I saw the movie (twice) long before I even bought the book and read it. But I’m so glad I did read it. And I have to say, is one of the most well adapted book to the big screen – because the differences are very little.
The first thing one notices that its very different is Katniss stature. Sure, she’s not as lean as some of the other because she hunts and is well fed, but she’s hardly that tall. But Jennifer Lawrence plays her wonderfully, so, who cares?
Only reading the book do you understand Katniss resentment towards her mother and the events that followed her dad’s death.
The careers are all bigger and stronger than Katniss, while in the movie the girls are kind of weak looking.
The games go by very quickly in the movie, while in the book everything happens at slower pace. For instance, Katniss and Peeta spend several days in the cave.
From the moment they are together, you never once doubt Peeta’s feelings towards Katniss, he even explains that he’s in love with her since they were 5. All the kissing and stuff is constant in the book, while in the movie it rarely happens.
While in the film you get the idea that Katniss motivations are always to stay alive, in the book she actually ponders if she has feelings for Peeta, realizing that she’s noticed him throughout all her life and that she truly is afraid of losing him, even saying that if he died, she wouldn’t really “return” home.
All the wound are far more severe in the book, Peeta almost dies twice, and has his leg amputated due to an injury in the Cornucopia.
The deaths are much quicker in the movie. In the book, Cato survives his attack by the mutts and he’s on his deathbed for the hole night, until Katniss kills him out of pity in the morning.
After the Games are finished, aware of the situation, Katniss keeps on with the lovey-dovey routine, and on their way home she let’s Peeta know about the situation, this is when he realized that she’s not in love with him. However, her concern was genuine and she admits to herself that she doesn’t want to lose him.