The Empathy Academy

Fiction - Science Fiction
246 Pages
Reviewed on 12/21/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

DUSTIN GRINNELL is the author of The Genius Dilemma and Without Limits. His work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, New Scientist, Salon, VICE, and Writer’s Digest, among many other popular and literary publications. He earned his MFA in fiction from the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College, and his MS in physiology from Penn State. He grew up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and now lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Learn more at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ronél Steyn for Readers' Favorite

Montgomery Hughes scored a negative on Dr. Sonja Woodward's genetic test conducted at their school. His friend Joseph, however, scored a positive and happens to be the perfect candidate for Woodward Academy. According to the test he is predisposed to bad behavior. After graduating from school and discovering that his father has lied about the cure for cancer, Monty decides to buy Joseph’s results and attend Woodward Academy himself. He would like to go medical school after that, but with his father’s own unethical behavior, Monty has serious questions about his choices. Is he destined to be bad like his father? Will he be able to “cure” himself of the genes he inherited? In The Empathy Academy by Dustin Grinnell, we follow Monty in his search for goodness and discover an evil more sinister lurking in the Academy halls.

The Empathy Academy by Dustin Grinnell is filled with thought-provoking ideas. In the continual search for right and wrong, this book reveals the difficult grey areas that are the hardest to avoid. With relatable characters and a writing style that makes it easy to dive straight in, this book is a must-read. This story is definitely suited for younger readers who find themselves questioning life in general as well as their own path to follow. The more experienced readers who have an interest in science and philosophy will also find this book intriguing. There are quite a few solid ideas regarding sorting our feelings and emotions that I would try myself. I also found the entire storyline quite relevant to our current global situation regarding medicine intended to help us, which really harms us more.