If you don't care about the character, it doesn't matter if she's being treated unfairly, or if he's on the brink of an earth-shattering discovery. The reader needs to feel a connection. That's what makes character development so important. Your character needs to feel real, but be extraordinary. That's not to say your character has to be likable. Repulsive characters are, arguably, the characters readers care about the most.
So how do you hit upon the right character? I won't lie - some of it is luck. But the rest is laying the groundwork before you write. A simple Internet search will come up with a variety of worksheets you can use to create a round characters. I know your fingers are itching to hit the keyboard and get your character into action, but the more background you identify, the better character you'll create. So spend a little time making a backstory for your character: where did he go to school, what does she do on a Saturday when no one else is around, what's his favorite vegetable, what did she want to be when she was five? All these little bits of information will help you create a character people really care about.
Warning: don't confuse this writer's tool with material that should appear your book. There's nothing more boring to a reader than paragraphs about the character's background. The reader doesn't want to know that your character brought a tuna sandwich to school for lunch every day in fifth grade. But your knowledge of that fact could help you create a character who runs the electric can opener in the middle of the night when she can't sleep.
Once you have a solid character, you'll be ready for just about anything your story throws at you.