I just annoyed how she's introduced as the contact specialist, then she becomes Picard's aide/adjutant, then she commands the ship on a mission that is probably uber-critical to the UFP. And YES!!! She is the annoying little sister with LOTS of room to grow.
She's become a plot device just so she can get a few bit lines in the book. Yeah, even the main cast can be used as plot devices as well, but it just so friggin' obvious.
Heck, if Picard has taken a shine to her, then she's become the teacher's pet...with the rest of class despising her!
How the heck are you supposed to become a versatile officer if you're constantly stuck doing the same old thing. The reason Picard has her doing various jobs, is to become a seasoned and experienced officer capable of more then just one job.
Look at Worf, for example. Started of as a junior officer, manning different stations on the bridge. Spent a few years in security, switched to command and specialized in Strategic Operations. Then was asked to become a diplomat, which ultimately helped him when he returned to Starfleet where he can draw upon lessons learned in diplomacy when dealing with others in his duties as a XO, and probably one day as captian.