Review: Idol by Louise O’Neill

Title: Idol

Author: Louise O’Neill

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Random House / Transworld Publications / Bantam Press

The Blurb

‘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.’

Riveting, compulsive and bold, IDOL interrogates our relationship with our heroes and explores the world of online influencers, asking how well we can ever really know those whose carefully curated profiles we follow online. And it asks us to consider how two memories of the same event can differ, and how effortlessly we choose which stories to believe. 

The Review

Louise O’Neill is my ‘must buy’ author. I have always enjoyed reading her books. From Asking For It to After the Silence and the rest in between I love reading her stories. Idol has just joined that list of books I enjoyed.

Idol is the story of Samantha Miller – lifestyle guru is a 3 million strong following. Her latest book release has been a huge success helped along by an article that she released a few days earlier where she talks about an important sexual experience she had. However, when the person discussed in the article makes claims that Samantha is lying, that things didn’t happen that way and that Samantha took advantage, Samantha’s world begins to fall apart.

Idol was brilliant and what Louise O’Neill has expertly done is to dissect the argument that famous people are at a disadvantage in the sense that because of their fame they are prey to people trying to take advantage take them down a peg or two whilst also looking at the alternative argument that people who are famous are privileged and believe that their fame allows them guilt free behaviour.

Coupled with this we also have two really unreliable characters Samantha and Lisa. As a reader, you are constantly on your toes trying to figure out who you believe and who is telling the absolute truth.

Idol is a ten ticket thrill ride of a novel and one that will have you hooked from the very first page. I loved it!

Idol by Louise O’Neill is available now.

For more information regarding Louise O’Neill (@oneilllo) please visit her Twitter or Instagram account.

For more information regarding Random House (@randomhouse) please visit

For more information regarding Transworld Publications (@TransworldBooks) please visit their Twitter account.

For more information regarding Bantam Press (@BantamPress) please visit

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