This Side of Paradise is a novel about the lives and moral choices of young people after World War One is over. It's the debut book by F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of the greatest American writers to date, and examines the themes of love, hate, greed and searching for one's true calling. Amory Blaine is the main character of the novel, a good-looking student who really loves literature and dabbles in it. He's young, attractive, and believes that he's got an amazing future ahead of himself. He leaves his mother to move to Princeton and focus on his dreams. One day, when he returns to Minneapolis, his hometown, he meets Isabelle Borgé, a beautiful young girl whom he knew growing up and they fall in love. However, their relationship breaks up pretty soon and Amory is sent to serve his country in WW1. By the way, Fitzgerald himself served in the American army.
After the war ends, the main character falls in love with another girl - Rosalind. But, due to the fact that he's practically broke - he never had the time to find a job when he got back from the war - this new relationship also collapses as the girl decides to marry a rich fella. Soon he learns that his mentor passed away and that fact crushes him ever further.
The critics really loved Fitzgerald's debut novel and praised it for being honest, fresh, and, most importantly, educational for the young men, describing their way of life, dreams, and nightmares in the most intriguing and overwhelming fashion. This Side of Paradise is a defining novel for the 20th century and is still considered to be one of Fitzgerald's best books.