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...
In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight...
This was SO good! And I hate myself a bit for pushing it around and not reading it earlier. I mean, I know of this book for at least two years and I said to myself that I'm going to read it, I'm going to; but never did. And honestly, today I picked it up on a whim.
I'm not sure if I haven't read it right away, because I always heard everyone loving it and saying that they laughed out loud and crying and getting back pains and stomach pain due to its goodness; or that the characters were so perfect and the romance on point and the sexy times well described and lots of food and feelings. Maybe. Because I burned myself so many times over New Adult books, especially contemporary, which everyone loves and I dislike them due to vary reasons. So, I decided to give it a try.
And I loved it! And to exemplify that, I could say that I still remember Simon and Caroline's names, which in my case is a miracle, because I always forget the characters names after I finish a book. But they were amazing, cute, funny, silly, mature and so complex, starting with their personalities and flaws, to small details or gestures that they weren't aware and the author decided to describe. They seemed to me so real, both individually and as a couple, and I have to applaud the author for this – they remained the same crazy cute fluffy full of sarcasm, jokes and puns people even during sex, and lovemaking, and throughout their relationship. And I appreciate this a lot, because I've read so many stories in which, after the characters get together they lose all their quirks or they are just all over each other and have sex mechanically. But here wasn't the case, it wasn't about a man and a woman having sex, it was about Simon and Caroline who loved each other in their own way.
Caroline and Simon are two people that I won't forget very soon and I'm so glad that I met them, that I was able to read their story and to be there, in the background, between zucchini bread and a lot of delicious food, which makes me so hungry, and near the bed and sitting in a chair and hearing they talk about traveling and food, their lives, hobbies, laughing. Both of them are so well shaped in the novel and you can't stop caring for them and loving them, and smiling like crazy at their conversations and interactions. Even when they dislike each other and argue, and bang on each others walls and on the door, and Caroline's cat tries to transform Simon's back into a sprinkler. I liked so much the fact that they went from neighbours, who argue and don't get along, to people who try to fix the problems and make everything good for everyone, to friends and then to lovers. Because you hardly get that in books and not just New Adult, any genre.
I'm so tired of people just meeting and then a date or two, some kisses and let's have sex. I'm not saying that is wrong, but it gets so repetitive seeing that in hundreds of books, but just people with different names and slightly different descriptions. This book felt natural as their relationship which progressed at a normal pace, which discussions and missunderstanding that appear with a reason and not just 'let's argue and then we'll have sex' or just because the author has to add some tensions and pages and doesn't know how. I know that some readers dislike this novel due to the fact that it takes a lot until they do it or there's any physical something between them, but I loved it due to that. I loved the pace, how the plot went and how the story turned out.
Wallbanger is a funny book and especially at the beginning I laughed myself to tears, because the author has a way to present things and I couldn't stay serious while Caroline spoke about what she was hearing through the thin walls every night. I know it's not to laugh, but it killed me. And I'm sure that she also had fun, even though then, maybe, it seeemed freaking bad, because she couldn't sleep and the crazy neighbour made those women yell in her ears.
But at the same time, this book is not just funny, because it's well written, it has a plot so finely structured and it doesn't go crazy or it gives you twists just to shock you. No! Everything makes sense and is not exaggerated, not anything that happens or the discussions, the emotions and feelings are real and you can feel them. There are moments when Simon and Caroline just talk for hours or they watch a movie, staying on the same couch and not touching, when they bake a lot of delicious sweets, they visit beautiful places, and just enjoy the time together, without wanting to have sex. Because couples also do that and they don't fuck every hour or every moment they have free. To me their relationship felt organic, natural, not forced, and I think that they remained friends even after they became lovers. And I think that this should be presented more in books, especially New Adult, where, from what I've read, there's just the sexual relationship. And yeah, you have feelings, because they love each other in different ways, but you don't have them in some days just watching movies or baking, swimming, dancing or doing whatever, something that doesn't make them think of fucking each other right then. And this gets so annoyingly old and fake, in my opinion, because even if you love that person and you are so attracted to him/her, you don't really feel like doing her/him every moment. Or so I think.
I will stop here, because this review is getting very long and I think I start to repeat myself, which I don't want to. So let's summarize and maybe say some things that I forgot mentioning. I loved Wallbanger because it's not cliché, in my opinion, and it's a very fresh, well written, full of feelings, great plot, good beginning, middle and end, and amazing characters. I liked Caroline and Simon, their lives and jobs, the way in which they spoke about them and the fact that we get to see both of them doing their work and enjoying it. I liked their interactions and conversations, all the little puns and jokes, with or without sexual references, the fact that their friendship grew with each chapter, and along with this their feelings and relation. They are so lovely together, when they talk, cook and bake, eat, laugh, visit and travel, breathe and just do whatever they want, being both adults and kids who enjoy small things and big things and life, all at the same time.
Another thing that I forgot to mention, which I liked in this one, is friendship; Simon has great friends, with whom he speaks about nothing and everything, and Caroline has amazing friends, who support her and they talk about their lives and what they did and how they feel, and the things that I and you speak with our friends. No bitching around, not envy and no hate.
This book is one of my favourites now and I can't wait to read more from this author. Maybe I praise it too much, in this ginarmous review, and you won't read it, because of it, or you already now that everyone loves it and you are running from it like a madman. But don't! Stop listening to me and to other reader who've read it, and loved it or hated it, and read it yourself, without any opinion or review in mind. Open it and see for yourself, as I did, and I fell in love with a book, an author and some new amazing people, who've been living on my kindle for at least two years and whom've been ingnored by me until today.