Big Kids’ Table: 2014 Reflections

big kids' table - adult fiction feature on rather be reading

Another year almost done. Are they all going to go as fast as this one? I sure hope not because I think part of my brain is still hanging out in the spring. Ha! It’s been another interesting year of Big Kids’ Table feature. Unlike many other blog features I see, I still haven’t been able to get my rhythm done with this one. No two posts are ever the same, and while I should be proud of that, sometimes it makes me feel like this feature was never full realized.

But, hey, I’m recommending readers non-YA books, right? So part of it is working. In fact, there are a few posts I totally loved this year…

And now, a rundown of the most memorable non-YA books I’ve gobbled up this year… hopefully in time for your holiday shopping:

What took me so long?

Big Kids Table 2014 Overview What Took Me So Long

The world told me and I listened. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes = total wins. Emotional but also with such humor folded in. DON’T FORGET THE HUMOR.

Let’s fall in love.

It’s not a reading year if there isn’t romance. Am I right? What do I need to recommend a romance from the highest mountain? Chemistry, a great story, and some fantastic dialogue. Hope you’ll give these a whirl!

Big Kids Table 2014 Overview Romance Novels

Looking for Trouble by Victoria Dahl | A Passionate Love Affair with a Perfect Stranger by Lucy Robinson | Her Holiday Man by Stacey Shannon

Sah-prise!

Big Kids' Table Most Surprising of 2014

Two VERY different titles that were almost a shock to my own reading system. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, a fantastic debut, about a woman who is kidnapped.  The story is told from alternate POVs and positively creepy, emotional and yet understandable. And then to change things up completely, Charlie’s Glass Slippers: a makeover, career confidence, and romance drama. Guys, this book might be long but it is so so much fun. (The cover is pretty sweet too!)

No one hit wonder.

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Forever Interrupted still tops my list as one of the most realistic, perfect books for someone in their mid-20s. Her follow-up about a young couple that decides to separate and not speak for a year was full of so many moments that made me thinking about how we can easily start to take people for granted in our lives, and also easily fall into habit and lose something so valuable. I can’t recommend Taylor’s work enough.

Runner-up: The Fragile World by Paula Treick DeBoard: a family torn apart after a tragedy and revenge.

A recommendation that hit the spot.

Steal the North by Heather Bergstrom

Steal the North freaking knocked my socks off. For regular YA readers, this is the perfect pick for crossover because the main character is a teen going through a ton of changes with family, boys, and herself. The writing is beyond spectacular. Big thanks to Leah at The Pretty Good Gatsby for putting it on my radar.

Runner up: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I’m not one to usually pick up historical romances but I’m glad I read this one. It’s so emotional and well-done. (A review at So Obsessed Blog to get you inspired to read Burial Rites!)

The in-betweeners.

Yep. I’m adding some New Adult picks in this time. Guys, they were great and you have to read them. If you are worried about being overwhelmed by the sex, don’t me… these are all a combination of super sexy and well-developed.

Big Kids Table New Adult Book Recommendations 2014

Make It Count by Megan Erickson | Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler | Unraveled by Jen Frederick

A hopeful wish.

Well, being that I didn’t read any of the books I thought I would in 2014 per this post, I’m going to try again with better results. I swear! At the end of next year, I will most certainly be patting myself on the back for following through on this very short list. Right? Right?! I need you all to cheer me on.

Big Kids Table 2014 Overview What to Read in 2015

 Girl Before Mirror by Liza Palmer | A Little Princess by Frances H. Burnett | My Father’s Wives by Mike Greenberg


A quick announcement: I’m changing up Big Kids’ Table again in 2015 (I hinted to it slightly in last month’s post) and if you want to share your non-YA recs in this capacity, I would love to hear from you. Email me anytime: estelle AT ratherbereadingblog DOT com. I swear it will be oodles of fun, and I’d love to have you.

Until the next Big Kids’ Table, happy holidays, happy reading, and enjoy the rest of the year.

And remember: don’t be afraid to read outside of your genre. 🙂