Seaside Daisies Book Reviews
by Kim Orosco on Amazon, January 7, 2019: Humanizing Perspective ....
2, it was an easy read. I was able to put it down, make some holiday cookies & do some gift wrapping and then come right back to it - - although there were times I did not want to put it down I just wanted to stay and read!
3. it was interesting, it held my attention and was insightful on human generosity and truly caring. I greatly enjoyed reading it.
Seaside Daisies Book Review by Diana on Amazon, November 26, 2018: Fabulous sequel !!!
on Amazon by Sarah Tipton, November 22, 2018
I really enjoyed this book! It's a good continuation of Maria Elena's story as an undocumented Honduran immigrant that began in Five Wishes. The plot is good, and I thought the author did a particularly nice job of developing the friend/benefactor relationship with Maria Elena and Mrs. Krause. You could see that each brought something to the relationship that the other needed.
I could feel Maria Elena's stress and anxiety as an undocumented immigrant, but the author didn't allow the story to become so stressful that it was hard to read. I was glad to see Maria Elena's story wrap up in a satisfying way (no spoilers!). Looking forward to the next Mollie Moon book!
by katiebythesea on Amazon, May 19, 2018: Human Everything! (Trafficking, Love, Commonalities, and More)
Five Wishes Book Reviews
by Brian Martin, July 8, 2017:
A Gripping Story
Five Wishes by Mollie Moon is an engrossing tale, a story that seemingly has been taken from the front page of the news as it’s topic is so universal. Maria Elena is born and raised in a barrio in Honduras, where she pines for a real life, not one of impoverishment and endless mindless tasks that involve taking care of her birth family. In her culture, the women dote on the men, and as the oldest daughter she is expected to care for her father and brothers. To do this, she must quit school, but education is truly the only thing that she desires.
Amidst the violence of the barrio she loses a good friend, then due to her stubborn refusal to quit school she is kicked out of her home. Her salvation, it seems, comes from the friendship of Lolita, a well-off young girl who doesn’t understand the horror and poverty of the barrio, one who simply wants to have fun. But a common goal links the two girls together: escaping Honduras and going to Los Angeles, California, to pursue their dreams. For Maria Elena, it is to continue her education, to go to a fine college, graduate, and do something important with her life. Unfortunately, her friend’s ambitions lean more towards daily gratification through the use of alcohol, drugs, and sex, these supplied to her by a man named Tio, who runs a restaurant and hotel downtown. When Maria Elena is kicked out of her family’s home, she turns to her friend and her boss for support. Little does she know (but she suspects) that Tio is only being nice because he is a scoundrel and a crook, but by the time she finds out, it is too late.
by J. Murphy on Amazon, June 3, 2017:
A Must-read - you won't want to put it down
This is a must-read. I liked the way the author developed the plot and the characters. Mollie Moon knows exactly how to keep you hooked and not wanting to put the book down. I can't wait for the sequel - hope she is doing one!
by Riri on GoodReads, May 14, 2017:
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS BOOK! BOOK TWO PLEASE. I NEED BOOK TWO
It's crazy how I was able to finish this book... I've been doing overtime at work every day and still finished this in a few days! I'm actually having a hard time if I should give this a one-star or a five-star. One star because this book broke my heart and there's no book two! Huhu ( Like seriously though it really did broke my heart and OMG Maria Elena why don't you just listen to Don Francisco? You're supposed to be smart 🙁 but seriously though I don't think I can even live with my conscience with giving this one star.
T.T I badly need to know what happens to Maria Elena. And I absolutely love Don Francisco. Please don't let him die... And there's more people I love.... And also hate 😛
This book gave me a rollercoaster ride but I absolutely love it 🙂 These are my kind of books.
by Jacqueline Carr, March 25, 2017 on Bookshelf at EastCountyMagazine.org:
"Five Wishes" is such an informative read about aspiration and desperation. At the tender age of 15 these two girls wanted to escape the poverty of Honduras to the bright lights and supposedly better life in Los Angeles, but their naivete and gullibility steered them in the wrong direction. Though fictional, this well-reviewed book "Five Wishes" sheds a bright light on human trafficking, and to a lesser degree on parenting, and the psychology of early childhood behavior. This book could have also been entitled "The Escape" because that was the ultimate goal of the main characters. Like, Mr. Moore, I felt empathy and to a certain degree some sort of sympathy for both girls. This book will be a difficult read for me, however, I commend Ms. Moon for writing it and bringing to light the various issues raised in her book. Jacqueline Carr - Author of Quiet Thoughts and A Selected Few Just For You.
by Carole McKee, March 21, 2017 on Bookshelf at EastCountyMagazine.org:
Immigration seems to be on everyone's mind lately. Personally, I feel bad that our country is becoming so divided and that hate is so prevalent these days. Mollie Moon's book comes at just the right time. From the review, it sounds wonderful, and I fully intend to purchase it. Good find, Dennis Moore.
by MJ Payne, March 21, 2017 on Bookshelf at EastCountyMagazine.org:
Mollie Moon's book deals with the subject of human sexual trafficking, a timely and dramatically important subject. The trafficking of desperate persons, many of them children or young teens is a huge source of revenue for persons with no conscience who are after money. A human can be sold many times over a period of years, while a drug is sold once and another dose must be produced to keep the addicted in that condition. Human victims of the sex trade are controlled in numerous ways and have few if any resources to free themselves of their tormentors. This is a rampant and worldwide problem where many people go missing unexpectedly and are never heard from again. Because of the huge amount of money that can be made from this activity in some areas it dwarfs drug sales in revenue. It is hard to get convictions and stop this insidious practice because there are so many vulnerable ones, like in Mollie Moon's book. In Rotherham, England sex trafficking that exploited white, working class girls flourished for many years and the police were involved so it has been difficult to say the least to get any convictions. These girls suffered horribly, were gang raped, and groomed by potential traffickers who give gifts and sweet talk gullible girls until they are part of the network of the exploited and marginalized community of the victims of the sex trade. It is a grave problem for women and children and needs to be addressed whenever possible. MJ Payne, Author of "The Remembered Self: A Journey into the Heart of the Beast".
by Stephen D. Merrick, March 20, 2017 on Amazon
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Amazing Book by an Amazing Author!!
The author is brilliant and it is an amazing story. I don't want to be a spoil alert so my advice is get it and enjoy!!! I have recommended it to all my friends.
by Dennis Moore, March 20, 2017, on Bookshelf at EastCountyMagazine.org:
Five Wishes is the author’s second novel, following upon her novel; Branded by Fate.It is clear to me by reading this second and well-written novel by Moon, that she has a vivid and expressive imagination which bodes well for her future endeavors.
This book by Moon is timely, as it touches on a subject that seems to be in the headlines almost daily, immigration and border crossing. Whatever opinions one might have on other cultures and immigration reform, Moon’s book is bound to strike a nerve and give food for thought.
Five Wishes resonates with me for a variety of reasons. Most notably, due to my once living in Tijuana, Mexico for five years, and making the comparison of Tijuana with that of Comayagüela, Honduras described by Moon in this fascinating and insightful book. I embraced the culture of Tijuana, just as the author has indicated that it was actually her embrace and fascination with different cultures that motivated her in writing this book.
The shantytowns and card board box homes depicted on the cover of this book, is also something that I marveled at while in Tijuana, and became quite familiar with. The humble lifestyles of the Mexican community there is something that I will always remember. For that reason alone, I can fully understand and appreciate Maria Elena and what she and her family had to endure.
Maria Elena grows up in a violent, poverty-stricken barrio in Honduras. Her dream of a better life becomes more realistic when she makes friends with Lolita, who seems to have the right connections. Together, they plan an escape to Los Angeles, but Lolita’s connection is Tio, a drug lord and human trafficker. In spite of her misgivings about Tio, Maria Elena joins Lolita and escapes her futureless life, only to end up in a foreign country – alone, hungry, and scared.
Although Maria Elena and Lolita were from different sides of the track, as different from night and day, they would forge a bond out of necessity and mutual admiration. This is truly a friendship to be envied and cherished. Having met and come together at the tender age of 15, Maria Elena and Lolita would become the sisters that neither one of them had previously, sharing their innermost secrets and aspirations in life. But this sisterhood would ultimately come apart, as a shady and promiscuous side of Lolita would compromise Maria Elena’s principles, and expose them both to the human trafficking aspect of this book.
It is ironic that Moon would pick a “Tio” as a drug lord and human trafficker in her book, for as I discussed with her in our phone interview last night, I was aware of a “Tio” in Tijuana, Mexico that was actually a drug lord – and was known to have kidnapped and killed his victims in a vat of acid. Moon gasped in surprise when I shared this with her, as she stated to me that she picked and named “Tio” off the top of her head. This particular “Tio” in Tijuana has since been captured and serving a lifetime in federal prison. The photo and actual capture of Teodoro Garcia Simental (‘El Teo’) in 2010 is pictured here.
The author unwittingly opened up a brutal chapter in Tijuana crime and drug lore by using “Tio” as the fictional drug lord and human trafficker in her book. It certainly adds to the allure of the book and story. Almost everyone in Southern California and Baja has heard of ‘El Teo’ and are aware of his sordid history.
It is important to note the “Tio” described by Moon in this riveting book, and the one that 15-year-old Maria Elena would unwittingly find herself ensnared with, as the author states: “Tio loved to plot. He was good at it. He plotted the next exodus, as he called it, taking about thirty-five desperate souls by boat to a new life. Most of them wanted to go to Miami or Los Angeles, others to Amsterdam, Hamburg, or London. Tio had connections to cruise ships docking on the US West Coast as well as in Rotterdam, the largest harbor in the Netherlands; Hamburg, Germany; and of course London, England. He was planning four new loads for the remainder of the year, one to each destination, which meant he had to line up a total of 130 people, get them new passports, new identities, have a meeting with each group to prepare them for the new culture, and make promises about lucrative jobs and better lives.” Mind you, two naïve 15-year-old girls, Maria Elena and Lolita, find themselves involved with an unscrupulous character like this!
Five Wishes is full of intrigue, with many twists and turns, worthy of a Hollywood movie. I can actually see noted actor Benicio Del Toro in a starring role in the movie, with Selma Hayak as Maria Elena. Watch out for the movie!
Moon really has a way with words and expressing herself, making the reader feel as if they are actually there in the room or outside in an area being described. That is a technique that bodes well for the author in her future literary pursuits. Some of what she says, and how she says it, seems poetic. She is a master storyteller.
The danger and riskiness, along with the sordid nature of what is described in this story is exemplified in a particular passage, which states: “Angel, these kinds of people are dangerous. That’s human trafficking. These are criminals. They have no respect for human life. You should not get involved with them. You cannot trust them.” Maria Elena’s early desires and aspirations from a little girl, to make something worthwhile of her life, would lead her in this direction. Desperate lives sometimes requires desperate measures!
Maria Elena’s childhood experiences and relationship with her father goes a long way into explaining the desperation in her motives and desires for her life. Moon conveys a deep psychological message in her story – that the reader has to read closely and between the lines. A case in point, is when Elena tells her mother early on that; “Sometimes Pa scares me.” There is something Freudian about that, especially in the context that the author describes it.
Maria Elena’s youthful exuberance and her defiance of her mother’s expectations, would result in her being thrown out in the street with no place to stay, ultimately leading to a pivotal night in her life. That pivotal night coming all at once, would occur when she would be sleeping out on the street and discover the murder of her childhood friend Josefina, and later that same night she would be forcibly tied up and raped.
This is a heartrending story in so many ways, that I found myself feeling such profound sympathy and empathy for Maria Elena, and all because she wanted something better for herself in life.
There is a surprising and poignant ending to this insightful and well-written story that puts the focus on human trafficking in such a way for readers to take the issue more seriously – a book that I highly recommend.
Dennis Moore has been the Associate Editor for the East County Magazine in San Diego and the book review editor for SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine, as well as a freelance contributor to EURweb based out of Los Angeles. Mr. Moore can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.