January 14, 2011 at 06:05 PM EST

Image Credit: Sylvain Gaboury/PR Photos; Allen Berezovsky/PR PhotosAfter tackling hot-button subjects like school violence and the death penalty in her back-to-back-to-back best-sellers, author Jodi Picoult (My Sister’s Keeper) has taken to Twitter to confront what may be her hairiest — or, at least, her big-hairiest  — topic yet: Snooki. In a series of tweets this week, Picoult ripped into the hard-partying star of MTV’s Jersey Shore for recently publishing her debut novel, A Shore Thing. “There are SO many good writers struggling to get 1st publishing contract,” Picoult wrote yesterday. “Breaks my heart to see Snooki’s book taking up space in a store.”

The author seems particularly irked by all the attention lavished on Snooki (née Nicole Polizzi) by mainstream media outlets who routinely ignore more gifted writers. “The bk [sic] hasn’t been a commercial success,” she tweeted in reply to a follower’s comment. “So what’s the rationale of Today Show for having her on, but not Caldecott folks?”

Picoult certainly has a point about the lack of media hype around accomplished authors. But a few of her low-blow posts (e.g., comparing a potential book by Snooki’s castmate J-Wow to the end of the world) come off as just plain mean, especially since celebrity novels are hardly a new phenomenon. Plus, there’s a touch of irony in watching Picoult try to incite a little public outrage by stirring the pot and pressing buttons — moves straight out of the Snooki handbook.

Whose side are you on, Shelf Lifers? Is Picoult right that Snooki deserves a little flack for publishing a novel? Or is she making a mountain of a tan, perma-drunk molehill? Should these two gals just settle it with a Shore-style battle dance?

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