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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  775 ratings  ·  206 reviews
A NOW Magazine Best Book of the Year
A CBC Books Best Canadian Fiction of the Year
A Maclean's 20 Books You Need to Read This Winter

The author of the acclaimed novel Scarborough weaves an unforgettable and timely dystopian account of a near-future when a queer Black performer and his allies join forces against an oppressive regime that is rounding up those deemed “Other” in
ebook, 288 pages
Published December 8th 2020 by HarperAvenue (first published September 1st 2020)
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Catherine Hernandez Hello there! There is a collection of queer, gay, trans, lesbian, two-spirit folks throughout the novel.
Hello there! There is a collection of queer, gay, trans, lesbian, two-spirit folks throughout the novel.

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book slayed me. Terrifying and heartbreaking, it shows what could so easily happen if a dictatorship took over. This book is set in Canada, but could happen under any dictator anywhere in the world. Minorities are always the first on the list though no one is really safe under such a regime.

In Crosshairs,  Black and Brown people, those in the LGBQT2S community, and disabled people are rounded up and thrown into concentration camps. Our narrator is Queen Kay, a young drag queen who narrowly
Brilliant. A difficult book to read, but also a book that leaves the reader with so much hope. CW: homophobia, specific use of f** as a slur, transphobia, racism, lynching, transphobic slurs, sexual abuse of a minor, emotional abuse, suicidal ideation, deadnaming, death of a child, and gang rape (described not on page). I received this book from Atria Books for review. All thoughts are my own. 4.5 Stars

I was dreading reviewing this book. Clearly it wasn't because I didn't enjoy it. This was just
I hope to someday write a more eloquent & more thoughtful review, but here are my preliminary thoughts:

Set in dystopian Canada, we follow a queer femme drag performer who is Jamaican Filipino. Massive floods brought upon by environmental degradation left the majority of the population homeless, jobless, and starving. And some powerful white man seizes the opportunity to herald an oppressive regime where "Others" (i.e. marginalized groups) are sent to labor camps in the service of "True Canadians
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
This sounds like an incredibly difficult read but oh my god the premise could not be more timely

Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Crosshairs is a dystopian novel with elements of social justice that definitely hits close to home due to the worlds current events. The LGBTQ+ community and POC are forced into concentration camps. This future world went through massive floods leading to homelessness and hunger while the rich do nothing about it. The parallels between the book and real life in Trump’s America made it very thought provoking and eye opening.

I loved the representation of the LGBTQ+ and people of color characters
a. a. d. wolfe
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
I was thrilled to receive an early reader copy of Crosshairs. I heard great things about Scarborough, Hernandez’s previous work, and had high expectations. I’m a sucker for dystopian stories. Unfortunately, the story fell flat for me. It started off strong, but as it went on, I was sorely disappointed.

The premise was intriguing. In Canada, climate change has led to massive floods, leading to rampant homelessness and devastation. A government-sanctioned regime sweeps in, seizing the opportunity
Carolyn Klassen
I often feel inadequate with writing reviews, but especially with this one. Please go easy on my mush brain and understand how precious and important this title is to me, to queer folx, to the most marginalized and vulnerable in Canadian society.

Crosshairs is everything that LGBTQIA+ people fear and everything we hope for. This dystopian Canada felt close to home and uncomfortably possible. Labour camps, degradation and dehumanization, mass murder of BIPOC and queer folx. But also some examples
Casey the Reader
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, fiction, dystopia
Thanks to Atria Books for the free advance copy of this book.

📚 Wowww, this was horrifying. The world of CROSSHAIRS is only a breath away from our own, and it's easy to see the path we'd take to reach it.
📚 Heavy emphasis on intersectionality and how differently oppression works for queer BIPOC and trans people than for white cis queer people who could pass as straight if they wanted to.
📚 The flashback scenes to Kay's drag days were so joyful and loving.
📚 Great discussions of how allyship is an a
Kimba Tichenor
A cautionary tale set in the near future in Toronto, Canada, this novel draws on contemporary politics to remind us of the fragility of freedom, that is, how quickly the rhetoric of othering can cross the line into actions of othering. A powerful far-right group in Toronto uses a climate catastrophe as the pretext for establishing work settlements for “The Others,” that is the disabled, people of colour, and members of the LGBTQ2S community, that in reality are extermination camps. The novel is ...more
Kim Lockhart
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Through narrative, Hernandez defines concepts which can seem brittle in non-fiction writing, but come alive when expressed through characters. It's the story which teaches us:

White fragility
Inherent bias
The costs of suffocating identity
The dangers of authoritarianism

Fascism doesn't happen overnight; it happens little by little, testing to see what the majority will accept.

Fascism depends on scapegoating a minority group.

As Climate change disasters increase, there will be twin dangers: the pro
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book started off enjoyably, but as it trundled on it grew more and more disappointing. Although the book brought many good things to the table, I felt that it failed in it's mission to challenge people with privilege, largely by excluding certain groups and presenting a "more palatable" introduction to working through privilege.

I love the concept of a revolution that is inclusive of everyone, watching characters unpack their privilege, and learn how to ally non-performatively; (view spoile
Never Without a Book
This book will stick with you for a long time. It’s been several days since I read it and I’m still thinking about it.
Taryn | Mentally Booked
This book was a beautiful nightmare that felt all too real— a world wrecked by environmental disaster and overrun by bigotry and hate. We navigate this dystopian Canada through the eyes of Kay via the letters he is writing to his lover, Evan, whom he is has lost amongst the establishment of the “Renovation”. Kay is the son of Filipino and Jamaican immigrants, a gay femme man, and a drag queen, on the run from persecution for simply existing.

We are thrown right into the thick of the “Renovation”
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-favorites
Crosshairs is AMAZING. It is a book that offers something for all readers to connect with, but not in an unnatural or gimmicky way. This book is just as real as they come, and no one can look away after reading and say they haven't been profoundly affected.

This is a view of a country that is just one step further than where the United States (and many other seemingly democratic nations) sits at the moment. It is a harsh wake up call and a call for change, to make sure that nothing like this ever
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Crosshairs is a startling, riveting dystopian novel that exposes just how closely our world aligns with the fascist regime depicted in this story. I was thoroughly riveted by this book, and the story is heart-pounding and compelling throughout. Some parts of the book/dialogue was a bit heavy-handed, but they were extremely informative and I learned from them. I also found the ending to be a bit abrupt, but still inspiring. Overall, this is a thrilling dystopian novel that carries an important me ...more
Mia | The Bookish Feminist
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
CW: transphobia, homophobia, assault.

CROSSHAIRS floored me. Catherine Hernandez is a brilliant and powerful writer who brings this dystopian society to life. It follows Kay, a Black drag queen who’s on the run after the extremist faction of government in the lands currently known as Toronto and Canada have put their racist, discriminatory, fascist beliefs into law. Kay has been on the run for months, hiding out with his friend, Liv, who’s part of the Resistance. Kay eventually has to run again,
Signed, Iza
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
"It was clear as day what we marched for. We marched because we deserved to live”⁣⁣
Trigger warnings: ⁣⁣
Labor Camps⁣⁣
Homophobia ⁣⁣
Racial and LGBT+ slurs,⁣⁣
Sexual Assault,⁣⁣
Systemic Oppression by marginalized groups..... ⁣⁣
Set in a terrifyingly dystopian near-future Canada (Toronto), with massive floods leading to rampant homelessness and devastation, a government-sanctioned regime called The Boots seizes on the opportunity to round up communities of color, the disabled, and
As a dystopian fiction devotee, I found #Crosshairs to be well thought, brave tale of breaking social injustice in a fascist regime in future CANADA. At less than 300 pages, the author has given us a complete novel and she hasn’t censored any facts. She has speculated happenings based on REAL and CURRENT EVENTS, and its scary! The story will hit hard for BIPOC folx (folks), more specifically queer BIPOC folx. Folx are called as The Others in this biased future; they are marginalised, sent to con ...more
Jennifer Hoffert
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a dystopian future, this book hits close to home with its Canadian setting and Atwoodesque military regime. It reminds us that complacency is not ok and shines a spotlight on human rights.

I once read something about WWII: that when the authorities started coming for different marginalized groups, this man didn’t fight to stop them. So that by the time the authorities came for him, there was no one left to fight for him and stop them.

Suspenseful and built a good base for the main characters,
Michelle Griffin
I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway and would like to thank them for being given the chance to give my honest review of this book. This book is a scary dystopian future for Canada that could be our own countries future if we don't start dealing with racial equality and how we treat people of the LGBTQ community. This story is told through the voice of Kay, a person of color who is also a gay drag queen. She is telling this story to her partner Evan as a silent letter to him. She is on the ...more
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, I was pretty intrigued from the trigger warning. Then, off the bat, I was struck by the writing—it’s quite good. (At times, it actually reminded me of Tahereh Mafi.)

This novel is terrifying in that it’s a dystopian setting but completely plausible as taking place right now. In fact, some of the more (xeno/ homo / trans)-phobic acts and statements do occur today. Everyone should read it and try to relate to being victim to these things.

4 stars for mad skills.

I listened
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where do I even begin with “Crosshairs,” one of the most unique, troubling, and timely dystopian novels I have ever read? This novel is a love letter to queer culture and wake-up call for white cisgender folks. This novel will make you. check. your. privilege. “Crosshairs” is set in the not too distant future, in which the environmental crisis has caused rampant flooding across Canada and Toronto, causing homelessness and mass devastation. Meanwhile, Canada’s government has moved to the far righ ...more
Jonn Lewis
2.9 stars .. this book read far too much like a YA novel not to be labelled as such, and yet the themes depicted might be too heavy for a YA audience. i found it extremely tasking to get through as it was very unsubtle, too descriptive where it didn’t need to be, and i didn’t like the writing style. with that being said it carries an important message and i think it is valuable to include diverse content and difficult subject matters into our literary diet .. i would personally rate it 1 star bu ...more
Paul Dore
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an incredible book with unforgettable characters. There’s a power in this story and through these words and a message that is one that should be shouted from the rooftops.

The writing was really quite visual. I can already (hopefully soon) see this as a movie or even better, a television show so the themes and characters can get the same development and nuance that is alive in the book.

Highly recommended.
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer-reading
Every so often I read a book and don't really know how to review it. Yes, I recommend reading it, and I especially recommend that white, cis, able-bodied settler folks read it, and settle in with the discomfort of it. This is not a book to make you feel good. But it is a necessary and profound read.

(Ironically? though, I got a free copy of the ARC for review).

So here's a review someone else wrote instead that captures things I felt:
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Firstly let me start by saying that Catherine Hernandez's debut novel Scarborough was outstanding, and at the time reviewed it as "Catherine Hernandez takes a somewhat ugly backdrop and paints it to life using beautiful writing" so I was understandably looking forward to her releasing get 2nd novel.

Crosshairs drops you in Toronto and weaves you through an unapologetic dystopian account that introduces you the reader to larger than life characters, who leap off of the page and settle comfortably
Sarah  (sarahandherbookshelves)
Wow. This book gave me so much to think about as a white women with privilege.

Crosshairs is set in a dystopian future in Canada.
Other (the disabled, People of Colour, and LBGTQ+ ) are being forced into labour camps by the government. Our main character Kay joins the resistance. This story is about being your true self and knowing you are worthy of love which Kay learns along his journey.

I never have read this type of story set in a Canadian setting and I really appreciated that it was told in
Dec 23, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The plot was pretty unoriginal and pretty thin. There's a natural disaster allowing a terribly conservative government to grab power and then all of a sudden minorities can't use their bank cards anymore. I can only assume Hernandez loves The Handmaid's Tale very much.

Also I was troubled by the assumption that white people are somehow biologically burdened with evil and anyone else is not. Quote: 'It forced Bahadur and me into a place of ease, of witnessing, of relaxing while folks processed the
Carole Bell
Just filed my review of #Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez. A dystopian political saga that made me think. And made me weep. I accrued 63 pages of highlights and notes in all. And wrote a far too long review. I look forward to seeing what everyone thinks. (Dec 8. Atria Books).
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Flat characters, confused style and narration, unbelievable plot and too many stereotypes to count
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Catherine Hernandez (she/her) is an award-winning author and screenwriter. She is a proud queer woman who is of Filipino, Spanish, Chinese and Indian descent and married into the Navajo Nation. Her first novel, Scarborough, won the Jim Wong-Chu Award for the unpublished manuscript; was a finalist for the Toronto Book Awards, the Evergreen Forest of Reading Award, the Edmund White Award, and the Tr ...more

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"Oh, we are living a dystopian reality!" You've heard it, you may have even said it. But despite what's happening in the world—or maybe because...
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