I was leery of this book at first. I was surprised that I’d been sent a review copy, and was fighting between being happy, because I am always generally happy when a book comes, and wanting to role my eyes because this book was about water guns (or something). I’m sorry to admit that I gave it a chance only because it was short and I appreciated any book that publishers were willing to give me. After giving in, telling myself not to judge a book by its cover, or description in this case, I started to read.
It took only a few pages before a grin appeared on my face and a chapter before I paused to explain to my mother the rules of assassination/spray “and actually, my school played this last year” I tell her. As if I actually knew what assassination was at the time students were walking around campus with play guns. Then I read chapter 2, stopped to summarize it for mom, read chapter 3, filled mother in and so on.
I couldn’t stop smiling as I read it! I wondered who would spray who, and who would manage to avoid who. I made guesses on who would win, and predicted which couples would get or stay together. This was just the break I needed from the serious books I’d been reading lately. Books like StarCrossed, The 10 p.m. Question, and Trapped were lovely books. But they were filled with complications and real deaths. In Spray if you died, you just sighed with your mixed emotions of sadness, anger, relief, and giddiness, and handed over your laminate of your target.
This is not to say that there weren’t any messages behind the game. The importance of water and the problems that are attached to any society were laced throughout the whole book. So while I was laughing at how I and a character had been outfoxed by Zoro, I was also digesting the Invisible Man’s lecture on the Importance of Water. The combination of fun and a good message has me hoping that others might give this book a chance.