Cover Image: Idol

Idol

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Samantha Miller has created a Social Media empire based on helping girls and women cope with all that life has thrown at them, she has done this based on her own life experiences and battles. 
At the top of her game, an email from an old friend throws her life in to termoil and as she goes back to her hometown to try to deal with it the person she says she is and the experiences she claimed to have had begin to unravel and the true Samantha Miller comes out.

A great book to pick up for a holiday.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me read Idol.
Was this review helpful?
I saw this advertised months ago on Netgalley, and I couldn't even remember what it was about when I eventually came to read it. I re-read the Synopsys, and still, the book was nothing like I had expected. I enjoyed this a lot, and it raised so many questions about social media, influencers and friendships.

Samantha Miller has made a fortune as an influencer, mainly with younger women. 'her girls' want to be like her. She inspires them to become better, stronger people, but all is not quite as it seems in Sam's real world. When she publishes an essay on her first sexual encounter with her best childhood friend, her manager receives an email saying that the friend didn't see it in quite the same way Sam has forced herself upon her. Sam is about to release her fourth book, 'chaste' and needs this cleared up as soon as possible before the media finds out and destroys her life. So, Sam returns home to try and fix things with her best friend, Lisa.

Louise O'Neill has written an outstanding plot, focusing on the #metoo situation, sexual assault and eating disorders. There is a lot here to digest, and we begin to see things start to unravel for the perfect Samantha Miller. There are plenty of secrets and lies and differences of opinion. Their school rival, Becky, has her own agenda, which has a massive impact on the situation, and we see both sides of Sam's fame.

I couldn't put this down and really enjoyed the characters. They are interesting, though not always likeable. Idol looks at the perils of reinventing yourself for social media, and when you put yourself on that pedestal, it's a long way to fall. I felt the characters were well-drawn. I knew who they were and could easily relate them to people in real life and social media stars.

The ending was brilliant too. I don't want to say anything about it aside from that, as I think it's best read that way, but you're in for a treat!

A great read that's brilliantly written. I would be delighted to read more of Louise O'Neill's work in future, especially if it's as good as this! This is full of delusion, venom, and wondering what the correct version of the truth is. It's also unputdownable.
Was this review helpful?
Firstly, thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book. I loved it. The story was engrossing and I thought I knew how it was going to go (big wig goes back to small town etc.) however it was unexpected and I really enjoyed it! I definitely recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
This was an interesting story highlighting the fact that we don't know what people in the limelight are truly like. Social media allows people to sugarcoat their lives and can destroy others in the process. 

Well written and enjoyable
Was this review helpful?
Talk about a wild ride.
This book is not only a smirking look at the self/help industry and the popularity of ‘gurus’ and ‘spiritual boss babes’, but also about how we can truly create our own ‘reality’. Mind you, our ‘reality’ might not match up with others ‘realities’, and that’s where things start to get a bit muddled, at least they do for our MC, Samantha Miller. Sam is a top influencer and self-help celebrity, with millions of fans who place her on a pedestal – until it turns out that someone accused her of something that could knock her down.
Despite being a slow burn, this book hooked me in right away and I finished it in one sitting. And the ending…wow. Seriously.. Read it. You’ll thank me!
Was this review helpful?
A captivating, compulsive read. I enjoyed every page and when I was forced to put it down I couldn't wait to get back to it as soon as possible - always the sign of a great read.
Was this review helpful?
Fabulous story with plenty going on. When two friends reckon their version of an event is the truth,how do you know whose truth is a lie? This will capture you till the last page.
Was this review helpful?
A huge thank you to Netgalley for the chance to read and review Louise's latest novel. I thoroughly enjoyed Only Ever Yours and Idol is another to add to the list of books I loved reading. 

The story has you questioning everyone, someone has to be lying. And although almost all the characters are somewhat highly unlikeable you don't know who you should root for or who is telling the truth. 

Samantha is a lifestyle guru/influencer who has rebuilt her life after sexual assault and addiction. Using her story to build a social media empire, publish books and host events and workshops that sell out in a bid to help 'her girls' 

This book explores the topic of speaking your truth following the #metoo movement but what if your truth isn't the truth for someone else. After an essay she writes goes viral a childhood friend steps forward accusing Sam of sexual assault and how Sam's story is fabricated.

A fascinating read that looks into how people remembers things differently. It explores the topic of influencers striving to maintain the perfect image regardless of the cost, and the pedestal that influencers are put upon by their fans. The trolls and haters waiting in the wings to tear them down. In a world of cancel culture  how would you handle allegations you would never dream of commiting. What would you do to maintain your perfect online image, while sponsorships are pulling out and your followers are dropping by the minute

The characters are manipulative and conniving. Their lives full of toxic relationships and the ability to be delusional enough to bend the truth to the point it becomes believable. 

Louise O'Neill touches on so many riveting topics and turns it into a thrilling and compelling read. The writing is flawless, and Louise's novel feels somewhat more grown up than previous works.
Was this review helpful?
Idol is a prescient novel that follows Samantha, a guru who has millions of teenage fans hanging on her every word and social media post. She’s open and frank about her life so one day when she shares an essay about her sexual awakening as a teenager the post goes viral. But then Lisa gets in touch to say she doesn’t remember that night the same way and Samantha’s life begins to unravel. This novel looks at how we create online personas and come to believe what we say on social media. It looks at the way different people can remember the same event completely differently. It also makes us question who has the right to tell a story and who owns what happens. I found this book so difficult to put down. It’s a compulsive novel that keeps you turning the pages whilst at the same time making you stop and pause for thought too. It’s a novel that has really stayed with me since I finished reading it and I highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
When it comes to social media, we all know that pictures are painted to create an image, particularly when it comes to influencers. So nothing is quite what it seems.

Sam has curated her own persona, one with a huge following, sponsorships and she written books that are bestsellers. She’s living the influencer’s dream… that is until she writes something from her past that those involved disagree with the version of events she paints. Enter free fall status…

O’Neill shows the power of social media and how anonymity can wield such an ugly sword. But she also shows how memories can be perceived differently by parties – they say there are three sides to every story: my side, your side and the truth. But what is the truth of that eventful night? As the book goes on, O’Neill made me question the reliability of Sam’s narrative and I love an unreliable narrator so one who starts off steady and gradually head to unreliable central really got my attention.

Having read Asking For It a few years ago, I fully expected Idol to be a hard hitting thought provoking discussion about a controversial topic. It did not disappoint! O’Neill tackles quite a few subjects that made me think – consent, the power of the influencer, the reliance of ones own memories. I really enjoyed Sam’s very bumpy journey of damage limitation. I really must read more from Louise O’Neill!
Was this review helpful?
'Follow your heart and speak your truth.'
For Samantha Miller's young fans - her 'girls' - she's everything they want to be. She's an oracle, telling them how to live their lives, how to be happy, how to find and honour their 'truth'.
And her career is booming: she's just hit three million followers, her new book Chaste has gone straight to the top of the bestseller lists and she's appearing at sell-out events.
Determined to speak her truth and bare all to her adoring fans, she's written an essay about her sexual awakening as a teenager, with her female best friend, Lisa. She's never told a soul but now she's telling the world. The essay goes viral.
But then - years since they last spoke - Lisa gets in touch to say that she doesn't remember it that way at all. Her memory of that night is far darker. It's Sam's word against Lisa's - so who gets to tell the story? Whose 'truth' is really a lie?
'You put yourself on that pedestal, Samantha. You only have yourself to blame.'

This is a brilliant read.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believable.
Great suspense and found myself second guessing every thought I had continuously.
Can't wait to read what the author brings out next.
Recommend reading.

I was provided an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher.  This is my own hone\st voluntary review.
Was this review helpful?
I am a huge fan of Louise O'Neill. I have read almost all her books at this stage and always impressed when I see her in interviews. 
This book did not disappoint. The concept was thought provoking and the setting (in the popular world of a influencer/health guru) is particularly topical. 
I liked the unreliable narration of the lead character and how the story unfolded. 
Where the book lacked for me was that I found it repetitive in parts and the unresolved situation with Gabriel. 
That aside, it was a fascinating read that will stay with me long after finishing. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for an advance copy of this book.
Was this review helpful?
When I started reading Idol, I really thought I knew where the story was going. Famous woman goes back to small town to confront her former best friend about allegations she made online. But I didn't expect the complex story and the many twists and turns to the plot along the way. And that ending!

Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy. I will definitely be recommending it.
Was this review helpful?
What happens when an inspirational leader is knocked off her pedestal by an allegation of abuse? For once its a female not male. The twists as she goes back to her home town to correct the narrative. Going back to high school rivalries and loves. A roller coaster of emotions and memories from different perspectives.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book, and raced through it. The story contained a bit of everything including  betrayal, trolling on social media,  followers on social media, wellness gurus, addiction, and love in all its many forms. It could easily have been a frothy beach read but I felt the author actually discussed some really important contemporary issues in a well thought out way contained in a very readable story.
thank you to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book
Was this review helpful?
A gripping and disturbing thriller with some difficult subject matter. Sam is an influencer - but what does that mean for her values and her relationships? She is an unreliable and unlikeable narrator but it's difficult not to have sympathy for many of the characters who are still haunted by what happened in high school over twenty years ago. It's a book of many twists and turns, and keeps you guessing to the very end.
Was this review helpful?
This book is definitely one that has stayed with me. I finished reading this book a week ago, and it's one I keep thinking about. Haven't felt like that about a book for a long time!

This book would be perfect for a book club, as there is so much to talk about - so many discussions to be had.
Lots of twists, and just when you think you know what's going on - boom - something happens to change your view on the characters again. 

This book is all about the characters, and how reliable they are with the truth -  what is the truth? How does your version of the truth compare to the actual truth. Really interesting premise. 

I enjoyed the book a lot, and think it will continue to stay with me for a long time!
Was this review helpful?
Idol is a book that I haven’t read anything remotely like it, there are a lot of sensitive issues covered within this book and at times is quite a dark read.
Samantha Miller is a lifestyle guru and a social media influencer with 3 million followers, she has it all and her followers eat out of her hand so she writes a book about an incident that happened in her teenage years, it’s an instant top seller but with it comes trouble as her school best friend remembers what happened very differently and is threatening to take legal action over it as she feels she is easily identifiable. You get to hear both sides of the story and it will split a lot of people, it was a shame for me as from the off I didn’t like Samantha so I probably never gave her a fair hearing, had the lead character been a bit more realistic I would have warmed to her. 
This was a decent thriller it does touch on sensitive topics and it opened my eyes to what being a celebrity might look like and that it’s not as great as we think it is. The book reveals a lot of dark secrets and it was this that made it a really good read.
I would like to thank Netgalley and Random House UK Transworld Publishers for this ARC I received in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I chose to read this book because the premise sounded intriguing. Social media surrounds us; influencers can become niche superstars but who are they really? Is it all a façade?

Samantha Miller is one such influencer. She tells her adoring 3 million followers how to live their lives, unfortunately she appears to have lost sight of hers.

In the current climate of trial by social media, & various legal cases which have hit the headlines, this is a very timely read. The reinvention of oneself, & believing it, is scary especially as many people (youngsters in particular) believe every single carefully chosen word & filtered/posed photo. What is the truth?

Definitely a story for now. Recommended.
Was this review helpful?
Sam is a social media star, riding high in popularity, who then struggles to cope when her carefully curated world crashes down around her. 
The book takes a wry look at influencer culture, fame and the self-help industry, and examines toxic friendship and the pitfalls of telling “your truth”.
Its well written, and sharply observed but I just felt a bit ambivalent about it all - perfectly readable but perhaps not the perfect book for me! 
Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC. All views are my own.
Was this review helpful?