While it is a widely known fact that the “book is often better,” in some cases the movie is such a win that you might be able to miss the book entirely and not really miss a beat. Hunger Games was almost there.
There are minor differences, like exactly how Katniss came along the Mockingjay pin and the monsters that attack at the end. There were glossed over plotlines, like Haymitch’s involvement and the work that went into the costuming. However the best minor differences came with the involvement of characters that were not Katniss.
The novel is told from Katniss’s point of view. This meant a lot of glossing in areas that Katniss was not there to see. While the movie did not detract terribly from the arena and show things she would not have been aware of, it gave an excellent view of the Seneca Crane and President Snow and the workings of the games. Instead of spending a lot of time explaining to Katniss and Peeta they just decided to show the audience the scenes, more powerful than words.
Which would I recommend? Either. If you do not want to miss a single beat, read the book. But if you want something visual, something that will guide you through some of the most beautiful scenes and give you a taste of what Panem is really like, the movie is for you. Both are A in grade.