Cosplay Girl, the review of Valentino Notari's novel

Cosplay Girl, the review of Valentino Notari's novel

Cosplay Girl

Cosplay Girl is Valentino Notari's debut novel, published by Mondadori, which explores the world of cosplay, giving us a realistic and very well constructed story. The author of the novel is a famous cosplayer of international fame, who has more than fifteen thousand followers on Instagram, an influencer who tells the general public, and therefore not only fans, crosses and delights of this practice that combines craftsmanship and interpretative skills.

The plot and characters of Cosplay Girl

Cosplay Girl follows the story of Alice, a young cosplayer who has been through a lot. Bullied for her unusual passion, that of making costumes and interpreting her favorite manga characters, Alice seeks her place in the world of this art, participating in competitions and trying to believe more and more in herself. Thanks to cosplay, Alice feels an integral part of a group, finally, and seems to have overcome all the problems that gripped her until the day she is again isolated from what she believed to be her friends. Thus, the problems with self-acceptance and self-harm come back to the surface and Notari manages to transfer them to paper in an irreproachable and understandable way even to non-adolescents who most of all suffer from this pain in living.

Just when all seems lost, Alice approaches Federica, also a cosplayer, but of the type that the protagonist of the novel has always criticized, for the few contents and for the very flashiness and sensual charge of her interpretations at the comic fairs. Friendship with this girl will allow Alice to mature and not lose sight of her personal path, enriching it with a look different from hers, sometimes too closed and strong-willed for her.

The two main characters of the novel are built by Notari very well, we have a very realistic characterization and we understand, page after page, how well the author knows the subject he is talking about and how he manages to translate it into words with naturalness. The situations that the characters experience from time to time are not artificial, on the contrary, they are plausible and contextualized. The peculiarities of the characters are those that, typically, we can find in the best teen dramas that we are used to seeing in the most successful TV series, or in the young adult novels that we often find in bookstores. This is certainly an element in favor of the story that manages to capture the reader, transporting him to a world unknown to most.

A coming-of-age story that becomes teaching

The story told in Cosplay Girl it is not just a simple story of love and self-discovery, it is much more, because it deals with very important issues for the formation of today's young people. It manages to shed light on many problems that teenagers have in common, one above all the bullying and consequent self-harm of which the protagonist is a victim. In addition to this, there is also talk of the discovery of one's own sexuality, with words that are never intrusive but that manage to strike for their simplicity and relevance, a still burning issue when compared to a literature that can also be enjoyed by children.

Notari's novel, then, is the link between the purely social (but also practical) analysis of the world of the cosplayer, where the methods of competitions and the difficulties of handcrafting functional and usable clothes are illustrated, and the inner world of the protagonists. Often, when we happen to browse social media on the pages of the most famous cosplay we do not directly understand the effort and will of these artists who, to follow their great passion, make great sacrifices, also encountering many disappointments, both in the professional field, both in the human one. The novel also explains this complicated relationship and does it in a really simple way, opening the doors of understanding even to those unfamiliar with the field.

For this reason, Cosplay Girl, in addition to being a coming-of-age novel, teaches the approach to this world and shows the difficulties inherent in it, preparing enthusiasts for the hard sacrifices they will have to endure to achieve their goals. It is a lucid gaze that only a profound connoisseur of the environment can transpose into words that become precious gestures and examples for those who want to undertake this path, moved by love and passion for this art.

Furthermore, the story Alice teaches a lot about the pop culture behind the passion for cosplay. We live with her protagonist every new discovery of her and we know characters drawn from the culture of manga and anime that, perhaps, we did not know. The reader's curiosity is also activated in the search for information both on the practices of making costumes, and on all the contents and references to those symbols of pop culture, one above all Sailor Moon whose typical hairstyle also dominates the cover of the book.


Cosplay Girl tells the world of cosplay in a simple but at the same time profound way. It shows the funniest sides and the enormous sacrifices that the protagonist, Alice, must make to pursue her passion. It is a training and teaching novel because the story narrated manages to give the reader a very pertinent look both at the job of the cosplayer and on the psychological problems that many young people can have as a consequence of bullying, often linked to the lack of understanding of their passions. br>
The structure, the writing and the language of the novel are very smooth and captivating and encourage the reader to continue reading relentlessly, managing to involve, in our opinion, a transversal audience, from the youngest to the thirty-year-olds to whom like the world of pop culture, of which cosplay are the undisputed protagonists.

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