Review: Salt Runs Through

Review: Salt Runs Through

If you loved Jasper Jones or Boy Swallows Universe, you’ll love Salt Runs Through. It’s like if those coming-of-age books were blended with mysteries that intrigued, gripping characters to cheer for and cringe for while not afraid to find hope and happiness in even the darkest of times. 

We follow Miles, a student in his final term of year ten, surfing away his last days of school holidays at his tourist-filled hometown. His so-called evil step-mum, his cringey but wise dad whose cringiness is made worse by the fact he teaches at Mile’s school, and an older sister who really just wants to enjoy her gap year.

But when the school year finally starts, it might be too much for Miles to handle.

Can his high school crush on the smartest girl he knows become a budding romance? What is Miles’ troubled friend Wes doing with a suspicious thug? And is Miles just seeing things, or is the evil step-mum keeping secrets from the family?

Mark Rafidi masterfully engrosses the reader not only with these compelling questions that interweave with each other and Miles’ coming-of-age teenage years, but also through the delicate exploration of the emotional, romantic, and physical relationships between the complicated and flawed characters.

All of this is fed to us through the well-written first-person perspective of Miles, through whom Rafidi enriches every scene with wit, teenage embarrassment, but an overall well-meaning kid who’s still trying to find his way.

I wished this book existed when I was in high school. Anyone who is Miles’ age would not only find him and his misadventures incredibly relatable, but they would learn honest, and sometimes confronting but absolutely essential, life lessons greater than anything they would learn at school.

While the subject matter is not light, covering topics such as youth crime, abuse, sexism, consent, and violence, Rafidi doesn't talks down to his audience when it comes to these darker themes. Instead, he allows Miles, his friends, family and us, to grow and find a way to overcome and face them.


Review by Peter Mead

Back to top