Idol By Louise O’Neill
‘Idol’ is Louise’s first book with her new publisher Transworld and it’s just as gripping as her previous books.
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?
The story is seen through the perspective of Samantha and is written in the past and present tense. Samantha is an influencer with a legion of followers, who follow her way of life, obey her every word and most importantly believe every word she says.
But when Samantha releases an article about a lesbian encounter with a friend, her world turns upside when this friend replies with a different version of the story. Samantha finds her world falling apart and having to defend and justify her actions and past.
I absolutely love Louise’s books, her writing is sharp with deplorable characters that you instantly hate but you find their flawed personalities addictive and suddenly it’s 3 o’clock in the morning and you’re struggling to get up for work the following day.
In the typical style of Louise’s writing, she takes a complex subject of toxic female relationships as well as the contradictions of influencers and deliver a wonderfully, intricately weaved story with twists and drama along the way.
Samantha is a horrible character, a narcissist absorbed in her own world and sees everything through her own narrative. To her loyal followers, she’s a vision of purity when in-fact she’s a cruel and jealous person and when she lets the mask fall, it makes for fantastic reading.
Louise’s writing is sharp and she’s unapologetic for shining a light on the harsh reality of social media, where likes and engagement are considered more important than personal feelings and privacy. It gives a true account of the world that we live in and are all consumed with on a daily basis.
A gripping story with revelations that shook me to the core, ‘Idol’ is another thought provoking, brutal and compulsive book from Louise that reeled me in from the first page.
You can pre-order ‘Idol’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 12th May 2022.