Berserk – Ally Kennen

Berserk by Ally KennenYou’d have to be crazy to make friends with a murderer.

What happens when there’s no-one around to tell you when to stop? A spine-tingling novel about a boy who breaks the rules from the author of BEAST. When 15-year-old Chas finds a website asking people to write to prisoners on Death Row, he decides it would be funny to get letters from a murderer. He writes to an inmate, pretending to be his mum, but the chilling replies are not at all what he expects. Chas’s own wild escapades eventually land him in a young offenders’ institute, where he learns that his scary penpal has been released. He’s heading for England to track down Chas’s mum…

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17 thoughts on “Berserk – Ally Kennen

  1. This was our favourite out of the shortlist. Our comments follow:

    This book is very fast-paced and enjoyable. I read it in a night. Although the main character was not that likeable, I found the plot freaky and I had to read on!

    Thrilling and exciting book. It had a good storyline. I couldn’t put it down.

    Complete idiot gets himself into a sticky situation and comes out the other side a (slightly) better man. Great characters, a satisfying mystery – overall a great read.

    This was an exciting page-turner that was quite amusing. It seemed like it was aimed at boys, though.

    A great page-turner, but occasionally the reader is underestimated and the plot becomes obvious. Gross out moments were just not, and some things remained unexplained. An enjoyable light read, however.

    Exciting. Funny. Good adventure and amusingly real.

  2. I though this book was very interesting and fast, though in some places it was slightly slower, which I thought mixed in well. I though it was clever with the hidden messages. I like this book and will probably read it again.

  3. What can I say, this book was amazing!! The story, the description, and the characters. It make me feel that I was there, seeing what was going on. It was so in depth!! With what happened throughout the story it made me want to read on!! I was on hooks all the way!!

  4. I think Berserk is a great book. At times it had me on the edge of my seat. I liked the way there was just one narrator so there was no confusion when you were reading. The idea of going into a jail for young offenders made me think what would it be like to be a person like that? To go to a place like hell but on earth. It’s the first book in months that I have really enjoyed reading.

  5. Berserk is one of my favourite books. I found it really interesting as I have never read this kind of book before. There was a lot of adventure and a certain mystery to it. By putting in some investigative skills, it made the book so interesting and it made me want to figure things out as well. I have to say that I absolutely loved the ending (the last letter from Lennie) because it was something unexpected and I found it really funny when Chas couldn’t figure it out. I had a great time reading this book. It was filled with a lot of scary and funny moments. I hope that this author will write a sequel to this book. I am sure that I will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Berserk!

  6. This book starts off with loads of action and never stops. This is an excellent story, especially the last two chapters. The book was so packed full of adventure so I didn’t think much could happen at the end. I was wrong. The end chapters could have been a whole new book! The only disappointing thing was the last two pages. The author might as well have ended “and they all lived happily ever after”. I felt it was too tame an end for that book.

  7. I thought this book was amazing. It goes straight into the story and there’s never a dull moment as the characters are so entertaining but realistic at the same time. I loved the little twists and turns especially when the main character’s mum starts dating Lenny the murderer. It was really original. My favourite character was Lexi as she might be a girl but she’s as tough as any of the boys as well as being into the girly girl stuff at the same time. She surprised me over and over, like the kiss on the first date, not saying a word about her brother’s release, stealing and getting interested in the whole Lenny Darling mystery. The best part of this book was the end. I loved how the book finished with everyone happy and getting along, Lenny in jail and no more trouble.
    I loved this book and wished there could be another. I couldn’t put it down.

  8. I like the picture of the eye on the front cover as it is illusive and intriguing, but I dislike the font and lettering.

    I disliked the blurb as it totally put me off the book, I think it would discourage people even though it is a good book.

    The first chapter is gripping and makes you want to read on. The book became better and better and it was good to see how the different characters developed and matured.

    I give this book 3/5.

  9. I thought Berserk was fabulous. I really enjoyed the subplot about his finger and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The ending was good, but a little unrealistic. I would give this book 4/5

  10. This book is full of suspense, fear and thrills. It has a weird humour that will have you in stitches, whereas in a flash it can change to deepest sincerity. A cracking read for a teen book!!!

  11. Berserk is an amazing book. From the very first page I was totally transfixed. Every page is written to perfection. I would recommend this book to anyone because I think there is a little bit for everyone in here

  12. I thought it was funny at the start how Chas didn’t want to make a fuss about his finger. He knew if he went to hospital, they would ask lots of questions, so he was being loyal to his friend – even though Devil chopped his finger off!

  13. The cover of the book made me interested in reading the novel, but it certainly doesn’t seem to be related to the story. The book is obviously for a teenage reader and you can tell this from the cover which is good as it will attract the right audience. The image of the eye with the silhouette of a man in it hints at the idea of the book being about a mystery. The blurb of the novel certainly grabbed my attention. The simple phrase ‘you’d have to be crazy to make friends with a murderer’ tells that there will be a murderer within the novel and the way it is written hints at the danger within the book. The red font used for the writing has connotations of the potential blood and murder in the book. The story was exactly the type I would choose in a shop or library. I liked the way each chapter made me want to keep reading, the only disappointment was that I read it all within a day and had nothing else to read for the rest of the week. The only thing I have to complain about is that towards the end of the book there are typing errors, sometimes speech marks were missing and I struggled to find where the speech began or ended. I am aware that not many people will notice this and it also has nothing to do with the brilliant plot and the story of the book but feel that if these mistakes are rectified then the book would be easier to understand. I think that the hidden messages in Lenny Darling’s letters are pure genius and Ally Kennon is an extraordinary author and I think she deserves a lot of praise for her work.

  14. Just looking at the cover enticed me to read it. It looked like the kind of book I would enjoy. The big eye on the cover with the reflection of a person gives the impression of a murder mystery. The size of the font and colour used for Berserk also emphasised this. Looking at the cover and after reading the book, I think it I s aimed at 14-18 year olds.
    The blurb is very short but leaves a big impact on the reader with it being about a murderer and written in red, it immediately made me think about blood. I found this very effective.
    This is the type of book I would read again, as it was simple and easy to read, unlike many books. After reading the first chapter, it was impossible for me to put the book down. The plot of the first chapter was so exciting; at the end of the chapter it left you with a cliff-hanger. I could not turn the pages fast enough.
    The characters in the story are very believable; this is because they can be related to normal teenagers today; many people will be able to relate themselves to the characters. The situations the characters are also put in are in normal everyday life which helped. The end of the story surprised me, as it was not what I expected. The last sentence did make me think about what might happen as it said ‘well that’s alright then’. But the irony is that it might not be alright, because of the situation the character is in. I found this book really enjoyable because the author uses slang and the kind of language a teenager would use and understand. It made it easier to read and relate to myself. I would recommend this to all teenagers.

  15. When I first looked at the front cover I questioned whether I would like the book as it didn’t really appeal to me. Yet as I began to read I began to enjoy it as I felt I could understand the character of ‘Chas’ because of the way he was described. After reading this book I would definitely think of reading more Ally Kennen books.

  16. The cover of this book was very unusual and from the moment I laid eyes on it I thought it might have a psychological theme or something along those lines. The back of the book wasn’t the blurb; however it did make me think the book might be too gory for my taste. The blurb on the inside made me think that it wasn’t going to be my favorite book. However after a few chapters I found the book very thought provoking. Although it wasn’t like anything I’d read before, I think this is what drew me in so much and made me read on. The author really gave you an insight in to the storytellers mind and the ending is unexpected. Overall although I wouldn’t buy this book for myself it was a good read.

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