Irony in Differences

Both Luna by Julie Anne Peters and Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan are young adult novels that distinguish themselves by their language and structure.  Young adult novels are typically driven by plot lines and messages, not by linguistics.  Each novel follows this young adult theme entirely, by having characters whose main point is to find their identity while facing challenges and obstacles.

Another genre that follows these ideals is the coming out story, which both of these novels are as well.  Coming out stories have paralleling concepts, however, typically these struggles involve sexuality or gender identity and the coping mechanisms that characters use. Luna by Julie Anne Peters follows these ideals with a main character, Reagan, who is an adolescent trying to understand her own identity, while at the same time struggling to understand her transgender brother.  The main character is facing challenges that many people face, attempting to define herself through high school, however she also endeavors to protect and comprehend what her sibling is going through. While Luna captures the coming out narrative structure, Boy Meets Boy strays from the ‘common’ construction of these stories.  The main character, Paul, has already uncovered his identity, and he lives in a community that is overwhelmingly accepting and understanding.  While some of Paul’s peers are still attempting to understand their identity, we do not see these challenges as in depth because they are not happening with the main character.  This creates a utopian experience within the book, which is not relatable.

It is interesting to talk about how Boy Meets Boy is different than typical coming out stories because it does not fit common themes we see throughout the genre; however, the entire genre is about people breaking societal norms to find their own identities. There is a lot of irony in this analysis because if each story is valid in its own truth, then why do we think some coming out stories are ‘abnormal’ because they don’t fit a certain structure?

2 thoughts on “Irony in Differences”

  1. It is interesting you brought up Reagan’s self identity story as well. I think a lot of people, including myself, focus on Luna’s story throughout the novel. However, we see Reagan also discover who she is and mature in the novel. Reagan and Luna both help each other discover themselves which highlights the sibling bonds in the novel.

  2. I really liked the point you made in the last paragraph of your post. It is really interesting that in a genre that specifically is about breaking societal norms to find there true identity that we are shocked when a narrative about that breaks the typical plot that these “coming out” stories tend to follow. I think that it speaks to our tendencies as a society to ascribe rules to everything, even to how we should break the rules. It is even hard for me to fully wrap my head around this concept; I think it would be really interesting for you to explore this idea in a further blog post.

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