I look back on this book with fondness, ok so it's been 20 years since I read it but it's always stayed with me (not many books from my teenage years have done that, think the only other one is Misery).
Yes, it was rather graphic (for a YA book). It first introduced me to the idea that men name their appendages. But this is a book about first love and first loss. First loss not just in the sense of boyfriend/girfriend - but loosing a close family member, something that really struck a chord with me at the time.