1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $19.60

Buy for $19.60

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A Printz Honor Winner!

Ellie is tired of being fat-shamed and does something about it in this poignant debut novel-in-verse.

Ever since Ellie wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth-birthday party, she's been bullied about her weight. To cope, she tries to live by the Fat Girl Rules - like "no making waves", "avoid eating in public", and "don't move so fast that your body jiggles". And she's found her safe space - her swimming pool - where she feels weightless in a fat-obsessed world. In the water, she can stretch herself out like a starfish and take up all the room she wants. It's also where she can get away from her pushy mom, who thinks criticizing Ellie's weight will motivate her to diet. Fortunately, Ellie has allies in her dad, her therapist, and her new neighbor, Catalina, who loves Ellie for who she is. With this support buoying her, Ellie might finally be able to cast aside the Fat Girl Rules and starfish in real life - by unapologetically being her own fabulous self.

©2021 Lisa Fipps (P)2021 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

“In her debut novel, Starfish, Lisa Fipps confronts diet culture and fat phobia head-on.... This can make for difficult reading, but it never becomes unbearably bleak thanks to Ellie’s humor (there are some laugh-out-loud moments), as well as the power of her voice, which manages to convey many different feelings, often at once: sass and rage, innocence and cynicism, and, most of all, heartbreak. The book reads as if Ellie herself is writing these poems, which are accessible and engaging.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“Fipps bursts onto the middle-grade scene with her debut, a verse novel that shines because of Ellie’s keen and emotionally striking observations. As she draws readers in with her smart and succinct voice, Ellie navigates the difficult map of knowing she deserves better treatment while struggling with the conflict that's necessary to achieve it. Fipps hands her young narrator several difficult life lessons, including how to self-advocate, how not to internalization of the words of others, and what it means to defend yourself. Ellie's story will delight readers who long to see an impassioned young woman seize an unapologetic victory.” (Booklist, starred review) 

“Fipps’ verse is skillful and rooted in emotional reality. The text places readers in Ellie’s shoes, showing how she is attacked in many spaces - including by strangers on public transit - while clearly asserting that it’s other people who need to change.... Make room in your heart for this cathartic novel.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)  

What listeners say about Starfish

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    163
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    141
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    140
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfection!

Absolutely exactly the feelings and representation of what it is to be a fat kid. Thank you, Lisa, for so eloquently and yet understandably giving a realistic voice to us.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a FABULOUS book!

The story is fabulous, the narration is fabulous—I love this book!! Listen to it!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Listen to THIS! Especially as an audiobook!

The story and writing is heartbreakingly painful, but beautifully written in multiple, short, easily digestible vignettes. And the performance of Jenna Lamia is worthy of an award! She captures it all...youth, parenthood, accents, meangirl sarcasm, (you name it!) If you listen as you drive, be sure you come armed with tissues for this one! The message that we are all lovable and worthy of taking up space is one we all need to remind ourselves of sometimes. Perfect for middle school! BRAVO!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

...headline...

i loved it even tho it was a school project
.
.
.
.
.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

IMPORTANT MESSAGE!

Stumbled on this young adult book by accident looking for an adult book club selection. But wow, it should be required reading! Fat shaming & bullying is the last bastion of intolerance readily accepted by society. Lisa Fipps addresses the issue perfectly through Ellie’s agonizing story & delightful triumph. “Starfish” is well written & genuine.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Extraordinary book with eye opening truths.

Most memorable moment- When Ellie's mom has to bear the weight of her own words.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent read about bullying

This is a must for full figure girls who struggle to be accepted by our society who lacks empathy for obese individuals.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Close to home, and forever in my heart

I loved the audio book of Starfish. Ellie's story is somewhat similar to experiences of my own past, although her experiences are far worse in some respects. Nevertheless I felt like it hit very close to home for me, and now I am continuing to think about Ellie and how she overcomes such bullying, even from her own mom. I think this story being so highly relatable has made its way into my mind and heart and onto my all time favorites list. Lived it. Loved it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

There is no such thing....

as a perfect book about body positivity. Wait, what's this?
This is absolutely everything I could have ever wanted to hear as a child. EVERYTHING. I think I might have cried during the entire book. I'm very happy I got it on Audible; otherwise, I never would have been able to read it through the tears.
My mother bullied me relentlessly, not about weight but about being alive. I wish I could have confronted her like Ellie.
This book not only speaks to body positivity but also to racism, unhealthy family dynamics, bullying, and friendship.
"Does everybody make somebody feel like a nobody?"
That hit home. Do I look down on people who aren't like me? How could I hurt others the way I've been hurt? What gives me the right to pass my pain on to others? How could I continue the cycle?
This book gives the reader a lot to think about, and the narrator is absolutely perfect!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant book

Not sure there is a person alive that can’t benefit in some way from listening to this book. Either to grow in empathy or to hear the truth over the lies you’ve believed all your life about others or yourself.
It’s also perfect for kids, especially ones who can relate to the main character’s experiences. I plan to have this ready for our next family road trip.
The story offers roads to grace, kindness, forgiveness, courage, standing up for yourself and finding ways to be an emotionally healthier individual and family.
The narrator adds to the experience, so I’m happy I listened instead of reading this book myself.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tabitha Bird
  • Tabitha Bird
  • 07-14-21

Beautiful

I know this book was meant for middle grade kids but honestly I found it incredibly healing to read as an adult. You can have issues with food and weight no matter how much you weigh. I highly recommend this book. So beautifully written