It's realistic fiction, which I have often had some struggles with and this one in particular had some explicit mentions of sex (which always makes me uncomfortable). I was anxious for another reason... my son is gay, so I think I transferred my own motherly concern on to the protagonist and I was unnecessarily worried, perhaps. I say perhaps because I'm pretty sure I would have been anxious anyway because of the incredibly stupid and dangerous things this character did with sexual partners. But then, this novel was all about him finding himself and understanding his needs in a relationship with another person, so I guess he had to find out the hard way (which is where the graphic quality of his sexual encounters aids in showing us, the readers, how he got there). I was cheering by the end of the book (and very relieved!).
I will also use the 'V' word ( I love it when an opportunity comes along for me to use it!) because in this debut novel by Garth Greenwell, both protagonist and author share some similarities, being both American, educators and having worked in Bulgaria. It does add that extra something... verisimilitude!
Coming up next: A Country Road, A Tree by Jo Baker.