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Reviewed by Christine Nguyen for Readers' Favorite
But She Looks Fine: From Illness to Activism is an inspirational autobiography of a young girl’s struggle to find the answer to what was making her feel so ill from second grade. Her chronic illness made Olivia Goodreau stand apart from her normal classmates because she always felt so sick. Her parents took her to numerous doctors with no solution as her physical symptoms worsened. Finally, Olivia was diagnosed with Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that is on the increase all across America. Doctors find it hard to diagnose because the physical symptoms that patients report differ so widely. Goodreau chronicles not only her physical and mental challenges but also shares with us her strength and determination in her advocacy work for Lyme disease.
In But She Looks Fine, Olivia Goodreau relates her experiences addressing large groups because she wanted to share her story with people who can make a difference in finding the cure for Lyme disease. I especially liked the way that she writes an open, heartfelt letter every few chapters to people such as her parents, doctors, classmates, politicians, scientists, and researchers to highlight to each how they can be more compassionate and more understanding toward someone with this disease. From helping to develop a nationwide application that identifies ticks to setting up her foundation called LivLyme, helping families get the funds they need for treatment, Goodreau is a force to be reckoned with. She is truly a hero for the advocacy work she has done to raise awareness about Lyme disease and her brave story only illustrates to the reader that anything is possible at any age.