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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

'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 best-seller 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.

©2022 Louise O'Neill (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Idol is fresh, glamorous and surprising, taking an issue we all care about and with a deft twist, recalibrating our position. It dazzles us before revealing the darkness at its heart." (Marian Keyes)

"A literary tour de force." (Irish Independent)

 "A vital and necessary presence in contemporary literature." (Sarah Perry)

What listeners say about Idol

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objective was confusing?

there was no character growth for anyone and the boom was written from the perspective of the definition of an unreliable narrator. I was hoping for some sort of revelation into the best friend character too and where her devotion comes from

1 person found this helpful

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I kept expecting more from the story

Promising start but characters lack depth. I felt like there would be more twists to the story but none came.

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Really enjoyed it

My second book by this author (the best two rated) and I have already downloaded another. Really enjoyed this and it’s layers and twists and turns and different memories and perspectives.

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Over hyped

And I fell for it. Seeing this book being promoted by people who had it gifted to them.

I struggled to finish it, the story didn't grab me at all. It was sameish and drawn out unfortunately.

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Best Book I've Read This Year

I loved this! I was on the edge of my seat throughout and it's one of the most thought-provoking books I've ever read. I've never read anything like it - fascinating topic. Narration was also excellent.

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Kept waiting for it to get better

A bit disappointing, I felt the story lacked depth, the main character really got on my last nerve, maybe that’s the point. Would have liked some sort of explanation at the end, what the heck is actually wrong with Sam, why did she remember things so inaccurately?!

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Excellent

Really enjoyed this title. Narration by Kate Hanford is one of the best of the 100s of Audiobooks I have listened to. Louise O'Neill has produced a tale which kept me intrigued until the end. in this era of wellness gurus, this story hits hard. 5 stars

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About nine hours too long

The premise is promising, but I found the endless repetition to be tedious. The dialogue between forty year olds was very juvenile and completely unbelievable. I found myself nodding along to the character of Josh telling Sam to move on from high school. The final couple of chapters were OK but overall this book was far too long.

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Gripping

Really enjoyed this book. The characters spring out - I found myself constantly oscillating between judging them and relating to them. Gripping up to the very end. Hope this gets made into a film.

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not very likeable charactors

loved the start of this book but found myself not caring how this book ended

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-06-22

Page turner

Overall, I enjoyed this book and thought the narration was excellent. Idol got me through an awful reading slump and is definitely one of the most addictive books I’ve finished this year. I did think it’d would be a bit more challenging, but still a good read nonetheless.

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  • Olivia Gisle
  • 25-05-22

Great read!

I think the cover and name make Idol look like a fun beach read, and while it's quite easy and quick to read, it's so dark and the topic is HEAVY. Lot's of interesting things to discuss, had a really good time listening.