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Rafferty Lincoln Loves...

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  34 reviews
A sensational and compelling, coming of age story for older YA readers.

Rafferty Lincoln doesn't like horses. Not one bit. But when the popular high school girl of his dreams, Liberty Ashburn pulls him into a world of lead ropes and horse brushes, who is he to say no?

Except this isn't any old horse. This is the missing racehorse, Profit's Red Ridge. The horse Rafferty and t
Published February 14th 2018 (first published 2018)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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***Actual rating: 5/5 Minty-is-BACK! Stars***

Had I not stepped forward in the boat to reach Dexter or even gone to the boat in the first place, would the outcome be different?

Rafferty Lincoln Loves… is probably one of the very few books that actually touches me so deeply not only because of the overall storyline but because of the shocking resemblance to my personal experience. To begin with, the book is about 4 high school students and 1 missing racehorse. What could possibly go
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having loved Letters to Eloise, I was really looking forward to reading Rafferty Lincoln Loves... I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed and this was yet another great book by this author.

This is an endearing and at times emotional coming of age tale about how the discovery of a missing racehorse leads to the unlikely friendship between a few youngsters. A large part of this story is light-hearted with horse adventures, mischief and young love, but there is a heavier side to the story that covers
H.A. Leuschel
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up in Belgium where horse riding is an extremely popular sport. Many of my school friends would spend their afternoons and weekends tending to their horses or explore the beautiful woods we have in the country to enjoy a ride. I never did because I was crazy about ballet, so as such I cannot share the passion thousands of people have for these beautiful and graceful animals. However, one of my new year's resolutions for 2018 was to venture more into different literary genres. So this YA n ...more
Kirsty Hanson
Last year, I read Emily Williams' debut novel, Letters to Eloise and it became one of my best reads of 2017. She contacted me a couple of weeks ago, asking whether I could read her new novel that's coming out on February 14th 2018 and I jumped at the chance. I was so excited that I emailed her back straight away saying 'yes', and as soon as Williams had sent me the book, I started to read...

Rafferty Lincoln doesn't like horses. Not one bit. But when the popular high school girl of his dreams, Li
Chantelle Atkins
The following review is from my 15-year-old daughter. I have also read this wonderful book and will add my thoughts after hers. "I loved this book and it actually made me cry at the end. I liked how lots of normal teenage stuff went on among the unlikely friends in this book, such as trying to fit in, trying to get a girlfriend, bullying, drama at home etc, and that this was interwoven with the main storyline of the missing race horse. I was really rooting for all the characters and really want ...more
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I spent a few pleasant afternoons enjoying Rafferty Lincoln Loves… This was a true coming-of-age story. Rafferty and his friends navigated the usual high school challenges, but had to tackle some heavier issues, as well. The characters were realistic and relatable, and I found myself completely invested in their lives. I was rooting for Rafferty all the way!

Rafferty Lincoln Loves... is the kind of book that stays with you after you’ve read it. The author did a great job of showing that the choi
Brin Murray
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An intense, powerful, moving read.
The four main protagonists, all teenagers of slightly different ages and in different social strata at school, are wonderfully realized. Drawn together by their discovery of a missing racehorse, whom they choose to hide and care for themselves, the four very disparate characters work together out of school in secret, while at school they remain strangers.
The complexities of the social pecking order at high school are cleverly and authentically drawn. Rafferty ha
Rachel Sargeant
Take four disparate teenagers:
• Rafferty – out to improve his popularity with girls and going about it in all the wrong ways;
• Liberty – Queen Bee at school and the object of Rafferty’s desire;
• Will – Liberty’s amiable younger brother;
• Dexter – bullied at school, with a shadowy home life, but an expert horseman.
Let them find a horse: a beautiful bay gelding that they name Minty and put in a disused field by a canal.
Not only must they learn how to keep a horse, they have to keep a secret too as
E.M. Swift-Hook
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Coming of Age Tale That Touches The Soul.

“None of you realise the consequences of your gossiping. Not one of you.”

Rafferty Lincoln is in his last year of school. He’s going through all the social anxiety any lad his age runs through and on top of that he has bad relations with his step-father. The lust of his life is the unobtainable Liberty Ashburn. But then he finds Minty and the horse-mad Liberty is hooked. Together with Wilbur, Liberty’s brother and the odd kid Dexter, who is the school vi
Bruce Perrin
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If You’re Male, You’ll Probably See Some of Yourself in Raff Lincoln

Rafferty Lincoln Loves… is a fanciful, young-adult book about four teenagers who scarcely knew each other at school, but who bond to care for a horse they find. The main character, Rafferty (Raff) Lincoln cares nothing about horses, but he’s idolized Liberty Ashburn for years. So, when she becomes involved, so does he. Much of the rest of the story is Raff trying to catch her eye, with more than one of his hapless attempts makin
Rachel (Rae)
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to make a little admission before I start my review, the thing is I like horses but I'm slightly afraid of them! The idea of horse riding sounds lovely but I just think I would be too scared to try. Although maybe I should be brave like Rafferty and give it a try. Now even though this book centres around a horse there is so much more to it than that. It has a depth that caught me out and within a few chapters I became completely wrapped up in the lives of Rafferty and his friends.

Karl Woodhouse
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This YA book is not the kind of thing that I usually read, but I am glad that I did. What made it better is that the author is donating all proceeds from this novel to the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre - an excellent idea.

The book is very cleverly written in the way it deals with quite nasty topics such as bullying and violence but still creates a hopeful, poignant and often lighthearted feel. I'm not really into horses, but I feel that I learned a lot as I read how the kids hid and car
Grace J Reviewerlady
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can’t even begin to think how long it is since I’ve read a YA novel .. but, based on this one, I may just be looking at them more often . . .

Unlike many others, I’ve never felt an attraction to horses – they are beautiful animals and the local farm had the most spectacular Palomino in the field who would run across to greet us as we returned home from school. But ride one? Nope, not me. So when I was given the opportunity to read this novel it was the author who attracted me and not necessaril
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Rafferty Lincoln Loves” is a young adult book, about a horse which all the characters loved; but more than that about the trials and tribulations of growing up. Bullying, passionate adolescent love, betrayal. All emotions and experiences are existential when seen through that terrible mist of puberty. We all lived these things – the bully who would destroy our lives. The girl we could never get to talk to us, and how it foreshadowed the inevitable future of living in our parents’ basement forev ...more
Kathleen Ballantine
I'm an older soul but still young at heart and "Rafferty Lincoln loves..." took me back to my pre-adult years. Four teens - completely different from one another unite together because of a secret. A truck and trailer transporting racehorses got into an accident and one of the horses escapes. Rafferty, Lexter and Will, strangers to each other, just happen to be in the same place at the same time when discovering the horse. They decide to hide it and keep it for themselves. Will's sister, Liberty ...more
Akhil Sharma
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally, a well written and interesting story from the very first word of it. It makes for a quick read and kept my attention all the way through. For me, the best thing about the book is that the words flow nicely and has a lively feel to it,
Living in a fast-paced, high-technology world, we are losing our emotions with human and animals somewhere in our day to day life and this is what it highlights.
This story is a musical combination of love and emotions towards the horses. It looked like that
David Fisher
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Top Story for Horse Lovers

I was asked to write a review of this novel, although I am not a horse lover, nor an animal fan in any sense of the word. Having lived in a city and travelled much, that is probably understandable. So I approached this book with a little bias. But, at the end, I found the story to have been worth the read.

This is a tale about four 18-year-olds who for better or worse find themselves attached to a stray racehorse. Rafferty, the narrator, a sixth former schoolboy, takes
B.B. James
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the way this young adult novel flows with twists and turns as its
author explores the fascinating social dynamics of her characters’ peer
group: raw, competitive, emotional and sometimes downright cruel. It
brought home to me how much we can learn about our fellow human beings
by simple observation.

The novel’s main characters are so well drawn they leap off the page.
Liberty, her brother, Will, and their friend, Dexter, have a common
interest in horses that they pursue after school (and s
Caitlyn Santi
This is a charming story with much depth and emotion. As a lifelong rider and horse owner I absolutely loved that this book featured a horse that each of the characters develop a special bond with!
I think it's fabulous that all the proceeds from this book benefit a charity that retrains retired racehorses.
I also loved the origami animals that the characters made! The author is very talented and this is not by any means a bad book, I think I just never connected with it the way I hoped to, and I
Katie Blanchard
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dang. I mean... I am still digesting what happened in this book. First, I want to slow clap for Emily Williams because she has imprinted her character, Dexter, forever on my soul. I shall never forget him or his message. Ever. The story follows Rafferty Lincoln as he is pulled into a situation with three people he's only known in passing at school, and now they all need to band together to hide a horse. It was cringe-worthy at times being in a mind of a teenager, not the writing at all, just the ...more
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tragedy brings together diversity.

This is a coming of age story carefully crafted to connect all walks of life. A single summer changes the lives of an entire community.

A tragic accident brings together an unlikely group of kids. Told through the eyes of Rafferty, an average teenage boy, this story is a prime example of people from all walks of life being able to come together for a single cause. From the abused boy to the popular girl, each teenager has a stake in keeping the secret safe. Each
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First off I absolutely loved this book. I love the fact that a passion and concern for Minty brought kids from all walks of life, in completely different social standings at school together. Co-operating and working together to help a beautiful animal.

When stripped of each of their social status you got down to the bare bones of who they are. And being teenagers, they of course quarrelled and bickered and each thought they were right but ultimately they came together for something that was more
Carol Thomas
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable coming of age romance with an adventure that puts a group of teenagers to the test. Developed around the children discovering what they believe to be a missing racehorse, the adventure propels the group of unlikely friends on a journey of self-discovery. I tend to read HEA books, but as this is the second book I have read from this author I knew to expect something a little different. I wasn't wrong. The writing, like the story, is engaging and keeps you turning the pages. The moral ...more
Laura Koerber
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-book

This book could become a staple in libraries, schools and home. The prose is effortless, clean, and evocative without being adjective-heavy. The dialog and characterizations are authentic. It is imminently readable.

The story concerns some teens and a horse. While a great deal of information is imparted about horse care, it is not just a book for horse-crazy kids. It is a book for anyone who remembers the pains and joys of being a teen-ager.

I highly recommend this YA novel for young adul
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rafferty Lincon Loves, is heartfelt, beautifully written and so freaking powerful novel!

I absolutely loved this book! The way Williams was able to capture the emotions was like nothing have never read before. Books like this one become classics that are read through the decades. It was relevant, heartfelt, powerful, and you could feel the emotions in every single word. This review is hard to write without giving anything away (which is my personal review for writing my reviews so you see my pred
Joyce Hertzoff
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Those who enjoy horse stories will love Rafferty Lincoln Loves… but the story is more about loyalty, promises made and kept, bullying, secrets and rumors. These are issues that teens everywhere deal with. The characters were well-developed even though the story only covered a few months as they make new connections (not accepting that those are friendships) and care for a horse. Tension developed partly because they weren’t certain whether Minty was the missing racehorse that had been in the new ...more
James Northrop
Exceptionally written novel. I enjoyed every second of the dynamics of this novel from the high school dramas between Rafferty and Liberty, to the more gritty plot lines and of course the horse theme with the beautiful horse. Would compare this to the likes of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Everything, Everything, and just as engaging and well-written. But you dont have to like horses to enjoy this novel at all, there is far more to the plot than meets the eye. The author portrays the chara ...more
Marco Peel
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a real winner for a good cause

Four very diverse teenagers stumble upon a loose horse on their morning paper round, and forge an unlikely secret pact to keep him. But how and where?

This is probably one of the best journeys into teenage minds I’ve ever read. Rafferty, Liberty and Dexter are unique, memorable characters who live in virtually different worlds, and their half-baked impulsive actions and reclusive, moody reactions have both funny and tragic unintended consequences.
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVE THIS BOOK. It is the kind of book I hope my daughter reads when she's old enough. I had the great honor of proofreading the book and it will always be near and dear to my heart. Also, the cover is really attention-grabbing! I was showing off my copy of the book to a friend today and she saw the cover and was like, "oh, can I read that?" and I loaned it to her :) Emily designed it herself and it's fabulous -- though what's inside is even better! ...more
I disliked this book due to multiple reasons, the main ones being that I didn't like the personality of the two main characters. Both of them were very unstable and really got under my skin.

Not to mention neither of them took any sort of action upon knowing that their homeless friend was being physically abused. There wasn't much plot to be going on either.

This was just not for me.
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Emily Williams lives by the seaside in West Sussex with her family and a menagerie of small pets. After graduating from Sussex University with a BA in Psychology, Emily trained as a primary school teacher and teaches in a local school. Letters to Eloise is her debut novel.

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