SYNOPSIS: When astronaut Mark Watney ends up being stranded on Mars, he must learn to survive in the barren and dusty landscape while NASA races against time to get him home.
Wowie this is a great book! If you like science fiction, read it. If you like space, read it. If you want to read more science fiction/enter the realm of science fiction, read it. One of the many fantastic things about this book is that although there is a lot of use of math and science, Mark Watney is such an entertaining narrator that the complex formulas are made easy to understand. I also loved that the book didn’t just stay at Watney’s point of view, we saw how NASA was trying to fix the problem, how his crew were handling things, and the little outside details that let us know that something terrible is about to happen. Another incredible thing is that no matter how many times Mark Watney is put into a near death situation, I still got nervous that he wouldn’t make it and then relieved when he ended up surviving. There is a wonderful balance of science, humor, life, and death. I especially enjoyed learning about the crew secondhand. It is a long time before we are actually introduced to the crew through a point of view, so we learn everything about them through the stuff that they left behind on Mars and through Watney’s memories of them. It really helped to paint a vivid picture of them so that by the time they do get introduced in real time we really truly care about them and feel like we know them as well as we know Watney. Also there are so many wonderful jokes in this book (my personal favorite is the classic “I wonder what he must be thinking.” paired with the stupid thought of the person who is supposed to be contemplating life and death)! All around this is a wonderful, thrilling, and entertaining read. I can’t wait to see if the movie lives up to the book!