I'm not revealing anything or plot busting here... As usual, I'll be including 'too much' of myself in my writing, and for that I have no remorse.For someone like myself, coming across an 'in the news' novel titled "How Should A Person Be?" is like looking in the mirror and seeing someone look back. A double take, like the monkey in the zoo, yes it has consciousness. I don't care much about what people are saying about the creative non-fiction aspects or the smatterings of references to self help novel. Self help is self hell, get an analyst for fack sakes. So Heti's novel immediately embraced me. I got through the first chapter okay - setups always kill me, then in the beginning of the second she hit me in all the places I half-hoped she would. I don't know why or how I expect something from a book or an author, but I expected her to get inside me. Her words and language, bits of her -- I caught glimpses and smatterings of reviews and even nuances of herself from her Twitter etc. I didn't want to know more. I don't read reviews before I read a novel, and hardly ever even bother checking them out afterward. By the end of the second chapter I had two pages of notes. Yes, she was delivering. What? First of all, something that nobody touches on but is everywhere: collective, phantom melancholy. I've been writing about this for ages, and now it is in the mainstream. Finally. Thank you. I knew Sheila would come through.Here's the phantom melancholy goods:Sheila and her fiancé giddily eavesdrop, crouching behind some 'false' rocks. I love that. Sheila says: "I saw and heard the lovely bride grow choked up with emotion as she repeated the words for richer or for poorer." Sheila feels vain, stupid, materialistic to get choked up on it--but they both admit they didn't know the bride's financial history. Here it shows their innocence in taking on the experience and later Sheila relives the borrowed melancholy in her own wedding and resents the fact that every time she thinks of her wedding vows she remembers the falseness of the memory, and it tainted her actual memory of her wedding. This brings the very idea of borrowed melancholy to a new level in fiction. Sheila is regurgitating it, remembering it over and over and it drives her mad that it ruins her own memory. It's soemthing that people barely admit to themselves. We want all our memories to be OURS to have our personal individual stamp on them. But as Sheila laments: "I felt ever uncertain, thinking back upon it, about whether my marriage could truly be called mine." Sheila is like the new existentialist, she recognizes the borrowed emotions she is experiencing, whereas what she ought to have done according to 'grown ups', was brush the whole thing aside and own her own experience. But this isn't how we are. Heti is helping to break that false sense people always pretended to have of themselves in the past. She's showing the weak, frail, nature of our perceptions, our existence. And it's all in the mind of a sweet girl named Sheila. Of course, in this world it is nonsense to believe that we are capable any more of having true, individual feelings. But I'm going way beyond what Heti intended I'm sure. Nonetheless, it is hinted at there, and it was the gateway to me wanting to finish the novel.I could write on longer about Heti's novel. I must say that I loved Sheila in the novel, that she was so questioning of herself in such an innocent and open way, yet she was an intelligent girl 'on the scene'. This seems new to me too. Usually people are trying so hard to come off as sophisticated that they don't reveal any truth in characters. Sheila was so real to me I could have leaned over and taken a drag off her cigarette. I forget if she smoked, but she should, just for a while at least.And all the reviews about the format in her book, the interweaving of the play etc etc., yes, oh wonderful intelligentsia, we all see that Heti is doing something different and succeeding at getting noticed thank baby jesus. I'm not sure about that Time 100 thing, is that for real? What is this Nobel Prize in a gumball machine week? I hope she wins anyway.I voted for her:http://time100.time.com/2013/03/28/time-100-poll/slide/sheila-heti/I have pages and pages of scrawl that I made while reading this and some notes on an interview I read, yes, while I was reading the book. Only because I was following Heti's page on FB and happened to see her link to it. I mean, even going to FB is a queer thing for me to do these days. The interview was okay, but at the end when Sheila Heti proclaimed brazen and beautiful, "I just find a lot of fiction boring. I have all my life." I could have kissed the screen. It was a really pretty shot of her in the article too. http://numerocinqmagazine.com/2013/04/02/how-should-a-writer-be-interview-with-sheila-heti-jill-margo/Oh, also, one of the things I did was read a part of her book while watching Cinderella, a Korean horror flick, the two of them together.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-B-e3ljFNY btw: Korean horror and I are practically engaged.The book kept pressing things like Dunham's 'Girls', unwanted stamps on the back of my mind while I was reading, and also, Sarah Polley's, "Take This Waltz" with Michelle Williams. Michelle's character, Margot, kept trying to interface with Sheila in the book. I thought she'd walk right into a few of the scenes and take over. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1592281/Okay, I'm stopping.