Both Matt and Vincent had been picked on a lot, they where told you can't do this. An example of this is, Matt was told you’re ugly, you're an animal, just because he was a clone. But if you think about it there is no difference between a human and a clone, other than you were born differently. If you were to look at a clone and a human side by side you can't tell which one is which because there is NO difference.
Vincent was told he couldn't do a lot of things because of one flaw he had. He had a heart problem and people kept saying he was limited in what he could do. Vincent thought it became worse when he got a younger brother, Anton. Vincent didn’t like his brother because Anton was always better than him. People would always compare him to his brother and think “wow Anton is really good.” Vincent got tired of that. One day when he and his brother went for a swim, he ended up having to carry Anton back to shore. That day, Vincent left the house because he knew then and there he could do anything, even with his heart problem. He ended up working many jobs and the last job he worked he got to go in a rocket ship and went on a year round trip to Titan.
Matt's story was similar in that he ended up leaving home but not by choice. He was being hunted by the farm patrol and all the bodyguards because everyone wanted him dead. He escaped Opium and managed to cross the border to Aztlan. By the end of the book, Matt was the leader of Opium. In order for him to get there, he had a lot of ups and downs. But he had help from a couple of his close friends.
They also had life-changing experiences. Matt started his life in a tiny house in the middle of poppy fields. At 6 years old, he was taken to a prison for 6 months. He started with a bed, was moved to the floor, and ended up sleeping on chicken litter. He then moved on to living in the Big house with Celia and El Patron, then in a shrimp factory (he still smells like shrimp). Sadly by the end of the book, it didn't include where he was living. Vincent right now is living in a rocket ship for a year round trip.
So it seems like, between the movie and the novel both protagonists had similar stories of struggle: they were told they could not achieve many things but they proved those people wrong, overcame a lot of difficulties and both main characters had a successful ending.