It isn’t a good choice for me, though. I have so far disliked almost every book about privileged males’ schooldays, especially when the boys think they are sophisticated (the exception being the beginning of Brideshead Revisited). The nostalgic tone they frequently take about boys behaving badly is especially grating. I don’t think This Side of Paradise is supposed to be nostalgic, but it is definitely smug.
The main character, Amory Blaine, is described as an egoist. He spends most of his time putting people into snobby little categories and working the system to be successful in school. Successful, of course, means socially, not intellectually.
It’s not too much of a stretch to think that Amory is Fitzgerald himself, only richer and with a childhood spent in Europe.
I would like to think that Amory evolves in the book, but my understanding is he doesn’t, much. I stuck it out for nearly half the book but didn’t find anything in it to interest me, so I stopped.