My Antonia (Great Plains trilogy #3) - Willa Cather, Alyssa Harad Perhaps an example of the danger of reading something before being intellectually or critically able to handle it. I wasn't "forced" to read this in high school but it was on a list of books an English teacher asked us to choose from and report on.

The experience was so awful that I've never cracked another Cather novel since.

Added 12/29/08: Apparently I was not the only young man "traumatized" by an early experience with Cather. In a completely serendipitous convergence I came across this paragraph in Michael Dirda's [book:Classics for Pleasure] in the Willa Cather essay:

Willa Cather hated to see her fiction anthologized or used as a school text. She feared that instead of discovering her stories and novels on their own, children would grow up with unpleasant memories of being forced to read her work. Unfortunately, this has happened. My Antonia is a staple of high-school English classes, but seldom a favorite with students, especially teenage boys. (p. 254)