Some days, 24 hours is too much to stay put in, so I take the day hour by hour, moment by moment. I break the task, the challenge, the fear into small, bite-size pieces. I can handle a piece of fear, depression, anger, pain, sadness, loneliness, illness. I actually put my hands up to my face, one next to each eye, like blinders on a horse.
I usually give a book 40 pages. If it doesn't grab me by then, adios. With young adult books, you can usually tell by Page 4 if it's worth the time. The author establishes the conflict early, sometimes in the first sentence. The themes of hope, family, friendship and overcoming hardship appeal to most everyone.