What to expect

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 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.

‘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

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

Critics Review

  • An absolute page turner; addictive and refreshingly twisted.

    Cecelia Ahern
  • By turns utterly gripping and unsettling, this gorgeously written novel is a fascinating look at the ills of influencer culture. A book for our times.

    Lucy Foley
  • IDOL is darkly delicious and asks important questions of fame, influence, self-help and what it really means when we click “follow”. Louise O’Neill is one of those rare authors whose writing grips you from the first page, but who also makes you think. I will read anything she writes.

    Elizabeth Day
  • Louise O’Neill steps into areas that lesser writers are daunted by. She is a pioneer.

    Marian Keyes
  • O’Neill continues to push at the murk around contemporary taboos, shining a compassionate and compelling light on what drives our appearance-obsessed society, marking us all as complicit. IDOL is a gripping, shocking read I could not put down.

    Kiran Millwood Hargrave

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