Like you I really liked the Martian by Andy
Weir. You talked about it being a good or great book I argue it was just a fun book. I have already watched The Martian film starring Matt Daemon. The movie was really interesting and funny and honestly now having read the book I feel it was a pretty faithful interpretation of the book. The book just goes into more detail and expands the story more I was totally prepared to find the book boring because I already knew what would happen but it was just as interesting and exciting as I expected. I liked how dark the book was in some parts. Like when the crew it talking about what they would do if they missed the resupply rocket. How they would kill themselves and just one would go on eating the rest of the crew to survive and rescue Mark Watney.
You are right the plot is a weak point. But not as bad as other books, I didn’t feel cheated by the Deus ex machina surprise Chinese rocket. What shocked me was that there was no epilog. “Yep, we’ve got Watney” The End. Nothing about the trip home or even what was going on a year later nothing.
Of course, because science Mark Watney would never have survived there are chemicals in soil that would make growing potatoes impossible.