“It Ends with Us” First Reactions: Blake Lively Movie Brings 'All the Feelings' — 'I Was a Crying Mess'

Blake Lively and author Colleen Hoover showcased an unfinished version of the film to fans at Book Bonanza 2024 in Texas

<p>Nicole Rivelli</p> Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni in "It Ends with Us"

Nicole Rivelli

Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni in "It Ends with Us"

Early reactions to Blake Lively's It Ends with Us movie are praising the film as an emotional, faithful adaptation of the hit novel.

The actress, 36, attended a surprise screening showcasing an unfinished version of the film at Book Bonanza in Grapevine, Texas, on Saturday, June 15.

Author Colleen Hoover, plus cast members Brandon Sklenar (who plays Atlas) and Isabela Ferrer (who plays young Lily) also appeared at the first-ever screening of the movie, which is in theaters Aug. 9.

Attendees shared their initial reactions on social media afterwards. One fan wrote on Instagram, "I don’t ever go in with high expectations for book to movie adaptations but this one just hits in such an amazing way. I knew what was going to happen but I still went through all the feelings. @blakelively you seriously brought Lily to life."

Another wrote that it is "safe to say yall are going to love this movie!!!!" They added, "All the quotes you are hoping for are delivered so well and the acting is out of this world. couldn’t see anyone else playing these characters!!! As you can tell by the second photo, I was a crying mess...."

One attendee wrote, "I cried. I laughed. It was such an amazing movie and wonderful book adaptation!" And another said, "I cannot wait to see it again."

Related: Blake Lively 'Exceeded All My Expectations' in It Ends with Us, Raves Author Colleen Hoover (Exclusive)

<p>Eric Charbonneau/Getty</p> Colleen Hoover, Brandon Sklenar and Blake Lively at Book Bonanza on June 14, 2024

Eric Charbonneau/Getty

Colleen Hoover, Brandon Sklenar and Blake Lively at Book Bonanza on June 14, 2024

"They gave us tissue packs KNOWING we would need them," wrote one moviegoer on Instagram, adding, "This film is INCREDIBLE!!! The acting. The emotion. Certain challenging scenes performed and edited SO tastefully. It’s so powerful and I firmly believe that it will change and save women’s lives."

Another fan wrote, "guys, they did the book such justice!! I can't wait for everyone to see it."

Lizz Schumer, PEOPLE's Senior Books Editor, attended a screening of the film at Book Bonanza. One woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told Schumer after the film, "When you see something that’s as important to you as this is turned into a movie, you want it to be good. And it exceeded my expectations."

She added, "I loved the really close-ups that showed their emotion. It made it really resonate. It was one book-to-movie adaptation that was almost perfect."

Schumer says of her own experience seeing the film, "As someone who has experienced intimate partner violence, I was really nervous to see It Ends With Us. I've read the book, of course, and talked to a lot of people about how it was handled on the page, but seeing it onscreen, especially in a crowded theater, is a completely different experience to reading it in private."

"When the 'casserole scene' happened, it took my breath away. And I wasn't the only one: There were audible gasps throughout the theater," she adds. "But as the film went on, I was relieved at how sensitively it was handled."

"I thought the portrayal of everything Lily goes through, the way the other characters react to it, was all spot-on. By the time the lights came up, there wasn't a dry eye in the house."

Related: Blake Lively Explains Friend Taylor Swift's Connection to Her New Movie It Ends with Us

<p>Jojo Whilden</p> Blake Lively and Brandon Sklenar in "It Ends with Us"

Jojo Whilden

Blake Lively and Brandon Sklenar in "It Ends with Us"

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Lively stars as Lily Bloom in It Ends with Us, an adaptation of Hoover's 2016 book that went so viral on TikTok that it inspired a bestselling sequel in 2022. It's directed by Justin Baldoni, who also stars as Ryle Kincaid.

"Lily resonated with an enormous amount of people, as the success of the book made clear," Lively previously told PEOPLE. "Stepping into a character who’s had such a meaningful impact is an honor to take on."

"I loved Lily," she added. "And I hope that love is felt by those who care about her like I do, and also those who are getting to know her for the first time in this film.”

It Ends with Us is in theaters Aug. 9.

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