Now I'm facing the same question. I've never read If I Stay. My mom read it and she loved it. But I've just never gotten to it, partly because I just don't read very much contemp, and partly because it's already been reviewed.
So, what's better? Reading the book first, then watching the movie? Or watching the movie first, then reading the book?
In my experience, if I read the book first, I'm incredibly disappointed in the movie. The first movie I ever saw where I read the book first was Harry Potter, Order of the Phoenix. And let me tell you, I WAS PISSED!! That director???
I liked the first four movies, but I hadn't read those books first, and I think that made all the difference. Plus, it helped me so much to visualize the characters and Hogwarts, and Diagon Alley, and the Hogwarts Express, Dumbledore, and, and....sorry....I just got lost in a Harry Potter stupor. That happens to me often.
Anyway! Pretty much all the movies I've seen where I've read the book first, HP 5-7.5, The Hunger Games, The Firm (whoa, old school!), The Host, Beautiful Creatures, City of Bones, Percy Jackson, Divergent, etc. I've ended up disappointed (some more than others). TWILIGHT!!
But the movies that I've watched before reading the book, I've ended up liking the movie. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter 1-4, Vampire Academy, The Book Thief, Warm Bodies, Perks of Being a Wallflower. And then often I still read the book and still love it. Actually, I liked the Lord of the Rings movies better than the books. They were very.....long.
BUT HERE'S THE PROBLEM:
I'm afraid that there will be things I won't understand if I haven't read the book, or that the books will be spoiled if I see the movie first. Like, do the people that just watched Harry Potter actually have any idea what's going on? I know so many people who watched Twilight first and then the books were just ruined. Though...to be fair...I think the movie ruined the books even if you had read them first.
Maybe the key is to read the book first sometimes? Or maybe read the book first, but read it WAY before the movie comes out so I don't spend the whole time going THAT DID NOT HAPPEN LIKE THAT, HEY WHY DID YOU CUT THAT OUT, THAT WAS SO CHEESY, YOU RUINED MY BOOK!!!
Of the movies immediately coming out, I have read The Maze Runner and The Fault in Our Stars. Like I said earlier, I have not read If I Stay.
So what should I do? Should I read the book first? What do you do? Are you completely disappointed in the movies like I am? Are there any movies you've liked better than the book?
Thanks fellow book stressers!
I await your advice :D