress in exchange for a review.
Posted May 20, 2011
Melody Carlson is a much loved young-adult fiction author and on this evidence, it is easy to see why. Writing a book about teen suicide sounds like a difficult task as the theme can be dark, finding the right words can be challenging and confronting the reality and fallout can seem almost taboo.
The central character, Morgan is a quite wonderful and partly vulnerable character whose life is surrounded by equally flawed but very human and recognisable fragile friends and family, including a well portrayed drug addict brother and a 'cradle-robbing mother'. But the book's opening chill comes when her best friend Jason, an intelligent, humorous and perfect youth with everything to live for takes his own life.
Like nearly all suicides, it is a shock to his community and the individuals within. What seems a greater shock to our narrator Morgan is that while Jason was a patient listener and insightful sounding board to others, she was not there to listen when he needed her most. The tone of this book is set perfectly between the roller-coaster of denial that this could ever happen to the jolt of acceptance that it has. What is striking perhaps is that the reader almost physically identifies with the characters portrayed - you might find yourself physically reacting at parts of the story as Morgan goes through her cycle of emotions.
This is a story told honestly and with hope. It is a convincing narrative with the dialogue, action and references found in teen novels. What marks it as different is a wonderful grasp of what teenagers say and what goes unspoken in informal understandings. For the reader, this novel might seem like a difficult journey but also a real confrontation with the reality of a life beyond this and of the claims of the one Friend that will never leave us or forsake us.
Engaging. Outstanding. Exemplary.
Posted February 23, 2010
Pitch Black, by Melody Carlson, was an amazing book! I was very pleased with the way the author constructed this novel. She starts by introducing the main character, Morgan, who doesn't seem to be having a good day. But then, when it seems as if things couldn't get any worse, she is told the most horrific news! Then, to make things even worse, two of her friends and herself decide to make a suicide pact between themselves! If you enjoy a good, Christian, page-turning novel, Pitch Black is a definite book to read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 17, 2009
honestly this is the most depressing book i have ever read!!! im on page like pg 54 and i have been crying sense like pg 10... the writer must have been like seriously sad when she wrote this...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 16, 2008
In this book, Pitch Black, Morgan is living a normal life until she finds out her best friend, Jason, committed suicide. She is shocked, scared, sad, frustrated, and alone. She is lost without her best friend and is completely mad at Jason and herself for his suicide. She becomes friends with Seth, Jason¿s neighbor, and Grace, Jason¿s old girlfriend, but plan to kill themselves together. Morgan thought she had a bad life because her mom was going off to Vegas to marry a guy in his twenty¿s when she is in her forty¿s, and Jason had a great life for he had great grades and tons of friends. I guess she was wrong. In this book, Morgan try¿s to find out why Jason took away his perfect life. But the question is will she kill herself first? What I liked about this book is there are a lot of turns to it. You never would guess what will happen next. It is a pretty intense book. They only thing that kept this book from being a five dot book is its pretty depressing and sad to read. But from the start, this book took off pretty good. This book is part of the Color Me Series that Melody Carlson has written. You could read these books in any order because they are all about different people who have different lives and problems. I think teenage girls would enjoy this book, because it is easy to relate to. This book is similar to almost all of Melody Carlson¿s books to the Color Me Series. They have a problem but they only get through their problems by asking Jesus into their hearts. After that they become really good church going people and try to help other people in the mean time. But still each book is different from the next, with different problems, solutions, and friends. So read this book this good book, Pitch Black.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 4, 2008
Morgan, the girl with all the problems, just found out her friend, Jason, the one with the great life, had committed suicide. She was so surprised. Why did a Christian, with tons of money, with a great life ahead of him throw it all away? He was her best friend, one of her only friends anymore, but now he was gone. Seth and Grace decide Jason is right suicide is the only way out so they try to convince Morgan to go too. What is going to happen? You might just have to read Pitch Black: Color me Lost to find out. I liked how the book started out at a fast pace, but it did start to slow down in the middle, still keeping my interest. Pitch Black: Color me Lost, was good because I could relate to the setting and the loss of a person close to you, even if it wasn¿t a similar situation. This book is one of the True Colors series by Melody Carlson, and you can read the series in any order. Any girl ages twelve and up could enjoy this book. You should definitely read Pitch Black: Color me Lost.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 12, 2007
If your best friend were to kill them self, where would that leave you? What if it seemed on the outside they had a ¿perfect¿ life and they ¿just threw it away?¿ How would you feel and react? Where would you turn? These are questions that seventeen-year-old Morgan was asking herself after her best friend, Jason Harding, took his own life. Now Morgan is spiraling into a deep depression because she¿s blaming herself for what Jason did. She¿s turning her back on everyone, even God, when she may just need him the most. The only people she trusts right now are the people who are also convincing her to do the unthinkable follow in Jason¿s footsteps. Will she do it? Who knows? But the true question is when will she wake up from this nightmare? I started reading this book solely because my friend told me it was good, and I¿ll admit, I was skeptical. Now I know I was wrong. The story started off sad, but a little boring, but after the first few chapters, it got pretty exciting. Pitch Black is the first book I¿ve read in this series, but you don¿t have to read the series in order like most. I¿ve also read the Caitlin books in the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. I really liked how the main character, Morgan, was the one telling the story. It gave the book a little more color. This book would probably be enjoyed by girls and boys. There isn¿t anything really `girly¿ in it, but girls would probably enjoy the story a little more. As I said before, I really enjoyed reading this book, and I can¿t wait to read the remaining books in the True Colors series by Melody Carlson.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 27, 2007
This could really be a problem if you have friends like Morgan, Seth, and Grace. Those three were never close friends, but all three were very close with Jason. They never hung out until the day Jason committed suicide. They don¿t know why he did but they all know he did it. He took an overdose of Tylenol. He took over eighty to ninety pills. That made him have a liver problem which then killed him. Ever since then Morgan and her two other friends have been planning to commit suicide the same way Jason did. Will they go through with it? This book was really good. I liked everything about it. It kept me interested during the whole book. This book is part of a series but you don¿t have to read them in order. Basically any girl would love to read this unless you don¿t like reading about teen problems.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 29, 2009
Pitch Black, book 4 in the True Colors series, takes a look at teen suicide, a sensitive yet important issue. Morgan's best friend has taken his life and she and two friends are struggling to figure out why. They come up with the solution that it is best to join him and they make a suicide pact. As Morgan finds out what really happen, she decides to rethink her stance and help others realize that it's not worth it to end your life. I feel that this was a very good book that teens should read. What I found interesting is that Jason tried to kill himself not for the sake of his peers' attention but for his father's. Imagine the guilt his father will now face the rest of his life. The essay about the effects of Tylenol overdose was very informative and should be made more public. I also appreciated Carlson's aknowlegement that Christian teens sometimes shy away from situations they are uncomfortable in handling. When Morgan found herself questioning God, her youth group and even her best friend distanced themselves away from her. Those are the times when they should have been there for her the most. I feel that many teens believe that no one would care if they died and everyone would be better off if they were gone. I know that because I used to feel that way myself. This should not be the case. Suicide is a topic that many Christians are afraid to bring up. Churches and youth groups need to be aware that even their members are struggling with this idea. I hope that more people, teens and adults, read this book and understand that there needs to be more attention brought to this issue. It might even save a life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 6, 2006
When some people read a book, they can¿t put it down while others don¿t seem very interested in the book. I was a person who couldn¿t put down the book while I was reading. The book that I read was Pitch Black: Color Me Lost by Melody Carlson. I would rate this book a 5 because I thought that it was a great book with a good theme behind it. The book starts out when Morgan was at school and she found out that her best friend, Jason, committed suicide by taking too many Tylenol pills. At this time, she went home and her mom went to Las Vegas to get married, so she was the only one home. A group of friends and her decided that they were going to kill themselves too with Tylenol pills. What do you think will happen to the group of friends? The thing that I liked the most about Pitch Black was that the main characters were all about my age and I could relate to what they were thinking. One thing that I disliked about the book was that in a couple of spots throughout the book it dragged on for 3 or 4 days. Another thing that I enjoyed about Pitch Black was the topic. The topic in the book was suicide, peer pressure, and depression. This is a very strong topic because some kids actually do think about committing suicide because of depression and trying to deal with peer pressure. This book is part of a series but there is no order to the series. The series is the Color Me Series. It consists of a lot of books that all have a color in the title and they are all about teenagers. Some of the books in the series are Dark Blue, Deep Green, Torch Red, Fool¿s Gold, and Bright Orange. I recommend Pitch Black to any teenager who ever thinks about suicide or has a friend that talks about suicide. By committing suicide you can really hurt your friends, so I suggest that you don¿t do it according to the book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 9, 2011
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Posted January 30, 2011
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Posted November 30, 2008
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Posted May 10, 2009
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