Cover Image: Idol


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“Not everyone we put on a pedestal deserves to be there…”

Samantha Miller, a lifestyle social media influencer has it all. An adoring following of 3 million people who hang off her every word, a best selling author and business owner. But all that is threatened when she is accused of sexual assault from her childhood best friend Lisa.

There are 3 sides to every story. The memories of two people and the truth. O’Neill takes the reader on a journey as she delves into each side of the women’s take on that night and how things can be perceived so differently. The change up of traditionally stereotypical characters on this issue added an interesting element.

I had mixed emotions for Samantha. A complex unreliable narrator, she is fuelled by her need to be loved and adored, her past of abuse and addiction shaping who she has become in the present and who will do anything to protect her brand she has worked so hard for.

Idol is a dark, wicked and addictive read where you are compelled to keep flicking the pages, as each chapter ends with you wanting more. Fast paced, twisty and eye opening this is a powerful read and that ending….BOOM!! Mic drop!!

Thank you to Louise O’Neill, Transworld Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Idol, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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This book would make a great beach read, it covers the frothy world of authors/influencers and is very topical, looking at  whether someone's ''truth' actually is true and balances of power in relationships and friendships. Sam, the author, writes about a formative sexual experience with a former friend, only for that friend to accuse her of assault. Who is telling the truth?
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I'm not sure if this was intentional, but Louise O'Neill creating a central character that was quite unlikeable made it very difficult to read this book. Samantha Miller is a sort of 'lifestyle guru' who has a legion of fans on social media. While I think O'Neill is making a commentary on the culture of online influencers and novice 'gurus', I did not find that the premise made it a compelling read. While the underlying premise centers consent, I just did not find the main character made the novel an enjoyable experience.
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An influencer with 3 million followers telling you how to live your life. At this point the only way is down. A compelling read following the delusion lives of people who can't differentiate between real life and their virtual world. Whilst it might frustrate you, you won't be able to put it down.
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Samantha Miller has it all - millions look up to her; but when her would comes crashing down around her because of an essay she wrote about a sexual encounter in her teens she doesn’t know what to do or how to cope.

Idol is a poignant novel about how social media can both build and destroy a person and how difficult it is to rebuild the damage and trust one has built over years of using various social media platforms. In this age of technology we live in, nothing stays private.

From Instagram following being diminished in a heartbeat; unfathomed statements being posted on Reddit and bombardments from journalists about your private life.

What is the truth in this world we live in and how do we prove it when everything we see or read is ‘real’? Or is social media all a lie?
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This amazing psychological thriller tells the story of an event that took place years ago between two old  schoolfriends but they both see it differently. Sam, a successful author has a wonderful memory of a shared sexual encounter between two best friends but Lisa, left behind in their hometown and now married to Sam's ex boyfriend from school remembers a very different time of being forced into this encounter with no choice but to give in and surrender to her friend's strong personality and desire.
This is a fantastic book that is written so well. It opens up the dialogue about consent and abuse from both sides of the coin.I really enjoyed it. The author put other characters in the story with differing memories, involvement and opinions of their school life. I was in that world fully with my feet in the middle of all that was happening!!. A superb read!!. You'll really enjoy it too!!. 
Many thanks to Netgalley for the free ARC book for an honest review.
#Netgalley, #randomhouse, #oneilllou.
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Idol introduces us to influencer Samantha Miller. Samantha’s career is booming with millions of followers online, a bestselling new book and sell-out events. Emboldened by this success, she is determined to speak her truth, and writes an essay about her sexual awakening as a teenager, with her female best friend. The essay goes viral. But then – years since they last spoke – her old friend gets in touch to say that she doesn’t remember it that way at all. In fact, her memory of that night is far darker.

First of all, this book is so readable. Compulsively so. Take this as your warning. Influencer culture is quite the ‘hot topic’ these days – is it good, is it bad, is it real, is it fake etc. And O’Neill’s portrayal of Miller feels real. I recognised her instantly. It was interesting while reading Idol to think about and explore our relationship with social media and how we view and judge public online personas. When things start to unravel for Miller, it serves as a reminder of the importance to question why we put so much merit into an online ‘personality’ like Samantha’s. It’s a reminder that we should continue to question and discuss the narratives and opinions “fed” to us via social media.

It also examines how we can reframe the past to suit our own narrative, and how we revisit past traumas. This was especially interesting to me but it felt a little undercooked. I would have loved to see O’Neill explore this in more detail, as I found it to be a really intriguing way to discuss such a topic. By not perhaps exploring it in greater detail, I was left wondering a little bit about what the author was trying to say.

Overall though, even though the book deals with some dark and tough subjects, I found it to be the most addictive of O’Neill’s books in terms of a reading experience and one that I imagine will accompany many people on their holidays this summer!

Idol by Louise O’Neill is published on Thursday, 12 May 2022, by Transworld Publishers Ltd. Thanks to them, NetGalley and the author for my advance copy. This is, as always, an honest review.
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Idol by Louise O’Neill did not disappoint. Looking at the nature of celebrity, particularly of online influencers, I found it to be a totally compulsive read, which I’m actually still thinking about now, a few days since I finished it.

What I think the author does really well here is to have the reader questioning the truth of everything they read. With the same history retold so differently by different people, is someone lying? Or can the same incidents really have been recanted and remembered in totally different ways?

Samantha Miller has something of a God complex, proclaiming herself the leader and saviour of her “girls”. It is interesting to witness her addiction to fame and adoration, and her inevitable increasing desperation to reverse her reputation’s decline as the plot unfolds.

I think this would make for a brilliant book club selection as there is so much to discuss. With thanks to Bantam Press for gifting me a digital copy to review.
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Enjoyed this novel based on a celebrity influencer and guru who’s built a huge wellness following, only to watch it go terribly wrong after an accusation. This was a very interesting spin on modern mores and values.
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Wow, a powerful and beautifully written book!

Very interesting, very modern and culturally relevant in a world where social media celebrities and influencers dictate fashion and trends. A lot of difficult topics are covered, the atmosphere is dark and heavy, the characters are quite unlikable, but the book is compelling and a real page-turner nonetheless.

Who is telling the truth? Lisa or Sam? Are they both? Whose truth is the truer one? Very thought provoking, loved it, 5 full stars for me!
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This was absolutely insane.

I sort of knew what to expect as it’s the fifth book I read by Louise O’Neill, but I still didn’t expect this level of intensity.

This was fascinating, mind-boggling and gasp-worthy. By the halfway point of Idol, I genuinely could not stop reading and by the end, I was gasping at the pages.

O’Neill is a master at crafting complex, unreliable narrators that you struggle to like or hate, and Sam is no exception. I honestly have no better words than complex and unreliable to describe her, and O’Neill really did an amazing job at writing her.

This book definitely won’t be for everyone and it deals with some heavy subjects including sexual assault, drug use and eating disorder, so please be aware of that, but it was definitely a big slap in the face for me. Wouldn’t have hoped for any less from Louise O’Neill to be honest.
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Wow what a mind bending read.

Samantha Miller is social media lifestyle guru who has just published a new book that exposes an incident she experienced in her teenage years. The book is an instant hit but then the woman who Samantha shared the experience with shares that she doesn't not remember the events as they are written in Samantha's book and actually she did not consent.

I have read a few books by this author and so I was very much looking forward to this one. I could not make up my mind on who was telling the truth in this book  and the unreliable narrator in this really added to the vibe and worked really well. This is such an interesting look at the nature of our memories and how reliable they are. It really opens up the idea that there is always more than one version of the truth and the way you remember something is your truth but the way someone else remembers it is theirs and surely there is the possibility that both are true.
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Idol is a compelling and insightful contemporary story that explores current issues through the unreliable narrator Samantha, a phenomenally successful lifestyle and social media influencer. Her books are bestsellers, she has millions of social media followers, and her company is about to be made into a public corporation. Still, when a voice from the past challenges her latest expose, the foundation of her life and reality crumble devastatingly.

Dark and disturbing, many of Samantha's experiences are challenging to read, but they show how she became the person she is. Perception, manipulation and reality are all effectively questioned in this addictive story. Relatable characters draw the reader into a world of judgement and lies. The brilliantly flawed individuals make it hard to like them in many cases.

I like the believability of the story and its contemporary relevance.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
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Superinfluencer Samantha Miller is at the pinnacle of her career. Her advice books are best sellers, her lectures are sellouts and her company is about to launch its IPO. But then something goes terribly wrong, something that may cost her everything. 

After Sam writes an online essay about a teenage lesbian affair, her childhood friend Lisa emails a reply accusing Sam of sexual assault. Almost immediately a Reddit post “Samantha Miller is a sexual abuser” follows and cancel culture springs into action. While her manager does crisis control, Sam returns to her hometown to confront Lisa.

A journey of devastating self discovery follows for Sam. Fond of embellishing the truth to attract more followers, Sam now has to confront conflated memories. What is her true relationship with her parents? With Lisa and her husband Josh? How real are her memories of violent rape? And can her reputation survive the truth? As Sam realizes what is true, so does the reader. Idol will have many twists and turns before a sad but satisfying conclusion. 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK and Louise O’Neill for this ARC.
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Unreliable/unlikeable narrators, do you love them or struggle? I'm normally in the latter camp, but there was something so compelling about Samantha I just had to keep on reading.
Idol delves into the world of social media, the highs and the lows, the trolls and the adoring fans. Samantha is a spiritual guru / motivational speaker, her latest book is about to be released and she has 3M followers on socials. Unfortunately, a reddit post about an alleged act goes viral and all starts to spin out of control, including Samantha's mental health.
The books flicks between past and present as we follow what Samantha believes to be true and we gradually learn more about what actually happened.
A clever twisty, if somewhat slow burn read that will have you trying to figure out what actually happened all those years ago.
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An interesting read, showing the fragility of the fame 'influencers' have. Deals with many themes including memory and truth and sexual assault. I found that my perception of the main character changed throughout the book. All in all I enjoyed this book in spite of the dark themes.

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
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Idol by Louise O’Neill ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lifestyle guru Samantha is flying high on success, adored by millions of her ‘girls’ who hang on her every word, but when an anonymous post accuses her of the very things she’s been campaigning against things start to unravel. 

It takes place over two timelines, the present where Samantha is trying to come to terms with her situation and the past when the incident took place. The author is very clever in only giving us Samantha’s version of the truth but as the story unfolds that we learn just how unreliable a narrator she is, and that her ‘truth’ might not be the same as everyone else’s.

I’m sure you’ve been seeing this all over at the moment and for good reason. This book has so many talking points; consent, gaslighting, sexual exploitation, cancel culture, social media. Would definitely recommend this intense and gripping read.

However, was anyone else confused by the cover (which I love by the way!) as almost all the book takes place in snowy New England and there’s not a single mention of a swimming pool!?
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This was a great novel with a lot of dark underlying secrets, it keot me wondering what was going to happen and the main character I wanted to slap but also could see a lot of online personalities in her personality - The type that say things like OMG I'm so hot.. OMG I am just amazing lol you know the type but really managed to make me want to know more and loved the twists and turns, recommend this book to all.
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Samantha is a social media 'influencer' with millions of fans.  She publishes an essay of an encounter with her bff from school and her friend denies it happened that way.  Samantha needs to salvage her reputation and returns to her hometown to try to fix it. 
This was an interesting read on just how someone can believe their own press and how quickly things can fall apart.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.

This book explores the concept of truth, and whether there can ever really be objective truth in a world governed by particular perspectives. O'Neill also deals with the issues of sexual assualt and consent in a delicate way unlike anything I've read before, especially as the accusation is between two women. The way the character of Sam evolves throughout the novel is masterful, and O'Neill painstakingly feeds us information right until the very last page. It made me think a lot, but was also a page-turner, and I think this book will stay with me for a while.
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