This is the second mermaid-themed YA I have read this week, and I enjoyed the unique mere-lore in Madly & Wolfhardt and its use of traditional fairytale. The characters are interesting and well-rounded, especially the protagonist who displays a level of forethought and selflessness one rarely sees in YA, and the supporting cast is wonderful. All in all, this book has surprised me and I want to know more about this awesome mer-world!Madly is the mer-princess of her people: destined to fall in love with a suitable member of the royal family and rule her people when her time comes. Her best friends Jersey and Aidan accompany her ashore to a human boarding school, along with Jersey's elder brother (and Madly's childhood crush) Jackson. While Madly is looking forward to her impending engagement to Aidan, she is apprehensive because she has failed to 'tie' with him - the mermaid version of falling irrevocably in love. To make matters worse, she feels that she has already tied with Jackson, but since he's a Sentinel (and thus not of pure royal blood), their union would not be allowed. Further complicating matters are Jackson's apparent hatred of Madly, and Aidan developing a tie to a human girl. While the story is devoid of a love triangle in the traditional sense, there is a lot of romantic drama and I quite enjoyed reading it all.It probably sounds like all that drama would take over the story line, but it doesn't. Madly's parents, the rulers of Atlas, are trapped in the under-water city because of a prison break - the most dangerous mer criminals have escaped and are trying to infiltrate the human world. It is up to Madly to capture them all and return them to their prisons, and thus lifting the lockdown on Atlas so she can rescue her parents. Wolfhardt is one of those criminals, who is looking for the descendant of his original victim: a young girl who lived with her grandmother in the woods and who's family crest is read: humans know the story better as Little Red Riding Hood. Madly and her friends have to figure out who the descendant is and protect her. This aspect of the story is both thrilling and full of suspense, and broke up all the emotional drama well.Madly & Wolfhardt is a well-balanced and enjoyable story that puts a new spin on mermaid stories and combines it with an awesome mystery plot line. I think this series will be enjoyed by those who love a good YA story, and those looking for a fresh outlook on mer-lore.A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic.