Review: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Monday, September 18, 2017
Title: Wallbanger
Author: Alice Clayton
Genre: romance, New Adult
Series: Cocktail #1
Pages: 358
Published: November 27, 2012
Source: borrowed library
Rating: 1/5

Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a Kitchen Aid mixer to die for, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O. Adding insult to O-less, she also has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Every moan, spank, and—was that a meow?—punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has—yep, you guessed it—no O. Enter Simon Parker. When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has…well…mixed results. Because with walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick. A delicious mix of silly and steamy, this is an irresistible tale of exasperation at first sight.

I heard really good things about this book, so while I didn't love Nuts by the author, I decided to give Wallbanger a try anyway. The gist, a young designer moves in next door to a playboy and hears his sexual conquests through the wall sounded like it could be really funny. But, like Nuts, I'm left wondering if Alice Clayton has ever actually had a sexual experience.

First issue. Wallbanger is 358 pages long and there is no plot. No conflict. Our heroes meet. They're instantly attracted to each other. They faff about in California and Tahoe and make a lot of meatball related puns. They take a sexy trip to Spain together, declare their love, and have a lot of sex. In the last 100 pages, the author tries to force Caroline's sexual dissatisfaction as a big plot point, but it's literally resolved with one good tupping. There are five books in this series, three of them about Caroline and Simon. What could there possibly be to say about these characters for another 800 pages? There wasn't enough to say for the first 200.

Second, this book only vaguely makes sense if it was finished in 2002 and put on a shelf until 2012*. It's completely dated. It's essentially Sex in the City fanfiction. I can actually hear Sarah Jessica Parker in my head every time Caroline laments the loss of O, the physical manifestation of her orgasm. Her masturbation session is one of the most bizarre and out of touch chapters in the history of modern literature. First, she dons a pink babydoll negligee, the sexy nightie of the 1980s. She turns on INXS, because Michael Hutchence does it for her (1983 - 97). She then begins her first fantasy, kissing Jordan Catalano (My So-Called Life 1994). This then morphs to running away with Jason Bourne (2002). Finally, she pulls out "the big guns". She goes Clooney. Danny Ocean (2001), George from Facts of Life (1985), and then, the big finish, Dr. Ross from ER (1994 - 98). Again, this book was released in two thousand and twelve. Caroline would have been thirteen when Clooney left ER and eight when My So-Called Life came out. Where's the Spiderman kiss, Adam Brody, Legolas/Aragorn (personal preference here)? And the music choices. Neither character listens to anything more modern than Prince the entire book. It's not timeless, it's weird.

I said in Nuts, the sex was garbage. That was after Clayton had had nine years to hone her craft.

"His hi-there against my hoohah". Read that again with your own eyeballs and tell me how I can get a job as an editor, because clearly this world is lacking. Plus the idiom is "sweating like a whore in church". Why would the church whore be moaning, Caroline?

As I felt I had to give a disclaimer against The Rabbit in my last Clayton review, so must I urge all people with vaginas to not pour honey on their crotches. I'm not sure about the health and safety of flour and raisins down there either, but absolutely no sugar darlings. It will only end in tears and Monistat.

Simon's previous lovers all have one weird quirk that Caroline nicknames them for. Spanx, likes to be spanked. Ok, a little judgy, it's not that weird. The Giggler laughs as she orgasms, which again, real thing, not that big of a deal. (Though it's written, like "Simon, hehehehe. Don't hahahaha. Stop heehehee." Which...not really, and I'm always irrationally annoyed by sex scenes where characters yell their partners names a hundred times.) And then there's Purina. Oh my god, where do I start. First, she meows in bed. Like a cat. So like a cat that Caroline's cat climbs the plaster and attempts to mate with her through the walls. So like a cat that, months later, the real cat escapes from Caroline's apartment and chases Purina through the halls, into Simon's apartment, and trees her on top of a dresser in his attempt to stick his cat penis in a human woman who, assumedly, does not emit cat pheromones. This is a real scene in a real romance novel. Worse, the last chapter of the book is told from the cat's POV. His last thought before the acknowledgements is of Purina, the one that got away. The author thought this idea was so funny it's literally the final line of the book.

Clayton tries a few different writing styles. The majority of the book is first person past. There are a few epistolary sections, consisting of text messages between the MCs and their BFFs. There's the car scene, which alternates between interconnected first person present inner monologues of Caroline, Simon, Mimi, and Ryan. (Caroline: I hope this gas station has Gardetto's. Simon: I hope this gas station has Gardetto's. Mimi: I hope this gas station has bubble gum! Ryan: I hope this gas station has condoms. See it's funny because the two who aren't dating want the same snack and Ryan just wants to have sex with Mimi!) And of course, as I mentioned, the book ends with the cat's POV. It feels disjointed and unpolished.

I cannot explain how this book has an average rating of 4.1 on Goodreads. It's horrible. One of the worst books I've ever read. It's not even funny bad, just pointless.

*so in the course of writing this review, I asked my Books and Murder crew to proofread a paragraph. In so doing, we discovered Wallbanger is a P2P fanfiction, originally entitled Edward Wallbanger. So while it was commercially published in 2012, the story was written in 2008, which makes the references the tiniest bit more acceptable. It also raises significantly more questions, such as why Alice and Rose have morphed into Samantha and Charlotte from SitC.


  1. DANI



    I literally Googled the author to see how old she was because I was HOPING that maybe she was like 14 when she wrote the bad Twilight fanfic but nope





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