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Welcome to the Real World

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,395 ratings  ·  78 reviews
She made the final cut!

Scraping by for years on bar gigs, Fern Kendal has always suspected she might actually have a decent voice. But caring for her feuding parents and sickly nephew took all her energy--until now. During one crazy week, she lands a spot on the reality television talent show Fame Game and a glam new job as personal assistant to world-famous singer Evan
Paperback, 440 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Red Dress Ink (first published January 1st 2006)
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Grandma Mush Certainly has some sex scenes but not overly descriptive. Some moral issues too for some people....Maybe a little too permissive.
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,395 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I've read a few books by this author and have enjoyed most of them. Unfortunately, her earlier work is slow starting with disappointing characters, and unrealistic endings. "A Whiff of Scandal" is no exception.

Outside of a few entertaining secondary characters, the characters leave a lot to be desired. We have a wife who sidelines as a hooker, a heroine who leads a life of adultery, and a hero who isn't much better. To say his roving eye leads him into trouble would be an understatement. Though
Limau Nipis
Dec 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
SHEEHHHHH.. This book is an insult to my intelligence.

Stupid book. Could not believe I finish reading this. Rip off my RM 8 (USD 2.50). Not worth the cheap buy. Seriously, when I took 2 months to finish this book, this is saying something worse gonna happen.

Ok, to keep it short:

Girl had a brother, who cannot work. Because he has to take care of his very sick son. And the wife left the brother. So everything depended on the girl.

Mom kicked Dad out of house because he is annoying. So the Dad
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy Carole Matthews' later novels which although Chick Lit do seem to have some deeper meaning and messages. This is one of her earlier books and although faintly amusing in parts it is just too predictable and far fetched. There is no character development and very little actually happens at all! Very disappointing!
Sue Vickery
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book. Made me laugh, made me frustrated with a couple of the characters, and made me cry at the end.
Jun 17, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not good at all, and it was slow. I read because its inanity provided a tiny bit of distraction--not in terms of "what's going to happen," but in terms of, wow, how bad can this book be? A few of the side characters weren't horrible, but for the most part, sounded like a terrible place to live. The idea that characters would have names of herbs/flowers seemed way too coincidental for a small town and a really fake set-up for a story. The main characters--not appealing, and their ...more
May 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fern is 32 she has 2 jobs she is single and has become responsible for her older brother Joe she has a great voice and is wasted working in a pub.
A friend gets her details of a job as a PA for an opera buff, Evan David, after an easy interview she has the job, Her Dad gets kicked out by her Mum she has him staying with her, but is she falling for her boss?
Another brilliant book, I have read most of Carole’s books, definitely recommend a hilarious read.
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
Chick lit is pretty much like candy. It more or less always tastes the same, you eat it way too fast, it's not real food, and you end up forgetting it as soon as it's over.
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m a great Carole Matthews fan and didn’t at first realise that this was one of her very early books. With a love of aromatherapy too I expected this to be a winner, but when I first started to read I thought I would quickly become annoyed by the majority of the characters being named after essential oils and the humour being so idiosyncratic. The story really got into its stride after a while and I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Rose is our aromatherapist and she has moved into a cute village ...more
Bedrooped Bookworms
Fern is barely making it as an adult in London. Her bar gig with her BFF Carl – who loves her, but she is isn’t in love with – is the only thing keeping her and her mouse friend, Squeaky, with a roof over her head. She’d do anything to help her brother and his 5 year old severely asthmatic nephew, but she has no resources to support herself, let alone them. Then she finds a job as a personal assistant to the incredibly popular opera singer, Evan David, and while she knows nothing about opera is ...more
Leandra Bramham
Contrary to most other reviews of this book, I enjoyed it. It had its unbelievable moments but isn’t that what we love good old chic lit for? The characters were very OOT but relatable, especially if you live in a village! I loved how you notice it’s a 20 year old book by references of shell suits, cassettes, take that, smoking in the pub, bare chested models on pork scratchings boards etc without it being forced in the way modern writing tries to be ‘retro’ However, I did feel uncomfortable ...more
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life, dreams, unrequited love and family drama make this book a great easy read. Drawing me in and wanting to know what happens next.

Broke barmaid Fern has a regular singing set between bar shifts in the London pub where she works. Singing her heart out to drunken chatting customers night after night.

Always trying to help her family. Fern supports her fed up Mum, selfish Dad and single brother who’s raising a poorly child. As her best friend and music partner Carl says, never taking time to care
Allison Hurst
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. I found it funny in parts, the busy bodies annoying, as it’s an old book I was laughing at some of the references shell suits etc, I remember those days well. Definitely how village life is. I liked the characters names being linked the names of the oils. I was nearly in tears at the end but glad it ended the way it did. It’s a nice read ...more
Just in case you did not catch that the first 47 times she mentions it in the initial chapters. Lord have mercy this book needed a good editor. And a less irritating heroine.
By the way, she has a nephew and his name is Nathan.
Kelly Woolfrey
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely read, type you expect in village!!!
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable light read with plenty of interesting and funny characters. Really enjoyed it.
Mr J Jones
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Could not put book down. Loved it story was fantastic ,perfect ending, she writes in an easy way.thank you very much
Louise Dawson
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good old love story

Really nice feel good book that's easy to read. The chapters are the right length that you can finish each one quickly if needed and then come back to it later
Jul 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
fun read.
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this easy to read story. As always Carole Matthews stories flow so easy.
Lorraine Marshall
Unfortunately for me, this book dragged on and on.
jacqueline ward
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another good read

Loved this book, love how carole Matthews writes, this is the third book of hers I've read and I'm now going to download another
RJ McGill
Oct 28, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: chic lit lovers
Shelves: reviewed
Carole Matthews tenth novel, Welcome to the Real World has been short listed for the 2007 Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year. A lighthearted novel filled with quick wit and totally unrealistic developments that will have you rolling your eyes and laughing at the same time. Welcome to the Real World is built squarely upon the foundation established by the romantic comedy genre - it is an escape from the gloom and doom, stress filled world where dreams are crushed quickly and no one believes in ...more
Bronwyn Rykiert
Fern Kendal is 32 and works as a barmaid and a part time singer and she lives in a dump of a unit. Her month Amy has just kicked Fern’s father out of their flat so he goes to live with Fern and brings his own set of problems. Fern is complaining to her musical partner and best friend Carlos about having no money when he tells her that his sister mentioned a job that came through her job agency for a PA for Evan David for the last leg of his UK tour, so she goes for an interview.

Evan David is
Mar 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
I was having a Carole Matthews fest, so got this out of the library.

From amazon:

From the Author
Hi Everyone. Hope you like this - my tenth novel. I'm
totally addicted to TV talents show - The X-Factor being my favourite - so
I decided to set a book around that world. We all want quick fame and
fortune now - but is it really that easy? That's something I look at
through the eyes of my poor, down-trodden heroine, Fern Kendal. Think
you'll like this one - it's one of my best so far. It's not often in a
Hsiau Wei
I have read quite a number of Carole Matthews' book and this book definitely is not one of her best. Basically, the story evolved about Fern and by reading the synopsis, one would have thought that Evan's character is also one of the main characters. However, it was not because, the story focused mainly on Fern and her life. I like Fern, very much so when she decided to reject the reality singing competition for the reason that the producer wanted her to ditch her companion, Carl for the game. ...more
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Welcome to the Real World is a modern-day Cinderella. My real draw to the book came from La Travita. Nowadays classical music is a rarity in popular culture. It was nice the opera as a plot point. Carole Matthews showed that music can have an incredible impact on people. The main character had never heard of opera; however, she loved it when she finally heard. This is a love story about love. Though I will also add that loving or even liking something can be full of surprises.

I am pretty certain
Julie Boon
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must admit that when I read the blurb for this book I thought it might be a bit far fetched, but I was wrong and pleasantly surprised! The characters were great and Fern's Dad was hilarious! I love Caroles' books and have read quite a few now and have started reading her more earlier ones and she never disappoints me. Such easy reads that make me laugh out loud and sometimes even shed a tear! I would definitely recommend this book and it's a real page turner and keeps you guessing until the ...more
Lorraine Vella
One of her earlier novels... it didnt captivate me as much as "A place to call home" however I enjoyed it. What I really like about this author is that she gives lots of information and goes into details that are related to the main characters... for example in this book the main character is an aromatherapist and with the beginning of every chapter she gives details on oils used in aromatherapy and that they are relative to the characters that are going to be mentioned in that chapter
Nov 13, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
I am a big chick-lit fan. This book was fun to read. It involved a girl who was struggling to get a singing career. Well, she takes a temp job for a wealthy, good-looking, young opera singer with more money than she can imagine. Twists and turns are in the story, but I wont give away the rest. Just know that its a fun story, it starts off a little slow, but then you wonder what happens next. Worth checking out!
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Carole Matthews is an international bestselling author of hugely successful romantic comedy novels. Her unique sense of humour has won her legions of fans and critical acclaim all over the world.

A Minor Indiscretion and A Compromising Position both reached the Top 5 in the Sunday Times bestseller chart in the UK. You Drive Me Crazy reached number 8 in the original fiction charts. The novel