I bought this book because I saw so many good reviews of it and then when the trailer came out I decided I had to read it before I saw the movie, I was definitely not disappointed by all the hype.
This book is told mainly through journal entries from Mark, but it also has chapters that focuses on the people back at the NASA base, or wherever the relevant people are in each situation. The chapters from outside perspectives start once they realize that he is still alive which I thought was pretty cool, but it does take a good third or so of the book for the outside perspectives to start and it got kind of boring as Mark went on alone for so long which was really the only problem I had with this book. There is a lot of science in this book, which didn't bother me or was hard to understand in any way but I'm not sure if that's just because I was studying science at the time or because the author made it really engaging as part of the story and easy to understand in the context, I'm pretty sure it was the latter though. My favourite character in this was obviously Mark, his humour made the story compelling and easy to continue reading and everyone else was kind of just part of a huge ensemble that worked well together and made for a nice change from the stress that was Mark's everyday life. I would recommend this to anyone that enjoyed the movie, or to any sci-fi fans.
Mark Watney is left on Mars by his crew when they think he dies in a storm that caused them to evacuate the planet. He is in fact still alive and has to manage to stay alive until the next Mars mission arrives in approximately 4 years. He manages to grow potatoes and contact NASA who want to keep him alive until the next Mars mission picks him up, but in order to do that they have to send a supplies probe by a certain date which ends up failing. Mark's original crew ends up having to turn around and pick Mark up off of Mars which they manage to do after he'd been stuck 549 sols.