'Water for Elephants' Author Ripped for Being a Hatchimal Hoarder - and Selling Them for $189 Each

Sara Gruen claims she is raising money to help a man in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

A best-selling author has been getting some terrible reviews, not for something she wrote, but for buying up the hottest toy of the holiday season and re-selling at a sky-high price. 

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Sara Gruen, who wrote Water for Elephants, said she has spent more than $23,000 buying 156 Hatchimals, which retail for about $60 each.

Gruen, says she paid, on average, $150 for the toy, then began selling the Hatchimals online at a whopping $189 a pop, but says she's doing it for a good cause — raising money to help a man she believes is behind bars for a crime he did not commit.

“I had no idea the emotions would run so high, I had no idea people were so desperate to get these for their children,” she told the Today show Monday. “I just thought I could raise [money] for something.”

But Gruen is now taking heat from some people who are accusing her of Hatchimal hoarding.

"I have a friend with a special needs child and all he wanted was a Hatchimal, but they're sold out. People like @saragruen make me sick,'" says one.

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Another person wrote: "What about all the parents that wanted to get one, but can't afford to be ripped off by people like you? What about their kids?"

Some are defending the author, saying, “she is free to buy and sell anything she wants with her own money!"

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