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REVIEW: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Dear Ms. Clayton:

When I don’t know what to read next, I admit that I prowl the Amazon bestseller lists in the hopes of seeing something that will catch my attention. Your book’s risqué cover certainly did, and I downloaded a sample. I was immediately charmed by your breezy, light-hearted voice and purchased despite being leery of your publisher (Omnific, who publishes a lot of reworked fanfiction). The first half of this book was everything it promised to be, but I found that as the story wore on, it lost some of its charm.

Wallbanger-Alice-ClaytonWallbanger is the story of Caroline, a young, single interior designer who has been without a boyfriend and without her ‘O’ for some time. She moves in to a lovely apartment that seems perfect, only to be awakened nightly by her neighbor, the ‘wallbanger’ of the title. He has a different woman over several nights in a row, and Caroline grows to hate him. Naturally they later meet up at a party and are forced together, and what follows is a flirty, coy friendship that eventually blossoms into something more. Caroline is wary of Simon and his ‘harem’, but falls for him.

Initially I was skeptical but hooked. Caroline seemed like a brash, fun, independent heroine and the hero was a manslut who was, in fact, sleeping with three different women. I wanted to see how you would turn him around and make him loveable.

The conversations between Caroline and Simon were fast, frenetic and amusing and I couldn’t wait to see how these two would end up together. In a world of instant-love romances, I loved that Caroline and Simon are friends for quite some time before moving on to other things, because it allowed me to enjoy their witty push-pull banter for that much longer. Unfortunately, the push-pull goes on for too long, and by the 70% mark on my kindle, I was ready for the book to be over and for them to consummate the deal. In my opinion, the latter half of the book dragged because of an overabundance of the will they won’t they scenario and I wanted the story to do something, anything, different at that point. It could have been 25% shorter and I would have been pleased.

As the story wore on, I began to have trouble with suspension of belief as well. I could suspend belief that Caroline and Simon could hear everything through their paper-thin wall; from sighs to snorts of disbelief to the cries of Simon’s harem. However, the suspension of disbelief items began to pile on. The cat’s ridiculous antics were aggravating, as was the fact that everyone thought it was adorable instead of obnoxious or disgusting. The hookups of the best friends of both seemed a little overly cute, and Simon’s later revelation that he’d never had a real relationship seemed farfetched. In addition, the closer that Caroline and Simon grow, the more beta male he became. I felt as if you defanged the manslut hero in order to make him hero material, but in doing so, you lost the things that I found appealing about him in the first place. By the end of the book, Simon is wimpy and needy and I was longing for the arrogant manslut of the first few chapters.

Overall, the book was a light, amusing read that went on a touch too long. I enjoyed it but it did not make me rush out to purchase your backlist; I need a break from the cuteness. If you enjoy a slightly more curse-word-happy and sexed up Kristen Higgins heroine, you would probably enjoy this story.

For me, the first half was a B+, but the second half fell to a C. Overall I’d have to round it out to a B-. Enjoyable but flawed.

All best,

January

PS –Upon further investigation…it seems this is another Twilight fanfic.

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January Janes

January likes a little bit of everything. She's partial to unique paranormals, erotic romances, contemporary, and YA. She has a fondness for novellas and trying self-published works, though more of those are misses than hits. She still refuses to read anything that smells like literary fiction. January also changes this bio on a regular basis depending on her reading mood.

17 Comments

  1. pamelia
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 12:45:20

    I really enjoyed this book. It was very funny. Yes, it did get a little frustrating towards the end, but it was definitely a joy to read.
    Thing is, after I read it I found out it was originally a Twilight fanfic and I can’t shoehorn this into Twilight fanfiction no matter how hard I try. I (for one) don’t have a problem with fanfic stories winding up being published, but I am just trying to find ANY similarity with Twilight in this book and I CAN’T!

  2. LG
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 12:52:12

    That cover is horrible. It looks like he has freakishly long arms that end in feet.

  3. les
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 14:27:18

    I think this is a modern re-do of a Rock Hudson-Doris Day film, except with a shared phone line!

  4. loonigrrl
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 14:43:15

    I pretty much agree with everything you wrote. I definitely thought it started to drag towards the end, and had trouble finishing it after their 4th or 5th almost consummation scene. acck. But overall, I thought it was a cute & fun book.

    On a side note- my apartment walls are just that thin- I can hear waaaay too much from my neighbors – their music, their conversations, the sex (tmi!), and even snoring…

  5. Patricia
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 15:20:35

    This doesn’t sound like my cup of tea and neither is Twilight, but these stories don’t sound anything like each other. In what way is this a fanfic? The only thing I can figure is that the author was imagining Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson’s faces as she wrote her characters.

  6. Michelle
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 15:37:22

    @pamelia:

    “I am just trying to find ANY similarity with Twilight in this book and I CAN’T! ”

    There isn’t any similarity to Twilight because the Twilight FanFic was categorized as AU (Alternate Universe). This story could have taken place in outer space and it still wouldn’t matter. What does matter, is that the author used another author’s characters and traits. Like the entire Cullen family with all their riches, Edward’s “I want you, but I shouldn’t”, “I’ve tried to stay away from you, but I can’t”, etc. You catch my drift? The fan fiction was hugely popular, for obvious reasons. Even I enjoyed it to some extent. Fan fiction is meant to be by fans for other fans, and not to make a profit from it. I can see how someone may be tempted to say: “Wow, look how many people love my story. If they like it so much, maybe others will too. I think I’ll sell it.” So here we have a story, posted online for free, it has been cleaned up nicely by dedicated beta readers on their own time, and now all that needs to be done is format it, slap a nice cover on it, pimp it out to everyone who had it on their favorites list on FF.net and put a price tag on it. What bothers me, is that for those of us who weren’t fortunate enough to download the free fan fiction, those poor schmucks are paying what, $4 or $5 for the exact same thing? A little rewording, change the names of the characters and you suddenly have an original fiction. I don’t think so. And where’s the transparency? I think a potential reader has the right to know that a) Hello, my name is Alice Clayton and I wrote Twilight fan fiction. b) This used to be called Edward Wallbanger by feathersmmm. At least be honest and open about the origin. Authors who start from scratch, and spend time and money promoting their book on their own without the backing of a clique/fandom are a little more deserving of some attention, IMHO.

  7. pamelia
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 16:00:08

    “There isn’t any similarity to Twilight because the Twilight FanFic was categorized as AU (Alternate Universe)”
    @ Michelle — I get that concept, but FSOG was AU fanfic and there were definite similarities. “Gabriel’s Inferno” as well appears to bear some resemblance to Twilight in the way the characters relate/power imbalance (although I haven’t read more than the free sample chapters as they failed to interest me.) I just don’t see how Twilight could have possibly inspired this. If I’d read it as fanfiction I would have felt cheated that it didn’t appear to relate to the supposed origin text in any way. Clayton could have published this with the characters named Edward and Bella and I would have only seen it as a strange coincidence that they had the same names as the characters from Twilight.

  8. Michelle
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 16:20:03

    @pamelia:

    Hi Pamela! I agree with you on both counts about FSOG (Bella’s/Ana’s clumsiness and lip biting and Edward’s/Christian’s emo behavior) and Gabriel’s Inferno. I wouldn’t say that Twilight as a whole inspired Wallbanger, but the relationship between Bella and Edward was definitely the catalyst. A lot of mature readers who not only loved the Bella/Edward pairing, but also the real life pairing of RobSten probably wanted to have a really sexy story with no fade to black scenes. But that’s just hypothetical.

    “Clayton could have published this with the characters named Edward and Bella and I would have only seen it as a strange coincidence that they had the same names as the characters from Twilight. ”

    And that right there is what I feel should have happened. You have an idea? Wrote a story? Want to publish it? Then go ahead and do it. But don’t use a fandom as a test run. That’s just tacky.

  9. Melissa
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 18:06:53

    @pamelia: I agree entirely.

    @Michelle: I am happy enough to have paid for this book since I’m not interested in engaging in the fanfic process. At this point, those in the fanfic community have to be participating because they enjoy the process. I can’t imagine (after the success of THAT book) they’re not aware that any work they’ve helped shape could be pulled to publish.

  10. Michelle
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 18:59:11

    @Melissa:

    @Melissa: “I can’t imagine (after the success of THAT book) they’re not aware that any work they’ve helped shape could be pulled to publish. ”

    You are correct in that assumption. It doesn’t mean that all of them are happy about it for one reason or another. Even I am well aware that at any given time, the next book that I pick up could be a re-written fanfic. All I’m asking for is a little honesty, so that I can decide for myself whether I would still want to purchase it or not, especially when I may have the free PDF version somewhere on file already.

  11. Mandy
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 21:06:10

    This was such a fun contemporary read. The banter between the MC’s was hilarious and who doesn’t love some wallbanger sex! I did go on a bit too long though which was the only similarity to free online fiction (which does tend to ramble) that I could see. Nothing about the MC’s personalities or rapport was similar to the Twilight characters. I’m one of those readers who is enjoying the publication of popular AU fanfiction because I’d never find it otherwise and I like the fact that it’s tidied up and easy to download. I also don’t begrudge paying when I love a book.

  12. Sandra
    Jan 29, 2013 @ 11:57:56

    @Michelle:

    EVERYTHING YOU SAID +10000000

  13. Patricia
    Feb 04, 2013 @ 06:59:12

    @Michelle let me know if you have a pdf file send it to me via email please, thank you :)

  14. Michelle
    Feb 04, 2013 @ 07:55:03

    @Patricia:

    @Patricia, I’ll need your email address to send it over.

  15. kenswmn
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 11:42:55

    I found the book absolutely hilarious! Enjoyed it beyond words……Can’t wait for another installment. I give this book 5 stars.

  16. Anita C
    Jul 29, 2013 @ 02:07:57

    I don’t see any similarity between Wallbanger and any of the Twilight series. But I’ve just read Alice Clayton’s first Redhead book. Now Redhead might be a Twilight fanfic (or rather, a Robert Pattinson fanfic).

  17. Anita C
    Jul 29, 2013 @ 02:10:18

    I don’t see any similarity between Wallbanger and any of the Twilight series. But I’ve just read Alice Clayton’s first Redhead book. Now Redhead might be a Twilight fanfic (or rather, a Robert Pattinson fanfic) given the H’s British accent, youth and the fact that he’s starring in a sci-fi movie based on books.

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