Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Alphabet Soup Challenge: Alice Clayton - Wallbanger

The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she's gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor's nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy's athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly...

Comment: I bought this book after seeing some very positive review grades. Yes, I didn't read the reviews, just saw some trusted readers had given this a good grade and the blurb seemed intriguing too, so there I went to buy it. 
It was the first book of February and as it started with a W I thought about using it for the Alphabet challenge too.

This is Caroline's story. She is a successful young woman, she has the work of her dreams, loyal friends, a good boss and has recently moved into a new apartment. Everything is perfect until the night her neighbor bangs the walls having sex with someone. This situation repeats until Caroline can't stand it anymore and they meet after she knocks on his door and yells at him to stop. But she didn't expect to be dazzled by his good looks and the sentiment is reciprocated. 
Later, they realize they have friends in common and their animosity changes to reluctant friendship. But being so close, can they change their relationship once more?

So, what really got to me about this book was the apparent - and inferred love/hate relationship that would exist between Caroline and Simon, her neighbor. I was immediately fascinated by the idea of what situations and conversations they might have while falling in love at the same time. I should have realized this would be too good to be true and voilá, after a while they just started to become friends and the "fights" I envisioned didn't happen.
I can understand this alright, but from the blurb I expected a different kind of plot development. It's really annoying when the blurbs get you all worked up and then they don't deliver, right?

From then on I was kind of going with the flow but I admit I was never amazed despite the easiness of the book and the speed I managed to have in reading, the story is easy and simple and the writing is very easy to follow, very to the point.
However, this story wasn't special for me. I like some chick lit and "lighter" books once in a while but I like them to have some importance, to address something that matters. I'll be honest, I don't really care about Caroline's issue of not having orgasms, which was the theme of this story. Everything revolved around her problem of not being able to reach the orgasm since a failed relationship. Sure this must be important for some people, but for me it's at the bottom of the possible problems to try to solve ever, so, the story just got redundant for me.

Now, if this affected Caroline's approach to Simon or to what her love life meant, I could understand why it mattered for her but from what I've read she's a healthy woman from a loving family and she has a sort of promiscuous love life - she does say she had some lovers - and from her conversations about sex and orgasms and how she can't wait to get them again, I deduce she must put a lot of importance on sex and sexual release. That's fine, woman's power! But for the plot's purpose, how can this endear her to me, as a reader? Where's the conflict, the interest in that for the story? I just didn't find it all that important, that's all.

In the end, everything works out well, and things happen in a way that I suppose is to reaffirm the idea that love changes things and loving someone and being loved changes they way you see yourself, thus your own expectations. Sure, but with all the sex taking and everything revolving about sex, I think any caring message was lost. I really didn't enjoy reading about this, at least not to the extend the story focuses on that. I'd have appreciated a better balance in everything.

After all things considered, this is a book that surely works for readers looking for an easy plot and theme. But for me, this lacked some depth and interest, despite the funny characters, the good scenes with the main couple together before the sex and the compelling writing. But apart from that, I don't feel interested in reading more.
Grade: 6/10


  1. Oh! You made me laugh! Caroline and her failure with the Big "O" was such a farce. I liked this book much more than you did -- I just didn't take it seriously! And, I think I read it at a moment when I could appreciate the humor. Any other time, I would have slammed it!! Anyway, I found out after I read it that this book was written as Twilight fanfic. Since I did not read Twilight, I never put it together. How about you? Did you see any similarities?

    1. Well Hilcia, I didn't think I'd be getting a comedy so...but this could still be funny if a more serious approach had been done here and there among all the craziness. Just my opinion.
      Based on Twilight?? Really? I've read that and honestly I didn't see anything that might lead me to this thought, beginning with the characters' personalties which aren't anything alike. I'd never think that if you didn't say it and even so I can't think of situations that might be similar, really!

    2. Oh see? I wondered about the whole fanfic thing. I wrote a mini for this book and placed a warning on it just in case readers cared about that type of thing. But truly, if you read Twilight and couldn't figure it out then the similarities must have been slight. I didn't read Twilight and couldn't tell readers about similarities at all.

      As I said above, I read the book at the right moment. It struck me as a farce of some sort. Certainly not erotica and not a serious romantic read. I'm not sure if I was supposed to laugh. . . but I did! I wonder what that says about this book. LOL!

    3. Well, I didn't find it funny nor that it was that the idea. I wonder, how can we really tell if a book is meant to be funny? If that's not the point or the goal of the author. Some books are told to be satirical or an irony to something in which case we can read it for what it is, but if not...something being funny depends a lot on every person isn't it? I wouldn't say this book is funny, but you did so. How....interesting. ;)