Cover Image: Idol

Idol

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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for the ARC of this book.

One thing I admire most about Louise O'Neills writing is how she writes such captivating and complicated characters while they are also incredibly unlikeable throughout. it's fascinating to me how a character so unlikeable and eyerollingly self centred can still be interesting enough that you can't help but have to keep reading.
Samantha Miller is a character you love to hate. So focused on her own success that she comes across as incredibly arrogant. 
This book is a really interesting perspective on trauma and cancel culture. How a person can use their own trauma as a way to defend how they've possibly inflicted that same trauma on to others. Such a fresh take on the 'trial by social media' we see so much of.

While you may spend a lot of the book disliking Samantha, there's a sense of compassion for her while learning about her past, until it feels like she may be gaslighting everybody. The manipulation to make herself out to be the victim is infuriating but it's something that draws you in completely.

As soon as Sam is accused of something horrendous by an old school friend, her main concern is her image. A shallow and all too well known concern, it seems, of many people in the public eye. What a rare and curious perspective to be confronted with head on, no holds barred.

Louise always seems to hit the nail on the head while writing these timely storylines. How relevant this book is in the current day with social media being so dominant in the majority of our lives, really makes the reader question the falsities of social media. Social media is fake. We know that's a fact. But being confronted with that head on in a book like this is incredibly poignant and leaves you kind of feeling shattered in a way.
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Louise O'Neill has done it again. I don't think there is a genre where she does not excel. Idol is her best book yet, she just gets better and better! Samantha is the kind of person you hate but can't help yourself from checking her instagram. The deeper I got into this book the more I hated her but I couldn't look away. I was rolling my eyes at almost everything this character was saying, she was so irratating I could see why no one in her life loved or cared about her. She's the embodiment of everything I hate about social media. 

I devoured this book, the more the story unraveled the more I needed to know. Louise O'Neill has the power of grabbing your attention from the first page and you won't be satisfied until you're at the end.
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This book stayed with me for a few days after reading it, and I think it was mainly because of the exploration of  teen friendships beyond the teen years and how we we can all have different memories of things that happened to us in the past. The book tries to tackle a lot of issues and is more successful at some than others. The main character, Sam is very unlikeable and watching her unravel is uncomfortable more than something that would raise sympathy. It's an interesting and very topical idea of this wellness guru so I think this will get a lot of interest when it's published. Plus, the reach of social media is really unsettling. For me, I felt Samantha came across as quite young for 40 and has quite teen/ early 20's reactions. I found myself drawn more to the peripheral characters, such as Sam's mother, who was very well done and much more invested in Lisa than Sam. It's worth reading but I think would work better as a YA book than adult.
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A unique book, this focuses on motivational speaker/lifestyle guru Samantha following an accusation of sexual assault. This is a thrilling read, keeping you guessing throughout but dealing with its subject sensitively and tactfully.
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I've really enjoyed Louse O'Neills earlier books, especially After The Silence, so I was excited to get a copy of Idol. 
I think the first thing that stood out to me was that this book was set in the US. As an Irish author, two of O'Neill's earlier books were set in Ireland, and I think that was something that drew me to them, being from Ireland myself. 
I had expected the same from this book, and actually thought it would be an interesting setting for this theme, and something that hadn't really been done before. 
Setting this in the US made sense in terms of dealing with celebrity, fame and social media - given so much of the media we consume is US-centric. However, I think it also meant that the story lost an edge it could have had. Maybe this was O'Neill's intent, or she wanted to move away from having too many books set in Ireland. In any case, I think it added a layer of homogenisation that meant the story was harder to connect with in my view.
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I have devoured every book that Louise O’Neill has published and Idol was no exception. This book helped me out of a reading slump, with perfect pacing and a gripping story, revealing events of the plot at the exact moment to draw me in and keep my interest. Louise is a master of her craft and firmly cemented at the top of my must-buy list. Idol was an excellent read about the darker side of influencer and wellness culture, with O’Neill’s classic content themes spotted throughout. I dropped a star because I found the plot a little predictable (both in terms of the themes covered and the specifics of how the story played out) but it was still a very enjoyable read with three dimensional characters with real depth. I definite recommendation for anyone who is comfortable reading about the subjects covered.
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CW: bullying, eating disorder, sexual assault, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts.
Samantha is an author, influencer, a social media personality. While promoting her new book, an essay she wrote about a sexual experience with her best friend during their teens is not seen in the same light by her friend. 
This novel deals with issues around consent, #MeToo, the role of social media and memory perception.
The toxic friendship between Sam and Lisa has carried over to their adult lives. I read this novel in two sittings. Enjoyable and pacy. 
Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC
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Now this book is going to be a big one in 2022!! So lucky to read this in advance as I’d already seen some glowing reviews popping up. It’s such a page Turner, and an insight into the world of social media for some!
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Well this was a ride. Like with all of Louise O'Neill's books I've read so far - fantastic, but I'm not sure I'd have the stomach to read it again. I devoured it in a day, and I would say this book is a mix of Thirteen (the 2003 film), Sharp Objects, Rachel Hollis, girlboss culture and some very interesting conversations around consent, misogyny and how we remember our own lives. 

Sam is someone who's carefully constructed a marketable narrative for herself, a very successful white woman in what I'm going to refer to as the memoir/wellness industry, to the point where she believes that narrative herself. She's a dislikable character and an incredibly unreliable narrator but I appreciated how this book keeps you on your toes as to whether she's wrong or been wronged, what the truth really is. She believes she's a "good person", constantly makes herself the victim and never takes responsibility for her own choices, and she's also had harm done to her. The development of her character, and the portrayal of an obsessive toxic female teenage friendship, are both excellent.

Ultimately this book raises questions of fame, narrative, wrongdoing, accountability, misogyny, consent - all complex issues. I was having thoughts while reading it about the complexities of sexual assault justice and how timely this book is in terms of these themes and conversations. But also, this book is excellent and satisfying and I would very much recommend it.
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Daring. Gripping. Explosive. Just phenomenal!

I absolutely adored ‘Idol’. I was utterly gripped from page one and could not put this one down. There were some absolutely brilliant unlikable characters and the writing was perfection. 

This was my first Louise O’Neill and will definitely not be my last!
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Idol follows Samantha Miller, the wellness guru of the moment (think Gwyneth Paltrow Goop-esque) but when allegations start to come out about her you’re left wondering if she really is who she says she is.

That’s as much of the plot as I want to disclose as I really think it’s one to discover while reading but be warned it does cover some pretty triggering subjects such as EDs, addiction and sexual assault. 

It explores themes of cancel culture, the issues with white feminism (Samantha reminded me a lot of Alix from Such a Fun Age), toxic friendships and mother/daughter relationships. A really great intoxicating read which I devoured in just a few days.
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I saw Marian Keyes raving about this book, so was delighted to receive this arc in exchange for an honest review. I couldn’t put it down. So many important themes: the role of social media in today’s society, the idea of wellness gurus telling us what is good for us, cancel culture, me too, the reliability of memory, the differing perspectives people can have about the same event. Despite the serious themes, this had a great story at its centre and I was absolutely gripped – loved it and looking forward to reading more of Louise O’Neill! 
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review.
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I want to start by saying that Louise O'Neill's Asking For It is one of the best books I've ever read. This is the second book of hers I've read and I think the standard of Asking For It set the bar so high that it was impossible to best it.

Having said that, I did enjoy reading Idol. The subject matter really appealed to me - influencers, secrets, high school drama brought into adult life. On that last point, there was so much fixation on the high school element of the story that it felt a little young for an adult book, but a little too old for a YA book. Maybe this sits in the New Adult sphere? 

There's no doubt that Louise O'Neill is an excellent writer. You really get into the head of the main characters, which makes it all the better when the unreliable narrator aspect is thrown in. The subject of consent and sexual assault is a difficult one to navigate sometimes, but it felt to me like O'Neill dealt with it really well, especially the angle she takes on the subject. It's so hard to talk about the bits of this book I loved without giving the whole plot away!

Samantha is a deeply unlikeable main character, which I'm generally ok with. The only problem is, she didn't have any redeeming qualities, which made it tough to keep reading sometimes. I don't mean to compare the two, but the main character in Asking For It was similar in outlook, but because she was a teenager it felt more fitting. I think the problem I found was that Samantha read more like a teenager than an adult.

Anyway, Idol has reminded me how much I loved Asking For It, so I'm off to buy all of her other books, because she really is a fantastic writer.
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Idol is a very timely novel that examines the current wellness movement, the impact of social media and cancel culture, disordered eating, sexual assault, power imbalances, bullying and the ‘me too’ movement. Louise O’Neill’s style of writing is very easy to read and propels you through the story but I struggled to care about any of the characters. For this reason, I felt apathetic about the story’s conclusion. As always, Louise O’Neill shines a light on some very important issues and tries to examine all sides of the argument. For me, I enjoyed After The Silence a lot more.
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A remarkable novel showing how different each person perception of the same event can be, and also of the dangers of social media and blindly following the current “IT girl”.
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What is this novel really about? Teen angst and revenge amplified by social media. Recollections that are a product of our unreliable memory. Once upon a time when teens did stupid things, the only ones who knew about it were they themselves, and some close friends. Storms would be local and they would die down relatively rapidly. Not anymore. The pressing need that everyone feels to share their opinion has turned social media into a powerful weapon. The protagonist of the novel is not the most sympathetic of characters but she is a very good example of how one can become a victim of the way in which social media almost forces people to re-create their own story.  The novel is reminder of how one should not believe everything online is what it seems, the me-too debate included. An interesting read.
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Louise O’Neill is on razor sharp form with this new novel.  She’s definitely moving more commercial mainstream than her previous works, but maintaining that ability to delve into nuanced feminist territory and unafraid to create unlikeable lead characters.
Sam is a wellness guru who appears to have it all. Best selling books, film adaptations,  sold out events with her loyal followers…: and an uncanny ability to present her version of events that may well differ to others. When one such event is documented and published, sex with her oldest childhood friend,  that friend Lisa claims it wasn’t as Sam claims but was in fact non consensual.
Everything Sam has built is in danger of crashing down. 

Toxic friendships,  parental conflict, the wellness industry and PR damage control are brilliantly portrayed. A great read.
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This was really well-written and easy to read, perfect for fans of Nine Perfect Strangers. Ultimately it was missing a little something for me, but I suspect other readers will enjoy.
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3.5 but rounded up as I fundamentally Enjoyed reading it. ONeill has a punchy, enjoyable style and a clever way of revealing a story which kept me plowijg on. but ultimately I found the resolution unsatisfying, and feel it was a missed opportunity to investigate the nuances and complications of recollection and trauma
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What a twisted web has been woven here. A timely and engaging read, packed with O’Neill’s wry observations, but one which left me feeling distinctly nauseous.
Samantha Miller is the kind of character you might love to hate. Ruthless in her determination to succeed and something of a social-media icon, I found her whole demeanour unpleasant. She is adept at spinning the truth to suit her narrative, and this propensity makes the crux of the book more than a little problematic.
Sam herself is a victim of abuse, in therapy to help her manage the effects of the trauma and definitely struggling to keep a lid on her more self-destructive tendencies. This is heightened when her best friend from school sends an email accusing her of assault. Sam recalls the night referenced very differently, and we get to watch things unfold as we follow Sam try to manage this potentially disastrous moment.
As we journey with Sam through a return to her home-town we learn just how difficult it can be to ever know the truth, as each of us will experience things differently and bring our own experiences to events in our lives. Just because two people remember an event differently doesn’t mean one is lying. 
This was a murky read, certainly encouraging us to reflect on how we interact with others and the role social media has in our lives. I can’t wait to see what other O’Neill fans make of it when it’s released next year, and I’m grateful to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this prior to publication.
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