Updated: Oct 23, 2021
Book Description: Foreclosures are hitting record highs; unemployment is skyrocketing, and the economy is in shambles. Equally broke and futureless, 28–year–old James Brooke, a graduate architect, coffee-addict, and self–described average nobody has returned to his small hometown in West Ohio. Torn between his fanciful dreams and the need to pay off bills, he struggles to find his own identity while facing a harder–than–ever reality. But living under his father’s rooftop while keeping his head in the clouds soon turns out to be a bad combination, and the mounting student debt forces him to settle for any job he can find. That’s when he stumbles across a new coffee shop, a wayward girl with a talent for storytelling, and his own unresolved past. This unexpected set of things could help him figure out what his place in the world is—if that place even exists. Paper Castles is a story about the search for meaning in times when everything seems meaningless.
Review: I should start off by saying this is not my typical go-to genre, but I wanted to expand my reading horizons. Personally, I HATED ‘Catcher in the Rye’ when it was mandatory reading in high school. ‘Paper Castles’ has some similar themes (coming-of-age, loneliness, disillusionment) but with one key difference: characters worth caring about.
I wanted James to succeed. I wanted him to have that chance to be happy.
The writing itself was poignant and beautifully descriptive—just enough to paint a picture without being tedious. And the epilogue gave just enough for me to leave me with a hopeful note. All in all, a wonderful read.
Buy it on Amazon Here
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