The Martian tells the story of a botanist and astronaut Mark Watney, who is mistakenly abandoned alone on Mars by his crew mates during an emergency evacuation triggered by a massive storm on the surface of the planet.
The book is written in the first person, with Mark recounting his daily efforts to survive via a series of diary entries, measured in Martian "sols".
The story is very accessible due to the likable and funny central character, while also managing to cover hard science such as botany, astronomy, navigation, and life support systems in some detail.
The build up to the climax of the book is genuinely exciting and beautifully written, and will keep you gripped until the very end. Mark is a hero a reader can easily become invested in.
The Martian is one of the best books I have read in years, thoroughly recommended.