I read this quite some time ago (I think around the '90s). I'm pretty sure the author is Orson Scott Card, but I looked through the bibliography and I couldn't find it.
The story is about a ship that arrives on a planet to colonize it, but the embryos it has transported are awakened for a reason that's revealed later (and has something to do with collecting resources on the planet).
This means that the colonizers are a bunch of teenagers instead of adults and they have to survive on the planet doing various things for the first time (including killing animals to survive, which leads to the main character having a moral dilemma).
UPDATE: The embryos were being kept alive by the AI of the ship. I seem to remember that the ship almost crash-landed on the planet and the usual procedure was to self-destroy in that case. But here the AI decided against it, because even if with a short life expectancy, the boys/girls could gather some unique resources and then die, leaving the path open for another colonization ship. They didn't find out about this until later in the story.