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Berserk

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  280 ratings  ·  31 reviews
From the bestselling author of Beast, also available in audio from Bolinda.

What happens when there's no-one around to tell you when to stop?

When fifteen year old Chas finds a website asking people to write to prisoners on Death Row, he thinks it would be funny to get letters from a murderer. He writes to an inmate, pretending to be his mum. When his new pen-pal is unexpect
...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published May 7th 2007 by Marion Lloyd Books (first published 2007)
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3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  280 ratings  ·  31 reviews


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Jan
Oct 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Perhaps because I've just read Smart and Fifteen Bones, the prospect of yet another book set in a poor, crime-ridden estate with another dysfunctional family was a little disconcerting. Maybe this book was tainted for me before it even began. I can see that this book would have appeal, particularly for boys, as the main character, Chas, is quite the naughty boy. In fact, he's a bad boy with more than one brush with the law. He's a truant and he hangs with Devlin (aka Devil), the baddest boy in t ...more
Julia
Aug 27, 2010 rated it did not like it
Nach 23 Seiten aufgehört. Was'n Scheiß.

Hier funktioniert die So-tun-als-wär-ich-in-der-Zielgruppe-Methode auch nicht. Es ist einfach fürchterlich. Wie Numbers von Rachel Ward: 15-jährige kleine Scheißer aus der Unterschicht, die auf Rebell machen.
In den ersten 23 Seiten wurde einem der Blagen eine Fingerspitze abgehackt (weil "die Harten" dieses Spiel mit "flache Hand auf Tisch, andere Person sticht zwischen Finger und wird immer schneller" gespielt haben) und will nicht ins Krankenhaus, weil "d
...more
Gunne
Mar 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
This whole thing revolves around the fantasy (turned fact) that the narrator wants a murderer (or someone on death row) as a pen pal. He (the narrator, not the murderer) has a scary friend who calls himself Devil, and while I find that super cheesy, the book isn't really bad. It's all about delinquency, friendship, danger and survival, and that whole part about Devil keeping the narrator's severed finger? Gross, very gross.

Won't recommend it, won't slam it too. You'll probably like it if you're
...more
teleri llinos
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maryam
Jul 19, 2018 rated it liked it
12 days later, I finally finished Berserk because I had nothing better to do.
I felt like it was a bit intended for younger reader maybe 14-16. I'm a sucker for a good crime/mystery/thriller, this book didn't have what I wanted. It did surprise me at some points and I did like others. As a whole, Berserk wasn't all that bad. For my first Ally Kennen book, I give it 3.5 stars because I understand that she has better work.
3.5 rating stands for-recommended (sure why not give it a try)
Fatimah
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Well, I definitely didn’t expect this kind of storyline. It has characters that are different from characters I’m used to read so that’s interesting.
But the story’s not as thrilling as I thought it would be, and there’re unnecessary details that I think the story could definitely be without.
leynes
May 16, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a little too nuts for me, because it's essentially about a teenager writing to a man on death row (for fun, like wtf) and that just does horribly wrong. It seemed really unrealistic to me.
louise
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I remembered seeing Berserk in Borders (when it was still open) about five years ago and being really interested by the pretty ambiguous back cover and also the front. Eyeballs with silhouettes reflected in them really interested me when I was eleven. I'm not sure why. Anyway, I recently came across it again in the City Library and luckily had my library card on me.

Berserk opens with Chas, our narrator, having part of his finger cut off by his best mate, Devil. Lovely. When I first started readi
...more
Elisa Sahara
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: action
SPOILERS AHEAD!:

In my opinion, Berserk was a very interesting novel telling a story of a 15 year old juvenile going through trouble after writing to a murderer on Death Row, pretending to be his mum.
The characters in the book had very different personalities and all made a very fascinating group when added altogether.
The main character we have is the troublemaker Chas Parsons who on the inside, actually has heart even though he decided to drive a truck full of food with his friend Devlin (Devil
...more
Rebecca
Oct 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Berserk had a really intriguing premise which is what drew me to the book in the first place. I have to say that the summary I read of it doesn’t really give the best idea of what the book is about because I had an idea about what the book would be about but it was completely different.
I still enjoyed it though. The ex convict actually made me think of Hannibal Lector, i.e Anthony Hopkins, and so every time Lenny Darling was mentioned or in it all I could think of was Hannibal Lector. Even thoug
...more
Ben Portus
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the third Ally Kennen novel I've read so far this year and I'm loving her work. In 'Berserk' we're dealing with the same family as 'Beast', but it's younger brother Chas's turn to be a difficult teenager ... and difficult he is. He decides it'll be cool to make friends with a murderer: not a great idea, but then Chas does lots of stuff that's not so clever. The chaos that follows wherever he goes reflects the chaos of his family. To begin with it's pretty tough stuff and you wonder if Ch ...more
Adele Broadbent
Spoilers below....

I read a newer edition (2014) with a cover showing a death row chair and letters scattered on the floor.

I haven't read Ally Kennen before but really enjoyed the main character Chas Parsons. He's a bit of a hoon with his mate Devil (Devlin) and he lusts after Devil's sister Lexi. If their father Juby knew that, Chas would be running for his life.
Chas gets into trouble quite a bit but none more so than when he and Devil nick a huge truck and go for a joy ride. They both end up in
...more
Heather
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book is not the thriller that the cover suggests and being friends with a murderer plays a very minor part in the story. Instead it is more of a 'nothing' book. Chas, the teenage protagonist, isn't always believable and spends too much time incarcerated in a juvenile detention centre, which does nothing for the plot. While the book does have a few thrilling moments near the end, I think may readers will give up before actually reaching them. Gran, in my opinion, is the most likable characte ...more
Ty Auditore
Mar 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book, again is one of my favourite books I have ever read. I am really interested in the 'Mystery/Murder' theme, such as reading this book, When I was Joe, Liar and other awesome books. This book is about a boy (Chas) that wants something new in his life, he finds this website that want people to write letters to prisoners. He signs up but finds out he has to be 18 years old or over, so he pretends to be his mum. He finds himself stuck in a situation that he thinks this prisoner may fancy h ...more
Cynthia
Oct 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Charlie is a young delinquant who lives with his mother at his grandma's home. One day, he decides that it would be cool to have a correspondant. But any correspondant, a guy on death row! But when he gets his letter, he's quite disappointed : his killers swears he's innocent. Still, when Charlie receives a letter coming not from the prison in Florida but from his hometown here in England, he's quite frightened. especially when the killer starts dating his mother!

Excellent book that shows us, in
...more
BookLover  Jayasri
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoa.
This book made me go whoa.
The whole book is kind of thrilling, but the climax where everything unfolds and the struggle in the buling site is the best part. I kinda got bored during the jail part, but that's okay.
The mystery part was pretty intriguing, and I loved the ending.
Happy endings *sigh*!
Darcey
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this a while ago when I found the front cover interesting. I found it very gripping and went on to read more of ally kennen's books. This is great for people who don't often read. I found this the best of her other similar books.
Saskia
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed berserk very much, I wasn't sure how the storyline would pan out but it although enjoyable ended up to be quite basic, even though I will shamefully admit that I didn't guess it until I was 3/4 of the way through.Overall, a good YA novel
Freya
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
It a long time (4 or 5 years?) ago, that I read this book.
When I think back, I can only think of this finger in the jar..

Okay I really like this book. How a joke becomes reality. But it's a pity, that I can't tell so much about it anymore. It's too long ago... :/
Elen Caldecott
Apr 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult-s
Ally's second book is just as powerful as her first (Beast), but with a lighter quality that I loved. The characters really made it for me, they are funny and daring whilst also being very believable. Not to give away the ending, but the action-packed finale had me gripped.
bacabuku
Too much chaos for a young boy to handle.
and the story was unpredictable, where i was wanted to believe that the antagonist was actually a nice person, which turned out he was indeed a psychopath.
Paul
Dec 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Read this to pass some time, its a teens book. The characters don't feel fleshed out so its hard to connect with them. The story isn't particularly great either.
Steph
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved this! Always a little twist and turn, never a dull moment couldn't put it down
Kunal
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Started reading it and I am on pg 119 before I looked up :l
Su
Dec 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Great end!
Emily
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Such a good book, I love Ally Kennen's writing. It's always hard to find a good book when I've just finished one of hers.
Inuri Nanayakkara
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-2016
I never expected the ending, and couldn't put the book down till I finished it.
Sara
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
This was a great book lots of suspense and characters weren't annoying, highly recommend it :)
Kez
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it
very intriguing, not the greatest book but enjoyed it immensly
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