I needed this book! Best Friend for Hire leaps out of the gate and picks up speed. Within the first few paragraphs I was laughing out loud!

We all know someone like Jessie De Salvo—control freak, expectation seeking perfectionist, in need of approval—her hot pink iPad case at the ready to solve everyone’s problems. In Jessie’s own words, “It was suddenly having more people to prove myself to.” If you’ve ever seen the classic movie, When Harry Met Sally, you know exactly the type. Jessie’s attempts to save face while saving the day lead to one tumbling hilarious catastrophe after another.

Author, Mary Carlomagno interjects every religion’s wisdom teachings tossing them together in a delightful fruit salad of Oprah style quotes. Jessie’s character is perfectly drawn, from back-story of family-formed insecurities to basically the Every-girl syndrome, “Saving the bar meant saving Dave.” There’s not a female reader who won’t identify with her.


Carlomagno’s got the psychology of repetition compulsion down pat, and her amusing explanation in the scene “Drop zee fruit” had me on the floor. As Jessie struggles to make sense of her self-created foibles she has glimmers of insight. What sounds like serious self-reflection concludes with the perfect annotation. “As I knew from my brief experience with self-help, the answers are always within. And most Bruce (Springsteen) songs help you recognize the difficulties.”

Without smugness, the story is imbued with Buddhist influenced enlightenment that makes you smile. My favorite quote is an aha moment from Jessie, “I wondered about time that is spent when you are desperately waiting for something to happen, for something to change; that time seems like eternity when you are waiting. But when the “something” happens, that time feels short, erased as if you never suffered through it.”

This is a clever and hopeful Must Read!