By Louise O'Neill
What happens when two people remember the same night in completely different ways? A social media influencer publishes a tell-all essay that brings the past to her doorstep, along with some scary consequences
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?
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.
Read this if you: have ever looked through your earliest social media posts to see how likely you are to get canceled.