Book Review: Nightmare on Hannah Street (Hannah Montana #7)
by Paul Schultz
Published: December 16, 2007
Nightmare on Hannah Street is the seventh entry in the junior novel series based on the hit Disney Channel series Hannah Montana, starring Miley Cyrus as an average teenage school girl by day, and titular pop star at night (when does she have time for homework?) Rather than an original story, the book adapts two episodes from the show's first season, marginally tied in thematically by frightening visits from relatives.
Part One is based on the episode,
"Torn Between Two Hannahs," (Story by Valerie Ahern & Christian McLaughlin, Teleplay by Todd J. Greenwald). Miley Stewart is informed by her father Robbie that her not-so-favorite cousin Luann is coming to visit. "When does her broomstick land?" is her immediate response. Robbie encourages his daughter to let Luann prove that her evil past is behind her.
In from Tennessee arrives Luann, looking a lot like Miley in appearance, and plying family and friends with home-baked cookies. Everyone seems duly impressed, but Miley is not so easily convinced. She tries to warn her friend Lily, played on the show by Haley Joel Osment's younger sister Emily, with dialogue giving a nod to the elder brother's hit film "The Sixth Sense":
Miley's worst fears come true, however, as Luann proceeds to tie her up in her vast wardrobe closet, and plans to reveal her secret identity at a Halloween (er... Hannahween) party with a certain famous pop star as its theme. In the meantime, her father and brother Jackson are hard at work competing with a neighbor to produce the scariest Halloween display.
Lilly carried her cookie into the kitchen and sat next to Miley.
"Whatever you do, don't eat that," Miley whispered.
"Why not?" Lilly asked.
"Because it was made by the devil's little helper," Miley said with a grim expression.
"You're being ridiculous," Lilly said. She took a bite of her cookie and then clutched her throat dramatically before starting to gag. Lilly spit out her bite, threw the cookie in the air, and toppled off her chair onto the floor.
"Lilly!" Miley said, totally irritated.
"Oh, please," Lilly said, dropping the act. "Next you'll be saying..." she leaned in and whispered in a spooky voice, "...she sees dead people."
Friends Lily and Oliver come to Miley's rescue and attempt to root out the
rebellious relative before she blows her disguise, though the young lad finds
himself distracted upon arrival. "I had a dream like this once," he comments. "Except the room was full of Jessica Simpsons and I had more than one chest hair."
"Focus!" Hannah helpfully tries to redirect amid a sea of blonde wigs, "We have to find the real, fake Hannah!"
Part Two is based on the episode, "Grandmas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Play Favorites" (Written by Douglas Lieblein). Here Mam'aw Ruthie pays a visit, but seems much more interested in Jackson's volleyball games than Miley's upcoming brush with royalty. It seems the Queen of England's granddaughter is a huge fan of Hannah Montana and the pop star has been invited to play for Her Royal
But Jackson's volleyball championship at school is scheduled for the same time and Mam'aw has decided to attend her grandson's activity over the rare opportunity to see her granddaughter perform for the queen. More than that, she's been exclusively giving her time to Jackson to help him prepare for the big match. Miley is feeling decidedly unloved by this lack of
Things turn rather unbelievable as Mam'aw assertively fills in as Jackson's
teammate when his partner fails to show up, and events at the royal gala lead
the queen to ask, "Have we just been punked?" Before it's all over, though, Miley finds out from Mam'aw why she seems to be playing favorites.
Adapted by Laurie McElroy, Nightmare on Hannah Street captures the action and witty banter in such a way that you can totally picture the episode as you are reading. A few novelties from watching the episodes don't exactly translate to the written page, like Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus in their dual roles, or Vicki Lawrence's portrayal as the paternal grandmother. Included in the center of the book is an 8-page color section featuring stills from the adapted episodes. The reading level is geared for ages 9-12, and the next installment in the series is #8: Seeing Green.