I was left wanting more from New People. It feels like it reaches high and often misses the mark. It's a book ostensibly about race, and especially focused on "new people" or those of us who don't fit neatly into one category of race, an ever-growing number of Americans. Within the book is an eponymous reality TV show focused on Maria, her fiancé Khalil and other new people. Based on the blurb, I should have loved this book.
What we have is mostly the story of Maria, a PhD student doing a dissertation on the Music of Jonestown (the massacre Jonestown.) She is the only character I got any real feel for, and it's her head we stay within through the novel. I found a lot of her quips about being black and looking white funny, but that may only be because I can relate. I have no idea if anyone else would find them amusing. She does make a big statement about being assumed to be one race by literally everyone and how troubling this can sometimes be.
Other than that, the story never really happens. Yes, Maria becomes obsessed with and almost a stalker to a poet, she may or may not decide to finish her dissertation, they run into Khalil's sister and get tossed around by the producer of the reality show, she and Khalil have trouble (at least in her mind,) but there's no story here. It's a long internal dialogue. That may have been fine if that's what I thought I was getting, but even that needed to go somewhere more than this did.
It wasn't horrible or even bad. It just felt very underwhelming overall. If I had to write you a plot, I don't know if I could. I have no idea what actually happened at the end. I read it, but there are so many loose threads that very little actually got resolved.